Tyres, the little rubber doughnut that has a contact patch the size of your palm to keep your big, heavy, complicated and powerful machine to the road. But yet, even when you look at it in this perspective, many still overlook the importance of tyre know-how, so we thought we would look at one of the most important aspects of it, as it happens daily anywhere in the world.
There's this common scenario where vehicle owners would need to replace a pair of tyres instead of all four. Of course, for best efficiency, all four must be replaced, but in the real world where money is a consideration, two is better than zero.
The reason for this change in pair is because the tyres on your car wear at different rates. The front tyres always wear faster than the rear. They wear 2.5 times faster than the rear according to Toyotires as they are responsible for steering.
So, in most cases, the front tyres would need changing first, but the question is, do you slap on new tyres to the front, or move the used tyres from the rear to the front and put the new tyres on the back? According to Goodyear tyres, the answer should always be REAR.
"When tires are replaced in pairs, the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle, and the partially worn tires should be moved to the front. Driving with new tires on the rear axle can help the vehicle to maintain control on wet roads because the tires with deeper treads are more likely to resist hydroplaning."
"When front tires have less tread than the tires on the rear axle, the vehicle is generally considered easier to control, since sliding would likely be the result of understeer – which is easier for the driver to control by decreasing throttle. If worn tires are placed on the rear axle and a slide occurs, it's likely the result of oversteer (where the rear of the vehicle continues to move straight ahead). Oversteering is generally harder to recover from and decreasing throttle may actually amplify the negative effects of the oversteer."
It's common for tyre shops to recommend this practice to you but if they do not, insist they put the new tyres on the rear because now you know why it is best to do so.