Two New Tires
courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man
I recently purchased two new tires. The company from which I purchased the tires automatically installed them in the rear. They even had a sign stating that if a vehicle is only having two tires replaced, they will be placed in the rear 100% of the time. I thought that was odd, considering that my vehicle is a front engine, front wheel drive automobile. I thought logically that the two new tires (with the better traction) should go on the front. I checked a website and found out that most tire manufacturers recommend that new tires be placed in the rear because they are able to displace water more efficiently than old tires. Apparently, when a car brakes in the rain and the front tires (new tires) are better able to displace standing water than the rear tires (old tires), then the rear tires will begin to hydroplane first. I guess it is much more difficult to control a rear hydroplane situation than it is a front hydroplane situation. I've never experienced either, but this is apparently a tire industry standard.
I can recall last year having a long-standing debate with a subscriber about this issue. Like you and probably 90% of the rest of us, we would think that the better tires should be placed on the front where the steering is (and on front wheel drive cars, where the tractive force is). However, based on NHTSA (National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration) data, most people can not control a vehicle with a rear wheel blow out or loss of traction in the rear. Like you, I was stunned to hear this. However, the data points out the facts.
Bob, The Auto Answer Man
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