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DH just bought two new tires for his Saturn at Firestone. Saw big signs all over that they're recommending that new tires go in back and the older ones up front to prevent fishtailing. This makes absolutely no sense to me. According to a cursory Google search, apparently there was some lawsuit because somebody did a 180 spin with new tires in front and sued the dealer. They say there's already much more weight in front so the extra traction of new tires is needed in back. Anybody know about this?
 

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Haven't heard that particular story, but I seem to remember that the reason for putting the newer tires on the rear was because the driver could better control the car if a front tire blew out than one on the rear. My personal practice is to replace all four at once unless only one is damaged beyond repair, but that is just me.
 

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Since front wheel drive I have never heard of any installer recommending other than putting them on the front where most wear and braking power occur.
Most dealers today will con you into all four by selling you three and throwing the fourth in free.
(Also, the last tire you would ever want to "blow," would be one on the front! so keep your best tires there.)
 

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(Also, the last tire you would ever want to "blow," would be one on the front! so keep your best tires there.)[/quote]

Hyperion,
As I mentioned in my earlier post, the theory is that you are better able to control the car if a front tire blows rather than one on the rear. You would want to stay off the brakes and allow the car to slow as you steer to a safe place to stop, only then using light pressure on the brake pedal.
 

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What I heard was in case of hydroplaning ,the front will grip better causing the back to hydroplane sooner and fishtail as they lose traction. Don't know how true this is as I slow way down in the heavy rain.
 

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Hi, all,

I just thought i would weigh in here with my own experience. I've had both a front & a rear tire "blowout' (or rapid deflation) & I remember the rear one being far easier to control than when the front one went out as the front one has such an effect on your steering. A blowout on the front isn't such a bad issue however if any present manufacturers have incorporated what Volkswagen had in my 1978 Rabbit. They called it "negative steering roll radius" (something to do with where the wheel centerline was in relation to some suspension part centerline---if the wheel C/L was outboard=dangerous/loss of control, if inboard=stable & controlable) & the feature was touted as a safety feature. I don't hear anybody talk about it any more, but then nobody ever really talks any more about dual diagonal braking systems yet most cars have them as standard equipment (we're talking about brake fluid loss or master cylinder seal rupture---nothing to do with the present ABS systems).
 

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Costco and Discount Tire only install one or two new tires on the rear. Both absolutely refuse to mount one or two new tires on the front. Apparently, it's company policy with both tire shops.
 

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Yep, that's where they go :_> After years of driving first on ice and then in Texas rain I will attest to the soundness of the theory. If you buy one or two new tires it's safer to put them on the rear. The most-worn tires get scrapped, no matter where they had been mounted (but almost certainly they were on the front), and the remaining ones go to the front.
 
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