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A great debate. Let the nation decide.

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by rich1068, Feb 19, 2008.

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New tyres? Front or rear?

Poll closed Feb 24, 2008.
  1. Front

    58.5%
  2. Rear

    41.5%
  1. rich1068
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    rich1068 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    It's new tyre time again and obviously there are two schools of thought regarding where to put the new ones.

    1) 'On the front you dummy!'

    Better straight line traction, braking and all that. The manual says put them on the front so who am I to argue?

    2) 'On the back you fool!'

    Back end is much lighter and chances are if you lose the back end you lose the car. You should make sure you've got grip at the rear.

    So which is it to be? Keep in mind it's Haldex quattro if that makes a difference and the tyres I'm keeping are half way through their life.
    #1
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  3. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    rear every time to reduce the risk of lift-off overteer
    #2
  4. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Costco do my head in.
    They flat (sic) refuse to put new tyres on the front of a car.
    Which means I always have the hassle of swapping them over at home.
    On a FWD car, I'd go front every time.
    The rears don't have to be so grippy, they're under less pressure, so to speak.
    Quattro, no idea.
    #3
  5. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    rear everytime for safety reasons... unless you are a professional racing driver then you can mount them wherever you want...

    Pedro
    #4
  6. Twizzler
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    Twizzler Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    rear
    #5
  7. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    If the fronts need replacing the fronts get replaced!

    The rear tyres do so little of the work any way why would you want maximum grip on the end that's being dragged around?

    Steering, front, majority of the braking, front, most of the weight, front, so where shall I put those worn tyres...

    On my fwd cars I get through 2 sets of fronts to one set of rears, so I'd replace the fronts, and then next time round it would be all four.

    On my R32 all 4 needed doing at once so it wasn't an issue.

    On my current car it looks like I am going 2 sets of rears to one set of fronts.

    J.
    #6
  8. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Why? And what safety reasons?
    #7
  9. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    reduces the risk of lift off oversteer especially in a FWD car where there'slittle weight on the rear

    ever driven a 205 with worn rear tyres?
    #8
  10. Randomjim
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    Randomjim Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Lift off oversteer is great fun though.
    #9
  11. Twizzler
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    Twizzler Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    The reason is that new tyres are far less prone to skidding in adverse conditions than partially-worn tyres.

    Generally, it is far easier to regain control of a car when the front end slips. Most drivers instinctively slow down/brake, which shifts weight on to the front tyres, helping them regain traction.

    In contrast, if the rear tyres slip first the car tends to swing sideways and most people have trouble regaining control. The car is also far more likely to flip if this happens.
    #10
  12. rich1068
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    rich1068 Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Good response so far guys. Thanks for that :arco:

    A couple of things to throw into the equation. The tyres I'm keeping are on the front at the moment but that's because I had to change them after a puncture. The rears are the originals and down to the wire (ish). Oh, and I drive like someone's granny most of the time. Just the occasional 'early power out of a roundabout because I can' type behaviour. It's a quattro thing... :)
    #11
  13. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Here we go......

    New tyres fitted in front :
    - The behavior of the car will change, because the front / rear balance will be reversed.
    The driver, used to a car with less grip at the front, will therefore be taken unawares.
    - On a slippery road, the rear will lose traction before the front of the vehicle.
    The driver will have no chance of controlling the rear, and will be tempted to accelerate further, which will amplify the spin effect. Only an experienced driver will be able to recover from this dangerous situation...


    New tyres fitted at the back :
    - The handling of the vehicle will be similar to that known by the driver before the tyre change, because the traction balance will be the same.
    - Rear traction will be better, and the driver will be able to control and steer their vehicle without a problem by decelerating and turning the steering wheel in the direction of the bend.

    That's why Michelin advises you to reduce the risks you take by fitting new or less worn tyres at the rear of the vehicle for:
    - better grip on bends
    - extra safety.
    #12
  14. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    that's all well and good but this is the internet where manufacturers engineer's opinion doesn't count but the bloke down the pub said so carries far more weight ;)
    #13
  15. JamS3
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    JamS3 Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Well I'll continue the conversation with them in the nearest hedge.....
    #14
  16. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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  17. CJP80
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    CJP80 987C

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    New fronts and worn rears make for some fun driving in an S3! :idea: :crying:
    #16
  18. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    loosing rear grip is a bit more difficult to control. Oversteer whilst fun is more difficult to control than understeer where the basic instinct of braking helps...

