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VW Tire Mystery - Please Help!

Hi guys! Please solve my tire mystery!

My daughter has a 2005 VW Golf. She ran it about 18,000 miles without rotating the tires. So, it had two worn tires on the front and two nearly identical tires on the rear with little wear (one rear was slightly newer, as it replaced a flat ? all 4 tires were the same brand and model and size). Braking was good. The car drove straight with the steering wheel straight.

So, I replaced the worn tires with new Michelin?s.

Case 1: The original rear tires on the front. The steering wheel is turned about 20 degrees right in order to drive straight. When I brake hard, the front of the car twists a bit and pulls right, but the steering wheel is not turned in the process. It is very unsafe.

Case 2: The new Michelin?s on the front: The steering wheel is turned about 10 degrees left in order to drive straight. All braking appears uneventful.

I have had an alignment, and all was within specification. I have had a brake check, and no problems have been found.

Question 1: Why should the steering wheel center position be affected by the tires on the front of the VW Golf?

Question 2: Why should the braking be affected by the tires on the front?

Question 3: Do I have bad tires? If so, which ones?

Many many thanks!!!

John MacBain

I’d Spring For Two More Michelins!
At least one original is probably bad (wheel turned 20 degrees right when on front, 10 degrees left from cat-walk compenstaion when on rear). The front tires may have worn for the same reason-junk tires.

“Nearly identical”

If you’ve got anything except the same model and size tire on one side vs the other you’re inviting asymmetrical behavior.

I think you need to bit the bullet get two more new tires of the same type and rotate them this time around.