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Old 01-12-2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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New tires should always go on the rear if buying only two tires.

My last car needed ultra hight performance tires.. So it went through a lot of tires.. I got used to replacing one pair each fall. By then the fronts were pretty worn, and the rear were still good (since they were the new ones last year.
So the rear to the front, and new ones on the back.

And for front wheel drive the fronts wear faster anyway.. New tires wear faster than old.. by putting the new ones on the back, the get to age some, so they last a little longer..
After a year, they are good to put on the front. (and new ones on the back again.)

Folks who want to argue with all the testing done and want the opposite I suppose they just have to go their own way....
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:07 PM   #12
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For safety, they go on the rear, but if you want to do some hooning you can temporarily put you winter tires on the front and somewhat worn all seasons on the back and get tons of oversteer.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
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:
http://www.tirerack.com/videos/index...&affiliate=AD4

More interesting winter test videos here:
http://www.tirerack.com/videos/index...&affiliate=AD4

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)

Last edited by Julian@TireRack.com; 01-16-2013 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:29 PM   #14
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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 reason...so 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.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:23 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:48 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:30 PM   #17
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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?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:24 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:34 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:24 PM   #20
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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.
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