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I have a 2017 s60i T5. The dealer said, they dont recommend rotating the tires. The front are worn down 3mm more than the rear. I talked to Costco and Discount tire,etc. Nobody will rotate them if i pay. Pep Boys said, they recommend the rear tires have more tread then the front. I dont get it. I have a front wheel drive car not rear wheel drive. If i hit a big puddle the front tires will hydroplane under these conditions. Does anyone have any thoughts about this. This seems weird to me.
 

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The theory for more tread on the rear tires, as I understand it, is that a front-engined car has more weight on the front tires and they are therefore less likely to lose traction than similar rear tires. More tread depth is needed to give the rear tires equal grip despite less weight pressing them onto the road. I don't drive very far most years and I do the winter wheels to summer wheels changeover and rotation myself. Tread depth among each set of tires is usually within 1mm so there's never much difference between front and back as they wear evenly.
 

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If your fronts hydroplane first, you'll feel understeer quickly through the steering wheel and stop applying the gas pedal, which will give the fronts the time to return to grip.

If your rears hydroplane first, you'll oversteer and most drivers don't know how to handle that well. Their instinct would be to let off the gas quickly, which could lead to an even larger disturbance in the balance of the car.

You always need to put best tires on the rear.
 

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You always need to put best tires on the rear.
A buddy of mine, who has run a local tire shop for 30+ years, has told me the same thing. Put the ones with more tread on the rear to prevent it from slipping/sliding out.
 

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Four new or more tread in rear end. If you emergency brake with crap rubber in back the rear ended will feel like it wants to come around.
(Oversteer)


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Do you have a floor jack? Rotate them yourself if you really want to!
 

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Although I understand the torque steer problem since I have FWD, I still put my new tires up front as they make for a softer quieter ride. Driving in the snow with bad fronts in a FWD car is another reason I put my best tires up front.
 

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If you rotate them often enough, you will never end up with such a significant difference between front and rear. Then you will always be replacing 4 tires at a time. That is my approach, I like them to wear evenly. That said, I am always aware of the current state of my tires and drive accordingly. If I know i'm at less than 50% tread depth I will be much more cautious when driving in rain. Luckily snow is not much of a problem for me where I live now.

If you don't rotate regularly you will be in the tire shop twice as often (assuming you rotate them yourself, of course) always buying two new tires for the rear and moving the half worn tires to the front.

As previously stated, tire shops will always put less worn tires on rear because of the oversteer issue. The assumption is most drivers do not know how to countersteer in that situation, or how to handle the gas/brake given the drive type of their car (FWD , RWD, etc.) I personally would rather have better tires in the front if I had to choose.

My thought process is...Front tires are responsible for the steering, the majority of the braking, and in the case of FWD the propulsion as well. In the hydroplaning situation, if you have good front tires they will clear most of the standing water and cut a path for the rear tires to follow in. It is only in extreme cornering where oversteer can become a problem. But if you know what could happen, you can drive accordingly.
 

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I once had the pleasure of being invited to Michelin's facility in South Carolina. As part of the tour, we were brought to the wet skid pad, which consists of a polished concrete pad plus a bunch of spinklers. We took turns driving two different cars -- one with shaved tires on the front and one with shaved tires on the rear. We were instructed to slowly increase speed and to try to stay on the painted circle. Us drivers could manage well enough when the shaved tires were on the front. Go a little too fast and the front would start to push wide. Then, with just a gentle lift of the accelerator, you could bring the car back to the line. Easy-peasy.

On the other hand, when the shaved tires were on the rear, none of us could avoid losing the rear end. We all ended up going backwards -- but with silly grins on our faces.

I always rotate tires, but I make sure to do it before there is more than 1/32" difference in tread depth. I think Volvo (and others) do not recommend rotating tires because it is easy to end up the heavily-worn tires on the rear if you wait too long to do it.
 

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It is only in extreme cornering where oversteer can become a problem.
This is where you go wrong.

What you say is only true IF the road is clean and dry. The problem is that you can't guarantee that the road is always clean and dry and as soon as you as sand, water, snow, ice, etc., your assertion becomes incorrect. The problem is that low traction areas can cause snap oversteer in even mild cornering; if you hydroplane in a mild corner with the front wheels, you just jump sideways a little. If you hydroplane in a mild corner with the rear tires, you get snap oversteer and spin.

