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Monday - Friday: 7:00AM-7:00PM, Saturday: 7:00AM-7:00PM, Sunday: 11:00AM-5:00PM,
Goodyear: Four New Tires Enhance Motoring Safety
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has reached out to consumers by recommending that for optimal handling, stability and traction, four new tires definitely are better than two. And in an emergency maneuver, they’re a must, particularly in areas where inclement weather is forecast, the tiremaker said.
Goodyear research shows nearly a third of motorists still rely on just two new tires. Silvana Valencic, Goodyear brand manager, said if new tires are installed on the front of a vehicle, they also should be fitted on the rear.
“Motorists figure a cost savings up front by buying just two tires,” Valencic said, “but in the long run, that can be an expensive proposition. In an emergency, it’s better to have a balanced vehicle with traction equalized at each corner.”
The company said to optimize traction capabilities, never mix tread patterns of different types of tires. For example, winter tire tread designs, regardless of construction, can produce different handling characteristics than all-season tread patterns. Those differences can affect the handling and traction of the vehicle.
Some tire buyers purchase only two tires and insist they be installed on the drive-wheel position to get the most traction; however, on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the tires transfer most of the traction capabilities from the rear to the front and may make the vehicle susceptible to oversteer, according to Valencic.
Goodyear recommends that tires be rotated at least every 6,000 miles. Tire rotation helps even out wear in conventional tires in each position, preserving overall balanced handling and traction. Infrequent rotation can result in premature, uneven tire wear, and eventual early tire replacement, according to the tiremaker.
Goodyear said a non-rotated tire could lose up to a third of its useful life due to premature wear.
“Tires play the single largest role in determining how your vehicle will handle in...
Tire Tech Tip: Always Install Two
However, the equality usually disappears as interaction between vehicle and road takes its toll on the tires. Wear is commonly more pronounced on the front tires of front-wheel-drive vehicles, compared to the tires following behind. Accelera-tion, braking, steering and engine weight combine to scrub off the rubber more quickly up front.
Regular tire rotation is designed to be the grand equalizer that helps maintain similar tread depths on the front and rear tires. However, it’s no longer unusual to have customers pass on tire rotations, resulting in the front tires wearing out much sooner than those on the rear, often in half the time.
Other forces might be at play to create unequal wear, so it’s important to fully understand why only two tires wear out. Proper tire maintenance goes beyond regular rotations and includes inflation pressure, alignment and other factors. If the four tires don’t wear out at the same time, a tire technician owes it to the customer to discover, report and hopefully be able to correct the root cause when replacing the worn-out ones. At this point, a critical assumption could be made and a dangerous situation created.
Common sense, along with past practices, might lead a customer to demand and a tire technician to conclude that a new pair of tires should be mounted on the front axle of the vehicle. After all, the front tires wore out first, and there’s still a lot of rubber on the remaining ones that had been on the rear. The logic seems reasonable, maybe even infallible. Put the greatest tread where the powertrain is driving the vehicle, and if luck holds out, the front and rear tires will wear out simultaneously the next time around.
Hydroplaning crops up when water can’t be channeled through a tire’s tread pattern, and the tire doesn’t maintain contact with the road. Worn tires will hydroplane more readily than tires with deeper treads.
A loss of traction on a rear axle causes oversteer, which could cause a vehicle to fishtail and kick into a tailspin. A similar loss of traction on the front axle creates understeer, causing the vehicle to keep going in a straight line. For the driver, it’s easier to compensate for understeer; oversteer usually is much more hazardous.
It all adds up to the fact that if you have to lose some road grip, it’s better to lose it up front, rather than in the back.