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New Tyres On Front?


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#1 minnis

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:53 AM

Hi,

I'm currently getting 2 new tyres fitted to my focus. The fronts are down to the legal limit, the rears have a bit of tread left. Now, I would have thought you should put the worn rears on the front, and the new tyres on the rear, as oversteer is more dangerous than understeer.
I asked if they would do this when fitting them and they said that as it was a front wheel drive car, that new tyres should always go on the front, as they are your powered and steering wheels so need the most traction.
So, what do you reckon? Listen to the professional, or should I swap them over when I get home?
Thanks in advance :).

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#2 Lenny

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 12:16 PM

Hi,
I'm currently getting 2 new tyres fitted to my focus. The fronts are down to the legal limit, the rears have a bit of tread left. Now, I would have thought you should put the worn rears on the front, and the new tyres on the rear, as oversteer is more dangerous than understeer.
I asked if they would do this when fitting them and they said that as it was a front wheel drive car, that new tyres should always go on the front, as they are your powered and steering wheels so need the most traction.
So, what do you reckon? Listen to the professional, or should I swap them over when I get home?
Thanks in advance :).

Hi,
I'd be in favour of putting new on the rear too,
But when you think about it,

In the wet,
If braking you need good front grip,

But when cornering hard
You need good rear grip to prevent the rear slipping out,

Overall,
Hard cornering can be prevented,
Hard braking in some cases can't,
So I'd keep them on the front mate and take it slow on round abouts and corners.

#3 artscot79

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 01:56 PM

defo the front the focus takes more of the grip at the front of the car and the rears if the steering geometry is good barely wear at all



#4 minnis

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:01 PM

I was always told of this scenario:

Imagine you get a puncture. If it's on the back, it will create an unsteady rear end, leading to oversteer. This can be uncontrollable, and unpredictable for other drivers.

If it's on the front, it will create massive understeer, causing an inability to go round corners effectively. Not only is this a lot more predictable than oversteer (you go straight on, so it's easier for others to avoid you) but trying (and failing) to correct oversteer can cause the car to snap in the opposite direction, possibly into oncoming traffic in an unpredictable way.

 

This is the reasoning by which I enquired about new tyres on the rear. However, talking to my Dad afterwards, he was saying about how he got a rear puncture in a front wheel drive while going round a corner, and because he had enough grip on the front, it was controllable and he came to a safe stop. He recommended new tyres on the front as mentioned.

 

Cheers for the replies though, I'll keep them on the front. In case anyone's wondering, I got Goodyear EfficientGrip Performance, and from the very short trip I've had with them so far, they seem pretty grippy, which is what I wanted :). Much better than the Michelin's which were on there previously from when I purchased it.



#5 jeebowhite

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:08 PM

agree with Lenny here, definately worth focusing your efforts towards the front if you cant get the rears done as well.



#6 catch

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:13 PM

So, what do you reckon? Listen to the professional, or should I swap them over when I get home?
Thanks in advance :).

 

Thats right listen to the professional, unfortuneately the guy  you are listening to is obviously not a professional. He is a  tyre monkey, tomorrow he could be cleaning windows.

 

Watch why and listen to the advice offered by proper professionals All be it the video is fronted by a motoring journalist I suspect.

 

If there are two things you should get right on your car above all other things, it is tyre / brake management and maintainance.

 

You would really have to be brain dead to watch that video and then think.................right its the front axle for those two new tyres. If the monkey wont fit the tyres on the axle you want them fit on, go else where, where they will. If it was me I'd go elsewhere in any case

 

Sorry lads you all got it wrong, I mean I wrote a thread on the very issue eons ago, Jeeb, Lenny, artscot79 you cannot all have been asleep :angry:



#7 Philf1

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:29 PM

I had always put new on the front until the last time I was at Kwik Fit when the tyre monkey told me that their new directive was to put them on the rear for the very reasons mentioned.

 

They might not want to fit to rear cause it is more work so change them when you get home.



#8 Stoney871

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:48 AM

Quoting the advice of the AA-

Generally it's good practice to fit the best/newest tyres on the rear in wet conditions, this favours understeer rather than oversteer.
So if you have the front tyres renewed it's best to have the rear ones moved to the front and the new tyres fitted to the rear.
Tyres with deep tread are less likely to puncture and it's more difficult to control a car with a damaged rear tyre.

#9 Stoney871

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 04:12 AM

Tbh it's very dependent on the age of the rear tyres.
If the rears have only been on for 6-9 months then the tread difference on a rear tyre will be negligible.
Rear tyres wear much slower than front tyres on a front powered vehicle and it's not uncommon for them to perish or crack well before they reach minimum tread depth.
Remember it's far easier to recover from understeer than oversteer.
For that reason I'd say swapping tyres around if the rears are 9 months old or more is a very good idea as then you get more evonomical use out of them than if you leave them on the rear to die a slow death by drying out.
I had a major argument with a Kwik-fit 'mechanic' a few years ago as he refused to swap front for rear at my request, suffice to say I don't patronise them anymore.
I always rotate mine on fitting new tyres as advised by my oppo in traffic, I trust his expert advice over some socket jockey in Kwik-fit anyday.

#10 artscot79

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 08:36 AM

Reason i do them on the fronts is my rears hardly wear at all 5mm on the rear and over a year old they just dont wear enough to get grippy so i tend to put new on the front and the fronts to the rear so the rears get slightly worn grippy tyres and the new fronts wear in in no time new on the rear just dont do anything

#11 jg321

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:48 AM

Currently running the original rear tyres on the front of my car. Coming upto 5 years old and you can tell they're getting old. As others have said, they were put on the front to wear down, as they just weren't wearing on the back.

