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Discussion Starter #1
I was watching a news show yesterday, only because I was too lazy to get up and find the remote. But they had a segment on car tires. They say that the biggest mistake people make when just buying two tires is putting them on the front wheels (regardless of rear wheel four wheel or front wheel drive). I thought this was odd, as I've always been accustomed to putting the best tires on front. But they say that by leaving the older less treaded tires on the rear, in the rain the rear can spin out on you. They said (and proved by a racing demo)by putting the best tires on the back, and the bad tires on front, you can now feel the car slipping before it spins out through the steering wheel and adjust speed accordingly.

Normally, if I change tires, I do all four, but there's been times I've been broke and only purchased two. But I always put them on the front. Maybe I've been doing it wrong all these years?????
 

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I've always tried to replace all 4 at the same time also...but at times when I could only replace 2, I put them on the drive axle...didn't make a difference to me if it was front or back....

back when I was younger me and friends used to go out to large open parking lots when it snowed and "practice" bad weather driving (heh) you learn what it feels like when the tires start to slip, and you get a good feel for how fast you can go, or how sharp you can turn before it happens....

can't do that these days :(
 

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Charlie Tango Xray
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This is probably even more true with these newer cars with traction control.
Our commuter car (Mazda 3, sport sedan with 50,000 mile speed rated tires) eats tires. (OK, OK, maybe its my aggressive driving habits.;) ) And even though its front wheel drive, it wears the back tires faster and they get buzzy. Anyway, I've found rotating them just moves the noisy tires to the front.
 
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You would think that putting the new tires on the front would be better especially if the vehicle is front wheel drive.
 

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On The Road Again!
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I have always put the new tires on the front.
But when I bought tires at Costco once, they would
not put the new ones on the front. They insisted on putting
them on the rear! Pissed me off. I swapped 'em myself
and haven't been back there since for tires.

If one set of tires is going to break loose before the other, I want it
to be the rears. I can still maintain control with countersteering.
If the fronts break loose first, you are left with no steering control.
You are riding a misguided missile.
 

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Troublemaker
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News paid for by tire manufacturers. Making it news scares people into spending more money than needed. Free advertising.

Always put the better tires on the front, especially for winter driving. The front tires turn and stop the car more than the rear tires so the better traction is needed in the front.

Just don't mix radials with bias ply tires, if you can still get bias ply tires.
 

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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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I do alignments, so the best pair always go to the front. If you live in a cold climate where it snows a bunch, maybe I would stick them on the drive wheels if there were a big difference in tread depth.
Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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I watched that segment as well. They said it didn't matter, front or rear wheel drive the new tires should go on the back.

I thought about it and believe it is due to the fact that cars now days are built with an inherent understeer. It seems the general public feels safer and can react to the front sliding a bit, but cannot respond to a snap oversteer.
As one who continues to practice his skills controlling an oversteer everytime it snows, I put new tires on the back :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have traction control and abs on my 2009 suzuki sx4. I personally cant stand it. I hate the sound abs makes when it kicks in. Does nothing but scare the pants off me which causes me to let up on the brake. Which defeats the purpose of abs. The times i do leave it on iy just seems to make me slide father with less control over steering. I still rather pump the brakes like ive been doing for 25 years in the snow with no accidents. And i dont need no stupid dummy light coming on and telling me the road is slick. I know that before getting in car. If i had the choice i would take the car without all the new fangled gear in a heartbeat
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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News paid for by tire manufacturers. Making it news scares people into spending more money than needed.

Always put the better tires on the front, especially for winter driving. The front tires turn and stop the car more than the rear tires so the better traction is needed in the front.
Agreed. This is a massive PR campaign by tire mfr's.

There are a LOT of variables. FWD vs RWD vs 4WD vs AWD. As well as preference...

