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Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle #4491677
08/18/17 08:25 AM
08/18/17 08:25 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 566
Madison, Wisconsin
TWG1572 Offline OP
TWG1572  Offline OP
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 566
Madison, Wisconsin
My wife abuses tires. Over the 15 years I've known her, her car has consistently gotten 1/2 the life out of tires that mine has. This is across multiple vehicles in this time. I've grown to accept this, and just know we are buying tires more frequently for her. She's also independent, and handles getting the maintenance done on her vehicles, which works for me.

She comes home last night and tells me that her front tires on her AWD Rav4 are 4/32 and the backs are 7/32. These are General Altimax RT tires. The shop is recommending that she needs to start considering buying 2 new tires, and move the rear ones to the front.

I understand the reasons behind that recommendation. What I'm curious about is whether the difference in tread depths is material enough to warrant a new tire purchase, or if I could rotate them and be ok.

In the scheme of things, tires are cheap. So if there is a risk/concern to rotating the existing tires, I'll buy new ones. If not, I'll rotate and get a few more miles out of the set. What do you think?

Last edited by TWG1572; 08/18/17 08:26 AM.
Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491685
08/18/17 08:34 AM
08/18/17 08:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,663
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,663
Champlain/Hudson Valley
I always heard to put the lousy tires on front. This way, if one goes out whilst driving you have your hands on the steering wheel and thus, more control. I doubt your tires are that bad.

Have you been rotating them all along? Sounds like not.

Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491687
08/18/17 08:35 AM
08/18/17 08:35 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 593
Margate England
Claud Offline
Claud  Offline
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 593
Margate England
I think the shop is offering sound advice. At 4/32 the rears are nearing time for replacement, I'm guessing you get plenty of rain in Wisconsin?.
Of course, the tire shop want to sell you new tires, but I don't think they are trying to get you to replace them unnecessarily.

Claud.

Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491688
08/18/17 08:36 AM
08/18/17 08:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,225
New England
Virtus_Probi Offline
Virtus_Probi  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,225
New England
My take would be to rotate the backs to the front now and get her a new full set of tires just before snow season. You probably don't want her running on really thin tread in a WI winter, and I suppose there might be a concern about hydroplaning those 4/32 tires on the rear in heavy rain even before that if she is very aggressive in her driving habits. I would be very concerned about where those tires that are now at 7/32 would be this coming winter if you only replace the 4/32 now...get some more miles out of what you have before the snow and ice and save up for 4 tires in November or so.

I am hard on tires, too, and unlikely to change in that respect anytime soon. I am going to hazard a guess that she has a V6 RAV4 (RAV6)? I remember I would pretty regularly chirp the front tires on my '06 RAV6 from a stop, doesn't happen with my Subaru due to the different AWD system.


2014 Forester XT, 86000 miles
Last Change;
M1 5W30 d1G2
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Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491689
08/18/17 08:36 AM
08/18/17 08:36 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,480
Ontario, Canada
mightymousetech Offline
mightymousetech  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 1,480
Ontario, Canada
I would rotate them. And in the future, rotate them more often.


Mighty Mouse Tech
BMW Tech, Former Acura Tech
2010 Civic Si Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
2013 BMW 135i M Sport Edition Castrol 0W40, Redline MTL
Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: Kira] #4491695
08/18/17 08:41 AM
08/18/17 08:41 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,225
New England
Virtus_Probi Offline
Virtus_Probi  Offline
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 4,225
New England
Originally Posted By: Kira
I always heard to put the lousy tires on front. This way, if one goes out whilst driving you have your hands on the steering wheel and thus, more control. I doubt your tires are that bad.

Have you been rotating them all along? Sounds like not.


I have read that the thicker tread goes on the back to keep the back end from coming around in slippery conditions and taking you totally out of control...the thought is oversteer is usually more dangerous than understeer? If you have a FWD drive and thin rubber in the front keeps you from getting going on slippery roads, that may be safer than thick rubber in the front getting you up to a speed where your thin rears are going to lose it and take you off the road or into a spin.


