New Tires On the Rear?

New Tires On the Rear?

Q;1

I recently bought 2 new tires and was told that I had to put them on the rear of the vehicle.  I told them I wanted the tires installed on the front of the car.  They told me that they would not do that.  Then I was told that placing the new tires on the rear of the vehicle actually made my car safer to drive in wet weather, less likely to lose control in turns.

My car is front wheel drive. For the best steering, traction and braking the new tires should be on the front.  Putting them on the rear goes against everything that I’ve known about tires and driving in the past 40 years.

What is your take on this?  Is this one of those modern math deals?….

A;1

Well, I have to say that until about a year or two ago I was on your side of the fence too, but at a Michelin tire dealer meeting I learned different.  There they told me that the new tires must be placed on the rear of the vehicle.  Worn tires on the rear of a vehicle will allow the rear of the car to slide out in a turn during wet driving, due to hydroplaning.

Michelin tire released a video showing the difference when driving a vehicle with new tires on the rear against worn on the rear.

The front tires do nearly 90% of the braking and steering for the car under an anti-lock event. Where does this leaves us when it comes to ice and snow?  Until then, the new tires go to the rear of the vehicle.

About Jim Grant

After 35 years of working on and writing about cars it is still too much fun!

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Comments

  1. The biggest misconception about a tire, it is not rated for traction from 0-60mph. It is designed and created for just the opposite, 60-0 mph. The training course at Michelin is fantastic about proving this theory. There have been numerous law suits where new tires were installed on the front, and have caused accidents in hydroplaning which actually resulted in death. The high traction on the front, in layman’s term’s, creates the back of your vehicle like a tube being pulled behind a boat on the lake. The tube wants to stay in a straight line when you turn the boat and where does the tube end up? Trying to pass the front of the boat. Your vehicle acts in a similar matter. You should always demand your new tires be installed on the rear. Its your safety and those in your vehicle that may be at risk if you don’t demand it.

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