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Old 06-15-2007, 05:53 PM   #1
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Best Tires Up Front or Rear for FWD?

A friend of mines daughter, just had Les Schwab Tire say to put the best of the tires on the rear, and Firestone says to put them on the front. For blow-out purposes, I say put the best on the front.

What say you?
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:16 PM   #2
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I say... rotate your tires regularly.
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Old 06-15-2007, 06:20 PM   #3
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Yes, but if you had to make a choice, which ones up front. I say the better - think control in a blowout situation.

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Old 06-15-2007, 07:09 PM   #4
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You should alway put the best tyres (tires) on the front of your car, RWD or FWD...

FWD...fronts carry most of the cars weight and you need tread to steer.
RWD..You need good tire (tyres) tread to steer.

And yes, rotation is the go for evening out the wear, but most people can not be bothered.
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:20 PM   #5
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I shredded the OEM Potenza RE040's on the rear of the GTO in 10,000 miles. Decided to put on Kumho MX's. The guy at Discount told me I need the good tires in the back. Balded the Kumho's in 9,000 miles. That was stupid. I think he was just being lazy and didn't want to spend 2 seconds rotating them. The original Potenzas's that were on the front are now getting a beating out back, while a new set of tires are up front doing a much better job of improving handling.

Point of the story: new shoes up front... that's my thought.
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:44 PM   #6
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I have two different brands (long story) of tires on my car which is FWD. It's amazing how much better it drives when the better brand tires are up front. However, I still rotate them regularly so that they'll last longer.

If you're talking about older vs newer, you'd want the newer ones up front because it's easier to manage a blowout when it's a rear tire.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:04 PM   #7
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some places here in CA will ONLY put new tires on in the rear of the car. I said, "FINE!"
I came back the next day for my Free Tire Rotation.
(oh, and this was not on my 8. I don't trust them to touch my RX-8)
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi54 View Post
some places here in CA will ONLY put new tires on in the rear of the car. I said, "FINE!"
I came back the next day for my Free Tire Rotation.
(oh, and this was not on my 8. I don't trust them to touch my RX-8)
The reason for that is probably because in their minds it's better to have newer tires on the back to avoid losing traction there and spinning out. Oversteering tends to have much more dramatic effects compared to understeer so they're just worried about liability.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:11 PM   #9
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yeah, they mentioned it was some new law...
Probably just a company policy though, since I've noticed it's that way at all Costco Tire Shops and I believe Sears Tire does the same.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi54 View Post
yeah, they mentioned it was some new law...
Probably just a company policy though, since I've noticed it's that way at all Costco Tire Shops and I believe Sears Tire does the same.
Just FYI, Sears Auto Center around here put new tires on the front a couple years ago for me.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:27 PM   #11
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New tires should definetly end up on the front on a FWD vehicle. They are doing all the steering, braking, and pulling the vehicle. The rears are just along for the ride.
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Old 06-16-2007, 12:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn View Post
The reason for that is probably because in their minds it's better to have newer tires on the back to avoid losing traction there and spinning out. Oversteering tends to have much more dramatic effects compared to understeer so they're just worried about liability.
No, the reason is very simple.

You want new tires on the rear of the car, because if you get a blow out or other tire failure, you can steer out of it if the blow out is on the front wheels.

But if a rear tire blows out, you have nothing to help you control it and it is liable to be a much worse accident for the average driver.

All those Ford Exploder roll overs a few years back were from bad or under-inflated rear tires. Not the front ones.
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Icemark View Post
No, the reason is very simple.

You want new tires on the rear of the car, because if you get a blow out or other tire failure, you can steer out of it if the blow out is on the front wheels.

But if a rear tire blows out, you have nothing to help you control it and it is liable to be a much worse accident for the average driver.

All those Ford Exploder roll overs a few years back were from bad or under-inflated rear tires. Not the front ones.
For your first point, I'm pretty sure that's generally considered wrong. I'm not sure how to prove it so I'll leave it to someone with more energy to provide more information.

As far as the Explorer comment the rollovers were because people can't drive. C&D did a test where they blew the rear tires at 80 mph and applied the brakes in a normal fashion and had no problems. People freak when their tires blow and slam on their brakes. Plus, the Explorer was RWD which changes the picture quite a bit.
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:37 AM   #14
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for the normal driving public. understeer is better than oversteer...

add rain..

beers
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn View Post
For your first point, I'm pretty sure that's generally considered wrong. I'm not sure how to prove it so I'll leave it to someone with more energy to provide more information.p
you can consider it wrong... but you would be. Go ask any reputable tire shop.