4WD/ AWD T I P S:

You have GOT to run matched tires, same mfr & make of tire, matched equally in wear / diameter on a 4WD or AWD vehicle. Otherwise you risk destroying the $1500 viscous clutch or $2000 transfer case. Replacing one or two tires with new is NOT an option.

In the long run it's A LOT cheaper to go ahead and buy 5 tires (full size spare) if you have 4WD or AWD. But you MUST rotate them regularly or the spare won't match the wear / diameter of the rest when the day comes you need it.

When road hazards or mis-alignment destroys ONE of your tires, you've still got 4 good tires, don't have to REPLACE all four. Thus: buying a tire "Road Hazard" warranty on an AWD/4WD vehicle is pointless; they won't replace all 4.

In summertime, run AT LEAST 4psi over what the sticker on the door says for 1-2 better mpg. Unless you live in a VERY rainy area and want absolute maximum traction. My buddy driving Prius taxis said the drivers all took them up to 38psi, cause they had to pay for their OWN gasoline, out of pocket! 32psi was spec. They'd have gone to 40 but above 38, the ride got too harsh.

Wintertime, stick to what the sticker sez.

Slow leaks are what cause blowouts, not OVER-INFLATION. This is why checking your tires regularly is SOOO damn important -- so you FIND OUT that your right rear has a slow leak, and get it fixed before it kills you.
 

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ZAMM Fanatic
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The times i do leave it on iy just seems to make me slide father with less control over steering.
You can defeat the ABS, or just the traction control?

All traction control SHOULD do is prevent the drive wheels from spinning when you accelerate on a slick surface.

I've never seen ANY automobile that allowed the operator to defeat the ABS.

When you're cruising down some PAVED country road at 50mph, Zippy, and some car blindly pulls out of a driveway DIRECTLY in front of you

And as time slows down your mind vividly pictures the T-bone you're 300 milliseconds away from dining on...

STAND ON THAT BRAKE PEDAL with everything you'vee got and let the ABS do it's job. As an engineer I promise you it WILL stop you faster than YOU can with all the brake pumping you can muster. You simply cannot pump the pedal 2-10X per second like it can and keep ALL four of your tires rolling instead of sliding in a maximum deceleration stop.

Listen to uncle Wade. Get over your annoyance with the ABS. Become it's master cause one day it has the potential to save yer azz, but ONLY if you use it properly --- MOST drivers simply don't stand on the pedal hard enough in emergency situations --- so much so that Mercedes and others now BOOST the brake pedal force automatically when their onboard computers SENSE an impending collision.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
On dry pavement, yes, ABS works great. But not so great in snow country. Brakes of any kind are not your friend in snow. I tried your suggestion of standing on the brake during a snow storm, and I slid right into a gaurdrail. Thank god for heavy snow covering the gaurdrail or I would have done alot of damage. I had no control over the steering while the ABS was kicked in. Maybe the Suzuki just suxs in the snow, but I just don't like it. Used to my Tracker that went anywhere in the snow. The only time I ever lost control in the snow doing it the old fashioned way was when I was f'ing around and trying to cause a spin, which landed me between a tree and a telephone pole. But we had a good laugh...

People still need to learn the skill of driving in the snow without the aid of ABS and traction control. Countersteering will get you out of a slide if you know how to do it right. I wasn't able to countersteer with the ABS on. Since then, if I feel the front end start to slide, I just let off the brake and reapply. Works everytime.
 

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Given that a very large majority of braking work is performed by the front tires, I'm putting the good tires on the front. Something like 75 to 90% of braking work is done by the front wheel(s) of any vehicle.

That said, there is no reason to risk your safety by leaving two questionable tires on your vehicle. Just plan ahead and change all four in that case.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Even 4 junkyard tires with good tread are still better than 2 tires with questionable tread. I just watched my brother in law come out of the junkyard with 4 new tires for 150 bucks with excellent tread on them. The car was totaled but the tires where still good. Heck, maybe I'll try the junkyard instead of the big box tire shop next time....
 
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