Also, "extreme cornering" is less a problem for oversteer than you think. The bigger cause is abrupt control inputs by the driver. Even in a mild corner I could induce oversteer in bad weather simply by lifting off the throttle too fast or jumping on the brakes instead of pressing the pedal smoothly. In emergency situations (e.g. swerving to avoid a dog or child who runs into the road or to avoid another driver) most drivers will react with abrupt control inputs, making oversteer very likely if the rear tires are worn more than the fronts. It's simply not possible to anticipate *every* possible emergency maneuver ahead of time, so it's just not possible, on public roads, to drive in a manner that avoids all opportunity for oversteer.

Bottom line: On public roads the better pair of tires go on the rear.
 

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volvo does not recommend rotating tires, they say a tire will wear to its position and that is the best ride and performance you will get. which is true. but they have no interest in how long your tires last. tire companies recommend best tires on rear because in extreme cases it is safer to leave the road nose first than tail first. every shop i worked at put best tires on front because snap oversteer just does not happen often without something wild happening thanks to systems like anti skid. front tires will always wear quicker than rears. they get the most power, carry the most weight, do most the braking and all the steering. the problem with new cars is the interval for service is 10k miles, and every tire manufacturer recommends rotating 5-7k
 

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I rotate mine when there is a 1mm difference, putting the better tires on the front. 1mm is not going to make a significant difference im handling and this way my tires wear evenly and I replace 4 at once.

The cars in that video had one new set and one set at 50%. If that is your situation, then you should have the better tires in the rear.
 

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I rotate mine when there is a 1mm difference, putting the better tires on the front. 1mm is not going to make a significant difference im handling and this way my tires wear evenly and I replace 4 at once.

The cars in that video had one new set and one set at 50%. If that is your situation, then you should have the better tires in the rear.
Given the forcefulness of my last post in this thread, I should clarify that I agree with Tech here as well; a 1mm difference isn't significant. The "better tires in the rear" is for when there are meaningful differences in how worn the tires are, as when a person replaces only two tires instead of all four.

I think this may be where the differences in recommendations come from. The folks saying better tires always go on the rear are taking about when there is a big difference. The folks saying better tires on the front are talking about when there's very little difference and you're rotating the tires to even out a millimeter of wear.
 

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I rotate mine when there is a 1mm difference, putting the better tires on the front. 1mm is not going to make a significant difference im handling and this way my tires wear evenly and I replace 4 at once.

The cars in that video had one new set and one set at 50%. If that is your situation, then you should have the better tires in the rear.
Very true, but how many people out there are being super diligent and rotating within 1 mm? Within 2 mm? I doubt many people would even rotate once a year unless the shop did it for them as part of a comprehensive oil change.
 

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I run my invos about 2mm from the wear bars in the front. I do not drive in inclement weather. Then swap all 4. Not my daily. Just ****s and giggles car. If I was using it as a daily, only swapping two tires? Better in the rear more worn up front. Stiffening the rear suspension and sway bar will also help correct oversteer.

If you are worried about it, just rotate on a regular basis.


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Given the forcefulness of my last post in this thread, I should clarify that I agree with Tech here as well...
Glad you came back with that one. I was like that's not like zenmervolt. I was about to post "Dem ders fightin words". :eek:
 

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I rotate mine when there is a 1mm difference, putting the better tires on the front. 1mm is not going to make a significant difference im handling and this way my tires wear evenly and I replace 4 at once.

The cars in that video had one new set and one set at 50%. If that is your situation, then you should have the better tires in the rear.
Very true, but how many people out there are being super diligent and rotating within 1 mm? Within 2 mm? I doubt many people would even rotate once a year unless the shop did it for them as part of a comprehensive oil change.
True. If I have a car in the bay with tires 1 to 2mm difference, I recommend a rotation.

Beyond that, if the better ones are in the rear, I leave them.
 

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Very true, but how many people out there are being super diligent and rotating within 1 mm? Within 2 mm? I doubt many people would even rotate once a year unless the shop did it for them as part of a comprehensive oil change.
I do.

I check tread depth at every oil change. And I change oil every 5-6k miles (fightin' words). If there is ANY measurable difference, I rotate them. I'm talking 0.5 mm or more. I measure at 4-5 spots across the width of each tire and take an average. I measure with digital calipers. It also gives me insight as to whether any individual tires are wearing unevenly as a result of over/under inflation or worn or misaligned suspension. I also check the entire tread circumference for nails, screws, and other damage.

I also recognize that I am not an average person when it comes to car maintenance.
 
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