For example here is Tire Racks comments:
Quote:
When tires are replaced in pairs in situations like these, the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle and the worn tires moved to the front. The reason is because new tires on the rear axle help the driver more easily maintain control on wet roads because new, deeper treaded tires are more capable of resisting hydroplaning.
From Michelin:
Quote:
nstall two new tires on the rear axle

If you need to purchase only two new tires, insist that they are installed on your vehicle's rear axle. New tires grip the road better and when the two new tires are mounted on the rear, they will help reduce the potential for your vehicle to fishtail during a blow out or hydroplane in wet conditions.
Video from Michelin about that:
http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/...ter/videos/42/

Or countless other articles from autonet to Costco, here is another example:
http://www6.autonet.ca/Maintenance/T...09/511272.html
http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/inf...vl2JNN6HTsb0J1
http://www.sctriallaw.com/other-misc...-the-back.html

Quote:
As far as the Explorer comment the rollovers were because people can't drive. C&D did a test where they blew the rear tires at 80 mph and applied the brakes in a normal fashion and had no problems. People freak when their tires blow and slam on their brakes. Plus, the Explorer was RWD which changes the picture quite a bit.
I agree that people freak when a tire blows... even lifting the throttle suddenly in a blow out can cause a uncontrollable situation.

But what it comes down to is:
RWD FWD AWD doesn't matter. You can steer and control the front wheels in a blow out.

You can not steer or control the rear wheels with a rear wheel blow out or loss of traction situation.

A blow out will pull the car the direction of the blow out. With steering you can control it.
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Last edited by Icemark; 06-16-2007 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 06-16-2007, 05:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icemark View Post
you can consider it wrong... but you would be. Go ask any reputable tire shop.

For example here is Tire Racks comments:


From Michelin:

Video from Michelin about that:
http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/...ter/videos/42/

Or countless other articles from autonet to Costco, here is another example:
http://www6.autonet.ca/Maintenance/T...09/511272.html
http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/inf...vl2JNN6HTsb0J1
http://www.sctriallaw.com/other-misc...-the-back.html


I agree that people freak when a tire blows... even lifting the throttle suddenly in a blow out can cause a uncontrollable situation.

But what it comes down to is:
RWD FWD AWD doesn't matter. You can steer and control the front wheels in a blow out.

You can not steer or control the rear wheels with a rear wheel blow out or loss of traction situation.

A blow out will pull the car the direction of the blow out. With steering you can control it.


Oops, someone just got schooled. Nice job backing up your words, and leaving no doubt. Not much to argue now, except this.
The experts ARE WRONG, and have no idea what they are talking about. The people on here know more then they do about tires.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:42 PM   #17
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The logic in those tire shops is frightening.

Quote:
The reason is because new tires on the rear axle help the driver more easily maintain control on wet roads because new, deeper treaded tires are more capable of resisting hydroplaning.
This statement makes absolutely no explanation as to why having "newer, deeper treaded tires" on the rear is better than having them on the front. They simply state that you should put them on the back because newer tires won't hydroplane as easy. That is a completely hollow argument.

Quote:
If you need to purchase only two new tires, insist that they are installed on your vehicle's rear axle. New tires grip the road better and when the two new tires are mounted on the rear, they will help reduce the potential for your vehicle to fishtail during a blow out or hydroplane in wet conditions.
I clearly already stated this above. This was my exact guess as to why companies would say mount them on the rear. While I certainly agree that having crappy rear tires can lead to oversteer which has dangerous consequences, I maintain that having better tires up front is still more important because it's heavier and has the wheels that turn which is much more likely to cause hydroplaning. Obviously, the most severe consequences of oversteer are worse than the consequences of understeer, but if understeer has a much greater chance of happening, you want to prevent against that.

Feel free to respond, but I'm done. I no longer have the energy to carry on this class of argument. People can and will make up their own minds without me.
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Old 06-17-2007, 11:49 AM   #18
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for the normal driving public. understeer is better than oversteer...

add rain..

beers

haha - I knew this would start a debate. It is odd how all the shops have their own theories about this question.
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Old 06-17-2007, 06:57 PM   #19
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Some people who never rotate tires in a front wheel drive car. They just wear the fronts to the wear bars (and then some). So the new tires go on the rear, and the half worn tires move to the front.
Then you repeat that when those half worn tires reach EOL. and again...
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Old 06-17-2007, 11:39 PM   #20
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I'd put the new tires on the drive wheels because the wear faster. Either way you should rotate the tires to even out the wear so there's very little difference. I rotate mine with every oil change...
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Old 06-20-2007, 01:11 PM   #21
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Best tires always in the back. Any non-stupid tire retailer/manufacturer will tell you the same. Car and Driver or Motor Trend had an article on this a year or two back, they also said to put them in the back.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:14 PM   #22
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Your BEST Tires should Always be on the front regardless of your drive system.
During braking most of your vehicles weight (about 80%) is transfered to the front (front brakes do most of the work), so with poor front tire tread you will not only have poor steering, but your car wont stop as well, particularly on slippery roads.