 

New tyres very soon for me, almost on the tread markers on the fronts now. My problem is that after various punctures, my current rears are a couple of mm different. Really annoying having to get 1 tyre at a time :( Think I will put the new ones on the back though, as one of the current rears is a couple of years old now, and still has plenty of tread.



#12 FOCA

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:22 PM

Quoting the advice of the AA-

Generally it's good practice to fit the best/newest tyres on the rear in wet conditions, this favours understeer rather than oversteer.
So if you have the front tyres renewed it's best to have the rear ones moved to the front and the new tyres fitted to the rear.
Tyres with deep tread are less likely to puncture and it's more difficult to control a car with a damaged rear tyre.

+1 - Agreed, my fronts wear out faster (FWD) - when i buy new tyres, i put the the wheels/ tyres that were on the rear onto the front, and put the new tyres on the rear

 

This prevents lift-off oversteer (losing the rear of the car or the car going into a spin) and makes the car more stable in bends, in the wet and at high speed - and in emergency situations like high-speed lane changing -  so is safer

 

If you have a lift-off-oversteer problem caused by more grip on the front than on the back if you are on a high-speed sweeping bend (eg on a wet motorway sliproad etc) and you start to loose the back end, if you lift-off (the thottle) the car will go into an uncontrollable spin 

 

If your car understeers (if you have put the best tyres on the back) the back /rear of the car is very unlikely to let go and it is the front that is liable to slip/ fet go, in the same situation as above when the front "lets go" or slides wide you simply "lift off" or back off the throttle and the front will "tuck in" or stop sliding wide/ the car will slow down but the back end will stay "planted" without "stepping out" or going into a spin - (so is safer)  

 

I know some drivers like a little bit of oversteer but for most road driving lift-off oversteer (on a FWD car) is undesirable because thats just when you need the car to be controllable - and even as an ex- racer & race engineer i prefer the car to be predictable even though im perfectly capable to "catch" the back end stepping out - so my cars are set-up to be neutral to terminal understeer in all conditions - even the tyre pressures influence this  

 

It also means you only have to replace 2 tyres at once instead of 4, as the fronts will wear out a lot quicker

 

The tyre-fitting "monkey" probably could not be bothered switching the tyres around because it involves more work/ time - with only doing the fronts he would only have to take off/ put back on / balance the front wheels/ tyres and not touch tha backs and it means the next time you come in he can sell you 4 tyres instead of 2

 

(a lot (but not all) of these people /places are clueless and talk complete garbage)

 

So my vote is - front wheel drive car = best tyres on the back for safety/ stability     



#13 catch

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:43 PM

Because we all have to live in the real world, where trading off the safety against the cost is a reality.
Commonsense needs to be used when applying the rule “ New to Rear”

 

Now you may laugh or be a confused [considering what I said in my first post] when I tell you the tyres

on my car, by axle and years on there, are as follows.

Rear axle put on as a new set : 21st October 2010 tread depth 7.95mm

Front axle put on as a new set: 22nd August 2011 tread depth 7.95mm

 

Here is the common sense approach explained:

You see when the fronts came to be replaced with new tyres, the rears although having been on for 10 months already, had 7.13mm of tread on them.
 

So the Rears had been on 2 years 11 months with 6.10mm tread depth on 28th Sep 2013

And the Fronts had been on 2 years 1 month with 5.46mm tread depth on same date.
 

As you see, the rears are now sporting the greater tread depth overall.

 

Now there is nothing haphazard about my tyre management, it is done on a planned basis. I inspect tyre

pressures regulary, adjust dependent on load, and inspect wear rate and wear pattern [with digital gauge] twice a year.


As has been said fronts being the drive and steering wheels wear at a greater rate of knots than the rears. In my case on the same brand of tyre on both axles over the last 8,154 miles.


The wear rate is as follows:
 

Fronts wear down 1.00mm of tread every 3,275 miles

Rears wear down 1.00mm of tread every 7,765 miles


The wear rate factor depends on style of driving, ratio of motorway driving against urban, so not a hard and fixed ratio. My last 6,714 miles has been a mixture of 37% touring [a lot of motorway miles] and the rest country roads and urban type mileage


Anyway come May 2014 [ on current usage mileage] the tyre tread depths should read circa:

 

Fronts 4.60mm
Rears 5.74mm

And at this point in time they will be swopped onto opposing axles. This means if I were to keep the car until April 2016 the fronts would be down to circa 3.15mm ands the rears 3.51mm.

 

You see the "The New to the Rear" rule is applied if your rears are well worn. Lets say New tyres  are 8.00mm, your tyres on rear are 2.60mm! The tread depth ratio difference between my tryes when axle swopped will be much closer, plus I'm using Optigrips [see below]

 

I renew my tyres when they wear down to ball park 2.5 to 3.0mm. Couple that with the fact I run on Gooidyear Optigrips designed to widen the water channels as they wear down. [ live link to video] I'm confident the car will be sure footed in standing water conditions, and wet braking conditions.

 

At 3.00mm the average premium tyre stopping distance in wet conditions increases 8% on that of a new tyre.

At 1.6mm the legal limit, the stopping distance increases by 37% on that of a new tyre!

 

So providing you can keep your back end straight, you better hope the guy in front in an emergency stop aint on new tyres. Because if your on worn out ones, bang goes your no claims bonus.

 

Edit: By adopting the axle swop method I expect to get circa 22K out of a set of tyres renewed when at 3,0mm .



#14 jeebowhite

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:00 PM

Good to have you back Catch! ;)



#15 catch

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:39 PM

Thanks Jeeb,

 

I do have the odd look in now and again, I posted on this thread because tyre set up can be a life changer.

Hope you and the family [and your motor :) ] are all doing well.

 

Catch



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