tire store refuses to rotate tires on Minivan.

Messages
598
Location
TEXAS
Thread starter
Has anyone ever heard of this? Yesterday my brother called me from Discount tire with a problem. He had taken my sister in laws Chrysler Minivan in to have a flat repair and a tire rotation. Discount told him that they could not/would not rotate the rear tires to the front because the rear tires had more tread on them than the front tires. The Discount manager told him that Michelin did a study that said it was more important to have more tread on the rear tires to prevent hydroplaning on front wheel drive vehicles and that DOT is recommending this. (The tires do not need to be replaced as they have thousands of serviceable miles left on them.) My argument is this: most vehicles have abnormal wear on the front especially on FWD like cupping and uneven tread wear. I believe it is necessary to rotate the tires to keep tread wear even and to keep more rubber on the road in the front for turning and braking. Discount and Michelin have me baffled a this point. Any thoughts?
 
Messages
1,936
Location
.
The idea behind having more tread on the rear tires is to prevent oversteer, where the rear of the car skids before the front when cornering. Oversteer is more difficult for the average driver to control than understeer and can lead the the classic "spinout". Guess that's one more reason to have tires rotated frequently, especially by a third party: Discount Tire is just trying to avoid being held responsible for an accident.
 
Messages
8,756
Location
Illinois
Yes. I would rotate them myself. Problem solved. The tire store is trying to avoid an almost statistically impossible to predict future lawsuit. They don't want your business. So, either do it yourself or take it somewhere else. And remember this when it is time for new tires.
 
Messages
1,070
Location
TX
Pictures of front and rear tires required. To a point, you are both correct. Personally, I'll take my chances with the better tires on front, but I realize they're planning for "the masses" and not me. robert
 
Messages
598
Location
TEXAS
Thread starter
The video is talking about 2 new tires going on the vehicle which is somewhat different than a simple rotation where the tire wear comparison from front to rear is negligible or within a few 1000ths. However using the logic that this Discount and Michelin have on the issue you would NEVER rotate the tires unless you rotated them every 1500 miles or less because your front tires will never have more tread than the rears. That is unless there is a mechanical issue in the rear suspension. We get rain less than 60 days a year but you have to stop and turn every day. It seems to me that rotating the tires properly and driving to the conditions is most important. It appears the video is also using two old fwd Ford Taurus without Stability and Skid control and a RWD BMW.
 
Last edited:
Messages
8,724
Location
Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
They don't want your business.
I would disagree with this; more often than not people go into a tire store thinking the "best" tires should be on the front of the car when in fact they should ALWAYS be on the rear no matter if it is FWD/RWD/4WD/AWD. The video posted above clearly shows the reasons for that and all tire manufacturers recommend the same. Discount Tire was simply following best practice in this case and IMHO is looking out for the best interest of the customer's safety--lawsuits not withstanding. DT has always treated me fairly and has matched prices (both local and online)--YMMV.
 
Messages
598
Location
TEXAS
Thread starter
Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
Yes. I would rotate them myself. Problem solved. The tire store is trying to avoid an almost statistically impossible to predict future lawsuit. They don't want your business. So, either do it yourself or take it somewhere else. And remember this when it is time for new tires.
I know! I personally rotate my tires but in this case my brother has a severely inclined driveway that prevents it...and he has the cash to pay someone else.
 
Messages
9,560
Location
Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Danh
The idea behind having more tread on the rear tires is to prevent oversteer, where the rear of the car skids before the front when cornering. Oversteer is more difficult for the average driver to control than understeer and can lead the the classic "spinout". Guess that's one more reason to have tires rotated frequently, especially by a third party: Discount Tire is just trying to avoid being held responsible for an accident.
Pretty tough to cause a nose heavy, FWD minivan to "oversteer". I've also found that new tires with full tread tend to run at higher slip angles than those which have broken in. In any event, this "objection" to mounting on the front seems to be for bad weather "issues".
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,026
Location
CA
You don't give any measurements on tire wear. Anything down to 4/32" is a concern. DT is on very firm ground here. Very well known and accepted about what they said. Any other good tire store should do the same.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,500
Location
Dallas, Texas
Ehh. I don't mind Discount. Cost Co however lost my business. They won't touch a tire if it isn't one they put on the car. I had a nail puncture a tire and go up through the sidewall. Cost Co wouldn't honor the road hazard, so I went to Discount Tire. When I was at Cost Co for a rotation, while I was shopping, they wouldn't touch either tire on the side that the new tire was on because the tire wasn't 'from them'. However, Cost Co said they could "fix" the issue if they just replaced all 4 tires again. "As they are a little worn" is what they said. 2 years and 10,000 miles is not a "Little Worn". It is a liability issue for them, and it helps them jack up their sales. I do find it funny that they now recommend the "better" tires go on the rear of the car. It also ensures that they sell more tires as you wear out the ones on the front first.
 
