Do new tires go in the front or the rear?

In a perfect world, all four tires would wear evenly so we could change them at the same time. However, even the best of us forget to rotate our tires and end up with two worn out tires and two with great tread depth. (You can check your tread depth accurately with an Accutire tread depth gauge).  

Many ask in this case: "Do the new tires go up front or in the rear?". 

If you have a front wheel drive car, conventional “old school” wisdom may suggest the new tires should be on the front. However, the combination of worn tires on the rear may cause some very unpredictable handling characteristics in the wet or snow, which can lead to an over-steer condition. Over-steer looks like this :

Wheel Spin GIF

So, always install new tires on the rear of the vehicle. This is true for both front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles. 

For more information, read "Where to Install New Pairs of Tires?


Saturday, January 7, 2012 by Bob Weinmann

The right front tire on my 2005 Lexus 330 just went flat (screw in the road, wouldja' believe!). The two newest tires are on the rear. So now I'm getting one new tire -- should it go up front on the right to replace the damaged one or should I rotate tires or do something else?

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