94 Intrepid - replacing just 2 tires?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Hmmm..., Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Hmmm...

    Hmmm... Guest

    I did not rotate my tires as I should have. I moved the worn front tires to
    the rear about a year ago. Today I decided the rear tires needed to be
    replaced. The front tires are still good.

    I wanted the tire shop to replace the worn rear tires, and then move them to
    the front. Because front tires wear faster, I wanted the new tires in front.

    They refused to do it. They said they only install 2 new tires in the rear.
    They handed me a Michelin brochure that stated that it was more stable in
    wet conditions to have the tires with the most traction in the rear.

    Screw 'em. I 'll rotate the good tires to the front myself. I would rather
    have the tires with the most traction in front when I am driving on snow in
    the mountains. I also would rather have the least worn tires in the front,
    because the front tires are subject to faster wear.
    Hmmm..., Jul 16, 2003
  2. Screw 'em. I 'll rotate the good tires to the front myself. I would
    What, you'd rather give natural selection an unfettered path?

    Geoff Gariepy, Jul 16, 2003
  3. Hmmm...

    Steve Guest

    An idiot counterperson at a Discount Tire fed me the same line and
    treated me like I didn't have a clue when I insisted on what I wanted
    done to MY car. I've never set foot back in that particular store again,
    nor will I. I went to another Discount Tire where I was treated like an
    intelligent car owner and they happily did what I wanted instead of
    feeding me a line of BS they learned in "training" somewhere.

    To their credit, the reasoning isn't totally invalid for some cars- they
    don't want to create a car prone to oversteer by putting tires with less
    traction on the back. The fatal flaw in their argument is that
    front-drive cars are so HEAVILY prone to understeer already that putting
    the more worn tires on the back actually helps balance the car's
    handling. However, it also makes the tires last longer and they don't
    get to sell as many.
    Steve, Jul 17, 2003
  4. An idiot counterperson at a Discount Tire fed me the same line and
    This is a good point. They *should* do what you want; their legal team has
    advised them otherwise.

    The fatal flaw in their argument is that
    Sorry, gotta disagree. In snowy climes, having the worn tires on the back
    creates spinout accidents, even when travelling in a straight line. It
    happened this past winter to my dad in his Sebring; it happened to me about
    9 years ago in my Duster. Both times the car was steered straight ahead and
    hit a slicker-than-the-rest-of-the-road spot, and both times there was a
    significant disparity between the amount of tread front to rear. You hear
    about these things happening on the traffic reports in the wintertime here
    virtually every snowy day.

    Re: 'balanced handling': with FWD, I always want the front end to break
    loose *first*. I've played around quite a bit in snow with lift-throttle
    oversteer in the Intrepid (leave the AutoSchtick in 1st, hammer the gas, cut
    the wheel, cut the throttle) and it's *extremely* hard to catch the rear end
    once it starts coming around. You can do it, but you're usually almost to
    180 degrees before you do. That's real low-speed stuff, too; no more than
    about 15 MPH. Higher speeds? I spin out.

    Conversely, unless I'm really in a lot of trouble, I don't have any problem
    getting a hand on things if it starts to push, however.

    In perfectly dry conditions, having the worn tires on the back probably
    doesn't matter one way or the other until you're really pushing the limits
    of adhesion; wet or icy/snowy conditions, it's a snake that could bite you
    anytime with little warning. BTDT.

    Geoff Gariepy, Jul 17, 2003
  5. Hmmm...

    Steve Guest

    This is Central Texas. Snow is not an issue.

    I don't think you could POSSIBLY put slick enough tires on the back
    that this wouldn't be the case with most FWD cars. They are hugely
    biased toward understeer. Heck, most REAR-drive passenger cars are
    heavily biased toward understeer! If I had a wreck after visiting
    Discount Tire, I could more defensibly sue them for putting the worn
    tires on the front and giving me a car that understeers so badly I
    couldn't turn it than I could claim they caused oversteer by putting
    worn tires on the back. Its just not possible.

    They are flat-out doing the WRONG thing for 90% of the cars on the road.
    Steve, Jul 17, 2003
  6. Sorry, gotta disagree. In snowy climes, having the worn tires on the
    We've gotta get you up here in the wintertime sometime, Steve. Pick a
    January for NAIAS, and we'll go sledding down I-94, K? :)

    I think this is the source of this sort of idiocy: every business is
    national now, and they implement one-size-fits-all policies. Down there I
    'spect there's a lot of subtle differences--some not so subtle--that have an
    impact. Do y'all (a little Texas talk ;-)) get torrential downpours
    frequently, or is your climate too dry? In other words, is hydroplaning a
    common problem?

    I agree with your assessment that it's wrong for 90% of the cars...in
    non-snowy climates. Maybe 99%.
    I won't go so far as to say that putting the worn tires in the rear
    *guarantees* a spinout in icy conditions, but I'd be willing to bet you that
    90% of the spinouts that happen have a tire-related cause, and a significant
    (> 50%) amount of the cause is worn rear tires. I'm guessing, pulling
    numbers out of my butt, but these things happen enough around here that you
    typically get to see a lot of spinouts during a snowstorm. In my case and
    my dad's it was *clearly* because of the rear tires. No doubt about it.

    You know, for as throttle-happy, herky-jerky 'big city' as I drive, I guess
    I'm pretty blessed that I've really only _unintentionally_ lost control of a
    vehicle once in what...19 years on the road? And it was the damn back

    Geoff Gariepy, Jul 18, 2003
  7. Hmmm...

    Steve Guest

    I'm allergic to cold weather. It makes me break out in a bad mood :)
    Definitely. Typical rain patterns here are none for months and then 6
    inches in a day.

    But let me be clear, we're talking about all 4 tires that are still
    PERFECTLY safe to drive on. The yahoos just want to put the new ones on
    the back of FWD cars because they know that it will wear the old ones
    out much faster, resulting in another sale for them.
    Steve, Jul 18, 2003
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