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: InhalingBullets
The video is talking about 2 new tires going on the vehicle which is somewhat different than a simple rotation where the tire wear comparison from front to rear is negligible or within a few 1000ths.
How do you know that's the case on the vehicle in question? Have you measured the tread depth? If the tires have never been rotated or rotated very little, then there can be a significant difference in tread depth. But, you make a valid point that they need to be reasonable, since tires need to be rotated. Without info on the tread depth, we don't know if the tire store is being smart or stupid in this instance. If there is a significant difference in tread depth, then they're correct. If there isn't a big difference, then they're being asinine.
Originally Posted By: InhalingBullets
keep more rubber on the road in the front for turning and braking.
Tire companies would disagree with you. More tread on rear, they say.
 
Messages
479
Location
PA
What is the difference in tread depth between the front and rear tires? If the rears have 9-10/32 and the fronts have 3-4/32, the shop might have a point. (See the famous TR video.) If the difference is only 1-2/32 between the front and rear, then it's silly and lawyer-driven. If that's the case it pretty much rules out rotating tires---ever---and thus invalidates any treadwear warranty. That's they way some folks are going, it seems. No rotation, the fronts wear faster, replace tires in pairs of 2 rather than sets of 4, the deeper tread always on the rear. Fine if that's what you want. I tend to believe in consumer choice....but that's getting scarcer by the day. Good luck.
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,981
Location
Greatest Earth on Show, UT
Definitely need photos and/or tread depth measurements or at least some history on the tires, such as the tradwear warranties and number of miles on each set. You stated that the front tires have "thousands of serviceable miles left on them", but didn't comment on the rear tires. Do they have tens of thousands of miles left on them? 40k?
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
44,269
Location
New Jersey
I recall arguments on this very thing a few years back. IIRC, audi junkie was advocating tread on the rear, when most were pushing tread on the front drive wheels. As I see it, tire shops have very little incentive to do the rotation. Not only can they cite something saying that it improves safety, but it also will make tires in a wear position, wear faster, so they will sell more tires. What reason do they have to do anything else?
 
Messages
1,981
Location
Greatest Earth on Show, UT
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
As I see it, tire shops have very little incentive to do the rotation. Not only can they cite something saying that it improves safety, but it also will make tires in a wear position, wear faster, so they will sell more tires. What reason do they have to do anything else?
Keeping the business. I don't know what it is like around you or the OP, but I probably have 20+ tire shops within a 10 mile radius of me, several of them independents who are not directed by lawyers at the corporate level to do or not do certain things. Find someone who will rotate the tires and pay them to do it. If the tires were purchased at Discount, rotations should be free, so they are not turning down money and are instead looking out for their customers.
 
Messages
100
Location
Bay area CA
This becomes a forever problem. Costco will put the newer set on the rear and you'll always have less tread on the front. I had a minivan that I put way too many tires on. When one tire failed (nails in the side wall) I would have to replace the two on that axle. for safety on the 4000 pound car. But I do believe the greater control on the rear with more tread issue.
 
Messages
5,401
Location
KC
having less tread on the rear tires shouldn't even be discussed. the point should be whether or not the rear tires have adequate tread regardless of what is on the front. Putting bald tires on the back wheels is bad. Putting tires with adequate tread on the rear tires but having less tread than the front tires is perfectly fine.
 
Top