2014 Forester XT, 86000 miles
Last Change;
M1 5W30 d1G2
Tokyo Roki 15208AA170 filter
Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491699
08/18/17 08:44 AM
08/18/17 08:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,418
Minnesota
bioburner Offline
bioburner  Offline
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,418
Minnesota
I am with Virtus with his first post. Is what I do with the little Scion and just did last fall with the Xterra getting new pair of tires for the back to pull the Transit to TX and the fronts are now due and have a new pair sitting in the shop to rotate in for winter but hope to not see a flake. The Xterra can get 60k on a set of tires if properly rotated.

Last edited by bioburner; 08/18/17 08:46 AM.


97 Ford E350 D,99 F350 dually D
13 Scion Xb
12 Ford Transit Connect
06 Nissan Xterra
03 K1200 BMW
07 Kawasaki KLR650
13 Madass
Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491703
08/18/17 08:50 AM
08/18/17 08:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,743
North Carolina
rooflessVW Offline
rooflessVW  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,743
North Carolina
Rotate them and start shopping for tires. It's easier and you can save yourself some money when you're not in a rush.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: Kira] #4491708
08/18/17 08:55 AM
08/18/17 08:55 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 6,995
Texas
4WD Offline
4WD  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 6,995
Texas
Michelin states best tires in rear ...

Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491715
08/18/17 09:08 AM
08/18/17 09:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,275
VA
Gebo Offline
Gebo  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,275
VA
What about RWD? I'm assuming same as FWD?


'98 LEX LS400 280K
'00 LEX GS300 195K
'02 4Runner 225K
'05 Lex LS430 85K
'06 Toyota Highlander 145K
'09 Lex IS350 85K
'07 Lex GX470 58K
Amsoil in all engines, transmissions and differentials

Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491721
08/18/17 09:14 AM
08/18/17 09:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,989
Manchester, England
Olas Offline
Olas  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,989
Manchester, England
If she understands weight distribution then ask her if she wants a stable front end and a loose rear or vice-versa.
Or if she's unable to decide throw in the other option which is equal between all 4.


Cable ties should hold it
Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491730
08/18/17 09:19 AM
08/18/17 09:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 593
Margate England
Claud Offline
Claud  Offline
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 593
Margate England
EVERY tire maker and accredited road safety engineer I have come across always recommend having the least worn tires on the rear. No matter if it is fwd, rwd, awd, or part time 4wd. All give the same reason; to reduce the risk of catastrophic oversteer.

Claud.

Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: Claud] #4491740
08/18/17 09:22 AM
08/18/17 09:22 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,989
Manchester, England
Olas Offline
Olas  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,989
Manchester, England
Originally Posted By: Claud
EVERY tire maker and accredited road safety engineer I have come across always recommend having the least worn tires on the rear. No matter if it is fwd, rwd, awd, or part time 4wd. All give the same reason; to reduce the risk of catastrophic oversteer.

Claud.


Oversteer is a lot easier to control than understeer, and it's less scary when you can't see what's going to happen. So I prefer to have my grip at the front available to be used by engine, brakes and steering.
YMMV.


Cable ties should hold it
Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491741
08/18/17 09:24 AM
08/18/17 09:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,989
Manchester, England
Olas Offline
Olas  Offline
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,989
Manchester, England
Also, all the expensive parts of the car are at the front - a rear is much easier to rebuild/replace.


Cable ties should hold it
Re: Rotating Less Worn Tires to Front - FWD Vehicle [Re: TWG1572] #4491774
08/18/17 09:52 AM
08/18/17 09:52 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 9,560
Boston, MA
HerrStig Offline
HerrStig  Offline
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 9,560
Boston, MA
I've always found a jittery rear is far more dangerous than a little "push" in the front. Folks who understand front wheel drive dynamics understand getting off the gas or brakes restores front wheel grip quite quickly. Not many race cars over the years have had oversteer built in except for a certain German make with the engine at the back. Dieter and the boys went to four wheel drive in a effort to control the throttle steer brougt about by the weight of the engine. It's why really fast rear engine Porsche products look like they have 55 gallon drums for rear tires.

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