Where to Install New Pairs of Tires

One of the most frequent questions we hear is, “Where do I install my two new tires?" and the answer is, “On the rear, on the rear, on the rear!”

Whether you have a front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive car, install your pair of new tires on the rear! The only real exception to this could be a vehicle that has a staggered fitment with different tire sizes on the front and rear.

The reason for the rear installation is new tires on the rear axle will help the driver control their vehicle in wet conditions since the newer, deeper tread tires provide better hydroplaning resistance. With the older, lower tread depth tires on the front, the front tires will tend to lose traction first causing the vehicle to under steer (making the vehicle want to move straight ahead) which can be controlled by releasing the gas pedal to allow the driver to re-gain control of the vehicle!

For more information on where to install new tires, read "Where to Install New Pairs of Tires" in Tire Tech at tirerack.com.


Monday, February 6, 2012 by scott cheney

i had a flat my spare is new but my others are below half tread where would the the best place to install front or rear ?
Saturday, July 28, 2012 by peter wong

If my rear tires still have more than half of the original tread, is it Ok to put the new pair in the front? The reason I am planning to put a new pair in the front because of its age, 8 years old.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 by Roger

Thanks for your inquiry. Unfortunately, the answer to your question can depend on a lot of things. Can you provide me with the make, model, and year of your vehicle, does it run staggered tire sizes? Finally, can you tell me if it's a 2 or 4 wheel drive?



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