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Unread 02-18-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default General question about tire wear

I have an '06 Mazda 3 and at my age (78) I am past my hot-roding days but, I'm not a slow driver either. I have a general question about tire wear. My two front tires are evenly worn, but tread is at the point where in 6-9 months I will need new tires (judged by wear of front tires). My rear tires (same brand) have considerable more tread. They too are evenly worn.

Question: In general, when you have two tires with 1/4 life left and two tires with 1/2 life still left, where should the worn tires reside, front or back until buying new tires is a "must do."

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Unread 02-18-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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You could just replace the front tires.
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Unread 02-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
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Default Tire wear

Mike,

Read the question again. Think of it as a GENERAL question. What if there was 1/2 of wear on front tires and 3/4 left on rear?

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Unread 02-18-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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I'd get the bushings on the front end checked. My front end is eating tires and I just recently found out that I need to replace every thing that matters. :\
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Unread 02-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #5
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Generally regular tire rotation evens the tire wear.

On a front wheel drive car the front tires will wear quicker, carries most of the weight, steering and does most of the braking.

Normally the question is my front tires have more wear than the rears, then I recommend rotating front to back.

In your case it sounds like either the tire rotation has been neglected until recently and the better tires are now on the front where they should be, or that the rear tires started out with more wear, as in used tires being installed, or the rear tires are of less quality (if they are different brand).

Have the tires been rotated recently or has a shop had the wheels off for any work, maybe they rotated the tires for you.

At any rate you want the better tread tires up front. So seeing as the fronts wear faster you may need all four tires by the fronts are worn out.

If the tires are worn evenly I wouldn't suspect any alignment or suspension issues. Only if you know the tire history and can say that the rear tires where at the same wear point when they all where installed, thus the rears wearing prematurely.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 01:34 AM   #6
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I don't rotate tires, I only own front wheel drive vehicles. The new tires always go on the back.

In answer to your questions: If you want to buy 4 new tires, then move the better tires to the front and they will catch up with the wear on the rear tires. Otherwise you would replace the worn out tires, put the new tires on the back, then put the partially worn tires on the front.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 02:23 AM   #7
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Why would you put new tires on the back? They hardly do anything, what's the point of having more grip on the back?

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Unread 02-19-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalBeerSolid View Post
Why would you put new tires on the back? They hardly do anything, what's the point of having more grip on the back?
On a FWD only, on a vehicle that you don't rotate the tires on....then the theory is if you put the new ones on the front, the back tires would dry rot before wearing out generally. The factory front tires on my cobalt wore out at 30,000 miles, I then put the factory back tires to the front they were virtually unworn, on the front they lasted until about 57,000 miles. Also another point is that the worn tires go on the front because you have control of the front tires via steering/throttle, if the rear tires break loose you have no action to bring them back into in line.(and if you say the e-brake, your dreaming that the average driver can use an e-brake effectively to bring a FWD car back into line, also the e-brake is not designed to handle the stresses and thus could fail).
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Unread 02-19-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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While they will wear faster, the fronts should never get more than 15 or 20 thousand miles more worn than the rears. If they do you're pushing it too hard or the front end is worn the hell out.




Quote:
Originally Posted by lemans81 View Post
On a FWD only, on a vehicle that you don't rotate the tires on....then the theory is if you put the new ones on the front, the back tires would dry rot before wearing out generally.
If your rear tires manage to dry rot on a front driver that's used regularly they're really crappy tires that have no business being on the car in the first place.
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if the rear tires break loose you have no action to bring them back into in line.(and if you say the e-brake, your dreaming that the average driver can use an e-brake effectively to bring a FWD car back into line, also the e-brake is not designed to handle the stresses and thus could fail).
Power. Apply as much power as you have available while pointing the front wheels where you want to go. A FWD vehicle WILL follow the drive wheels under that condition. Obviously you would lift off once it's back under control, but if the ass end of a front driver wants to step out of line and simple countersteering doesn't do the trick give it some welly and point the front tires where you want the car to go.
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Unread 02-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
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I can attest to losing the back end of a FWD car... did that a couple times in my dad's Echo. This was with almost new tires on the front, and worn tires on the rear. The first time I countersteered only, and ending up spinning about 270*. Luckily it was late at night and no one was on the road, as I did spin right in to the oncoming lane. The next time I countersteered and floored it, and the back end soon straightened out in a sort of silly slow FWD drift. Both of these times the road was very wet and slippery, and I entered a corner way too fast (I lifted off, didn't brake though).

Now the new tires are actually worn more than the old rear tires. My dad just rotated them, why wouldn't you on a FWD?

Anyway, I'm much more comfortable with my RWD truck. Around certain corners in the wet it's quite easy to do a nice controlled slide.

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