Anyone who says differently does not know what they are talking about.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Your BEST Tires should Always be on the front regardless of your drive system.
During braking most of your vehicles weight (about 80%) is transfered to the front (front brakes do most of the work), so with poor front tire tread you will not only have poor steering, but your car wont stop as well, particularly on slippery roads.

Anyone who says differently does not know what they are talking about.
So I guess Tirerack doesn't know what they are talking about?

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=52

Quote:
Most vehicles are equipped with the same size tire at every wheel position. Ideally all of these tires should also be of the same type and design, have the same tread depth and be inflated to the pressures specified by the vehicle placard or owner's manual. This combination best retains the handling balance engineered into the vehicle by its manufacturer.

However due to the front tires' responsibility for transmitting acceleration, steering and most of the braking forces on front-wheel-drive vehicles, it's normal for front tires to wear faster than rear tires. If the tires aren't rotated on a regular basis, it's also common for pairs of tires to wear out rather than sets. And if the tires aren't rotated at all, it's likely that the rear tires will still have about 1/2 of their original tread depth when the front tires are completely worn out.

Intuition suggests that since the front tires wore out first and because there is still about half-tread remaining on the rear tires, the new tires should be installed on the front axle. This will provide more traction, and by the time the front tires have worn out for the second time, the rear tires will be worn out too. However in this case, intuition isn't right...and following it can be downright dangerous.

When tires are replaced in pairs in situations like these, the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle and the worn tires moved to the front. The reason is because new tires on the rear axle help the driver more easily maintain control on wet roads because new, deeper treaded tires are more capable of resisting hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning occurs when the tire cannot process enough water through its tread design to maintain effective contact with the road. In moderate to heavy rain, water can pool up in road ruts, depressions and pockets adjacent to pavement expansion joints. At higher speeds, the standing water often found in these pools challenge a tire's ability to resist hydroplaning.

Exactly when hydroplaning occurs is the result of a combination of elements including water depth, vehicle weight and speed, as well as tire size, air pressure, tread design and tread depth. A lightweight vehicle with wide, worn, underinflated tires will hydroplane at lower speeds in a heavy downpour than a heavyweight vehicle equipped with new, narrow, properly inflated tires in drizzling rain.

If the rear tires have more tread depth than the front tires, the front tires will begin to hydroplane and lose traction on wet roads before the rears. This will cause the vehicle to begin to understeer (the vehicle wants to continue driving straight ahead). Understeer is relatively easy to control because releasing the gas pedal will slow the vehicle and help the driver maintain control.

However, if the front tires have more tread depth than the rear tires, the rear tires will begin to hydroplane and lose traction on wet roads before the fronts. This will cause the vehicle to begin to oversteer in which the vehicle wants to spin. Oversteer is far more difficult to control, and in addition to the initial distress felt when the rear of the car starts sliding, quickly releasing the gas pedal in an attempt to slow down may actually make it more difficult for the driver to regain control, possibly causing a complete spinout.

Members of The Tire Rack team had the chance to experience this phenomenon at Michelin's Laurens Proving Grounds. Participants were allowed to drive around a large radius, wet curve in vehicles fitted with tires of different tread depths - one vehicle with new tires on the rear and half-worn tires on the front, and the other with the new tires in the front and half-worn tires on the rear.

It didn't take long for this hands-on experience to confirm that the "proving grounds" name for the facility was correct. The ability to sense and control predictable understeer with the new tires on the rear, and the helplessness in trying to control the surprising oversteer with the new tires on the front was emphatically proven.

And even though our drivers had the advantage of knowing we were going to be challenged to maintain car control, spinouts became common during our laps in the car with the new tires on the front. Michelin advises us that almost everyone spins out at least once!

Experiencing this phenomenon in the safe, controlled conditions of Michelin's Laurens Proving Grounds rather than in traffic on an Interstate ramp in a rainstorm is definitely preferred!

In case there is any doubt, when tires are replaced in pairs, the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle and the worn tires moved to the front.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:56 PM   #24
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CRAP!! My buddy just rain into this with his Nissan Altima. All the tires need to be replaced but he's too CHEAP to buy all 4 right now.

Hmm....which to replace and where to put them...
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:42 PM   #25
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Wow. I never thought about it that way. Good info. I'm convinced. New tires on the rear from now on!!
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