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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-19-2013 05:30 PM
amc49 '...........the better gripping tires on the rear obviously increase the rear grip............'

This can actually bite you hard. If using the old tires on back, they will have a tendency to slide out at lower speeds, possibly alerting someone to a problem. The new tires will hold better then break loose at a faster speed from higher forces, a much more dangerous situation since at higher speeds, rarer and more unexpected. A car that slides out easier forces one to be a better driver unless he is an idiot. Refer to driving on ice........
01-19-2013 05:13 PM
amc49 Fronts do indeed wear more than rears, but no matter as the fronts wear much rounder because of the weight on them. The extra rubber you have on the rear because of less wear is a misconception since the rears ALWAYS tend to wear out of round, leave them on without rotation and see if you can get them to wear down to wear marker, 9 out of 10 times they won't. You'll end up yanking tire for shaking and noise with what still looks like plenty of tread on them. Been there several times, you can jack up wheel and whirl it to see the obvious out of round condition. Rotate that to front and you can pick up on it far easier than a front worn same amount of time even if front worn way more. And then your round front tires that you just put on back are now going out of round.........why I don't rotate at all on FWD. I'd rather have the little bit of noise in back to tell me how tire wear is going back there.

I don't live where there's lots of ice, but when I get it I simply slow down. Virtually no rear end sliding around then. In the rain the front tires will hydroplane even with lots of tread left on them, that can be severe and absolutely silly to me to have new tires on back then, up front they stop the hydroplaning way before you are back end sliding. If back sliding in rain then again I suggest you slow down. I don't drive like an old woman and seem to have no trouble at all.

It appears to me all the suggestion of new tires on back are in response to legal issues (incorrect and often not caught up with the rest of the world) and people who seem to be driving too fast for conditions so as to lose control of rear end. Granted, simple straight line panic stops can test tire performance but driving competence/incompetence or ABS will far outweigh whether the new tires are on the rear or not. Having ABS actually makes up for not having new tires on rear. Add to that the fact that at stop the weight transfers to the front and it should be obvious the new tire not going to help much if it does not have maximum traction to work right.

To me you are giving away a massive long term amount of guaranteed much surer directional control along with steering performance, driver comfort and ease at the wheel, and stability over the long run for a second or two of what you HOPE is better at panic time. Modification of personal driving habits will reward you far more than new tires on the rear ever will.
01-18-2013 02:24 PM
jasonbi if you can't do tires on all 4 corners, the new rubber should always go on the rear. i don't think it has been covered here yet but it comes down to most(not all) drivers ability. most people can recover more easily from under steer than over steer. abs braking helps out a lot in emergency braking when under steer can occur. in an over steer situation, people tend to panic, over correct and lose control completely. the better gripping tires on the rear obviously increase the rear grip and hopefully limit over steer.
01-17-2013 01:34 PM
sailor Gotta admit to doing it BOTH ways over the years, with different cars.....

One FWD car in particular, adding snows to the front just made handling more neutral with all season's in the rear STILL had a slight understeer in the snow....

Another NEEDED four corner snows 'cause the rear would get "twitchy" before the front...

So the first one would get new tires in the front if replaced in pairs, while the other got 'em in the rear DESPITE a desire to have the best tread in front in the rain....

So, my answer would be to put new tires in the rear UNLESS you are very familiar with your car's handling & through testing come to a different conclusion for THAT particular vehicle.
01-17-2013 12:24 PM Our policy is that we cannot rotate any tires to the front of a vehicle that are more then 2/32nds less than what will be on the rear. So, if they have half-worn tires on the front and new on the rear, then no, we wouldn’t be able to rotate them. If you're burning up more then 2/32nds of tread in 6,000 miles you should probably rotate every 3,000 the first few times.
01-16-2013 06:30 PM
cbdallas Do you also refuse to rotate them after 6000 miles when the fronts have worn down even further and the rears have no wear at all?
01-16-2013 05:48 PM Put them in the rear. It's the same reason you should never install just 2 winter tires in the front of a front wheel drive car. If you start to slide taking a turn and the back end goes first because you have less tread ie. less grip, it's much harder to recover from the "spin". As compared to the front tires breaking loose and the car just pushes a little bit, this is much easier to control.

When we install tires here we will ONLY install them on the rear for liability reasons, and yes, there have been lawsuits over it. As for when we sell only 2 tires, we always put the following on the invoice....

Customer advised that mixing
tire types/sizes or new with
partially worn tires may cause
unpredictable handling,braking
or loss of vehicle control.
New tires should be installed
on the rear axle.
01-15-2013 05:23 AM
amc49 I always change in pairs only and NEVER put the new ones on the rear, there are several reasons why you shouldn't if you just give a moments thought to it. I tried both ways many years ago on FWD and ever since deciding on new fronts only have never looked back. We in Texas only worry about winter tires maybe one day a year, and rainy weather rewards front new far more than rear new.
01-14-2013 01:29 PM
cbdallas This really depends on the circumstances, IMO. but the answer remains the same for me. If you've faithfully rotated your tires, the fronts will be the first to fall below the wear bars and need to be replaced. It only makes sense at that point (if you're only buying 2 tires) to put the new ones on the front, and continue rotating when the front wear catches up with the rear.

If I was replacing two tires because one or two were destroyed by a road hazard, I'd still put the new tires on the front for the same the wear will eventually even out. If you're at all concerned at all about maintaining your tires, you're eventually going to rotate them anyway, so why not start out with the good tread on the front and let them start evening out as soon as possible?

RWD cars can be different, depending on the car and the driving habits. My sister's '79 Mustang wore out the fronts first, because she cornered like a maniac, but the car didn't have enough power to put much wear on the rears. My friend's '12 G37 coupe wears out the rears first because she's a lead-foot. Just pretending for a moment that the G-37's tires could be rotated (they can't due to the stagger), I'd put the new ones on the rear of the G37 and start rotating when the wear started to even out from front to back. But in the case of the Mustang, I'd put the new ones on the front and start rotating.
01-14-2013 01:08 PM
Originally Posted by cyfocus01 View Post
hmm, what about tread squirm? winter traction with new tread in the front? 4 tires the smart choice. some budgets may contradict...
Straight line acceleration, yes but for turning then no. This video shows why:

More interesting winter test videos here:

Of course the OP is in Alabama and doesnt see snow but the same holds true (not as extreme as ice but think wet/slippery conditions)
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