Age old question: Pair of new tyres, fit on front or rear?

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Age old question: I need a pair of new tyres on my FWD LWB van soon, new ones to go on the front or back ? The 4 on there now were all put on at the same time previously, the front ones have nearly worn out, the rear ones still have plenty of tread left.

Logic says move rear to front and put new tyres on the back....what does the hive mind think ?
 
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One on front one on rear to balance the safety. :p

I gave up arguing with the tyre fitters around here, they (4 separate fitters) say new tyres always go on the front as the front tyres do the braking etc. Now I rotate myself and try and replace all 4 in one go.
 
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The 'pro list' of rear tyres being better is longer than any advantages to them being on the front....but I'm curious of the community response.

Pro's for rear is:

- less chance oversteer (much worse than understeer) for example Lane change on a rainy icy motorway is dangerous if the back slides out.

- you cycle the vans rubber more, I.e. It won't be ages until I put another pair on again....thus I'll always have newer rubber.

- I have direct control over the front tyres and power, if they slip it's easier to handle than the back stepping out.

- I can feel the front wheels coming loose more clearly than the rear, giving more time to react....I.e. I can add IN more steering input as required.

- professionals recommend it.

- tyre manufacturers recommend it.

- if a front tyre blows out, I have some control over that.....if its rear I'm depending purely on the remaining tyres grip......a vehicles 'track' depends on the rear following forwards

New on front pro list:

- I'll less likely understeer

From a pro/con list, yes safety wise, rear seems more sensible.
 
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Well I used to think as most, that the tyres should go on the front as those wheels do the steering, the braking and are most commonly the driven wheels. But when you think about it, that's exactly why they shouldn't...you have control over those wheels, so if they start to lose grip, you can adjust your steering, braking and throttle inputs accordingly to control the situation.

Whereas you have comparatively almost no control over the grip of the rear tyres. I can't influence them as much if they do lose grip, but one factor I can control is ensuring they always have the best rubber on them. So it's just a matter of probability...if I'm not replacing all four tyres at once, I'd rather stick newer tyres on the rear so that they're the least likely to lose grip in the first place.

I think it was watching the demonstration Fifth Gear did with this which was a bit of an eye opener.
 
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The only issue is when you get a staggered rear:D (not sure you would see that outside of rwd though, don't think cars with 4wd even have staggered).
 
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:p

I’ve always replaced like for like on my cars, need new fronts? New tyres on the front. Need new rears? New tyres on the rear. I’ve never felt it unsafe.

Indeed.
Also, if you don't put the new on the rear and feel it's unsafe, how bad are the tyres if part worn is considered unsafe. Maybe they need replacing too?
 
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Why move the rears that are in good shape with plenty of tread left to the fronts and fit new to the rears on an FWD vehicle?

I’ve always avoided tyre rotation on all the regular family cars I’ve owned as the one time I did this on any old Vectra, I ended up having to replace all 4 tyres at once high seemed a false economy.
 
Soldato
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Should never be an issue unless the tyres on the rear are unsafe or your driving like a tool.

Here's a video highlighting how it can quickly become an issue when the tyres on the rear aren't unsafe, and no one's driving like a tool.

EDIT: It seems you can't embed videos to start at a timestamp - go to 1:38 to see the demonstration.


It's perfectly possible to have all 4 tyres on the car deemed to be "safe", ie, good condition, good quality and with decent tread depth (they state "half worn", so that's about 4mm...a tyre still well within it's serviceable life).
But comparatively, if the rears have less tread depth, are the most likely to be the first to lose their ability to shift any given amount of water on the pavement, and the result is the car quickly becomes unstable.

Watch until you see the cars driving side by side, at the same speed, on the same corner. The only difference is tyre placement, yet the one with the worn bias toward the rear quickly becomes squirrelly, and then loses control, when driving at moderate speeds on a gentle corner. The advice is purely about trying to balance the probability so that it's always your front tyres which give up first, so you can feel it and do something about it.
 
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