    A friend of mine did not care about this and had the best tires fitted on his year old TT (new shape) lost the end of it due to aquaplanning and could not get it back... expensive repair as it is all aluminium... Front gripped fine, just lost the back end...

    I am a good driver but driving on the roads (a lot more hazardous than a rece track) I do not take chances.

    Pedro

    That is why I said unless you are a very good driver make sure your rear tires are always the ones in best condition...
    #17
  19. treblesykes
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    treblesykes Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    just buy a new car when tyres are bald or ashtray is full
    #18
  20. Ant&Vic
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    Ant&Vic A3 1.8T Quattro

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    front everytime for me, grip brill after cpl hundred miles, leathal until then tho
    #19
  21. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    :thumbsup:
    #20
  22. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    didn't 5th gear do a program showing wha happened to a corsa a while ago? New on the front and on a wet corner it spun out like bambi on ice, new on the rear it was safe
    #21
  23. markwiggy
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    markwiggy Third Gear

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Costco told me they would only change 4 tyres with the car being Quattro ???
    I will renew the fronts first though, the fact they have worn out first tells me they do most of the work.

    Mark
    #22
  24. ADEY
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    ADEY Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    I was told on a fwd car the new tyres are always fitted to the rear until 'scrubbed' (run-in) then you can transfer them to the front (as the dealer did to my gti when i needed two new fronts) mind you......can you trust the dealers?:scared2:
    #23
  25. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Nah not convinced on the safety reasons mentioned above.
    #24
  26. newbiecrg
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    newbiecrg windsurfer

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Married and blonde you don't need to be convinced it is a fact. It is called centrifugal force. In a bend if the difference in grip is a lot and most of your grip is on the front you will loose the rear end... depending on the situation you might not be able to recover it. The car will oversteer... then what? You might know what to do but 80% of drivers don't... If the grip is better in the rear (better tires in the rear) you will loose the front, understeer ... what most people do in a panic situation? brake!! correcting the understeer...

    Very simple, I am surprised an inteligent guy like you can't see this simple thing.

    I am not saying that people that actually know and feel the car to do that... if you read my 1st post you will see that I make a remark for "racing drivers". I am not a racing driver but I can mount new tires in the front of the car because I know what to do both in understeer and oversteer situations but for most drivers it is best to leave the best tires in the rear... like it is best to leave ESP always on...

    But please, enlighten me with your opinion why either it makes no difference or why it is better in the front...

    Pedro
    #25
  27. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    I wouldnt be either

    apart from an incident in a Mk1 Astra GTE

    Wet corner, brand new tyres (well less than 1k miles) on front, old on rear, biggest tank slapper I've had

    having said that though, I can see why most people prefer them on the front, better braking etc
    #26
  28. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    this will be entertaining - disproving proven theory

    popcorn anyone??
    #27
  29. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    Ok so answer me this:

    If you have a porsche or BMW that uses staggered tyres fonrt/rear are you saying that you can't replace the front tyres without replacing the rears?

    Obviously you can't rotate tyres if the fonrt and backs are different sizes?

    Or are you saying that I need to drive at 15mph until the tyres are worn approximately the same?

    All modern cars, bar a very few, are set up to understeer as this is safer. True or not?
    #28
  30. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Ah but we are not talking about a car that was designed and built in the 80's...

    They also dont make 205 Gti's any more that fly off the road backwards through a hedge at the merest hint of lifting off the go pedal. True there are still some cars that waggle their bums but not to the extent of the old pug!

    J.
    #29
  31. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    by the nature of 911's design the rears wear 2 to 3 times quicker than the fronts

    on my 911 my fronts last twice as long as the rears mainly due to my driving style - therefore I replace all four, then just the rears and then all four and so on and so forth

    at no time will the front have a greater tread depth than the rear

    hope that explains your question

    now back to the FWD issue...

    ;)
    #30
  32. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    ahhh

    being rear wheel drive would make a difference, we're talking of FWD here
    #31
  33. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    Agreed, the 5th gear episode I remember used a Corsa, with the stability control in cars these days the effect would be much less

    think of this way though, FWD car with bald rear tyres and brand new fronts, which end is going to go walkies?
    #32
  34. rodenal
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    rodenal Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    On a FWD car they really should go on the rear for reasons as above.

    However, as i use far more tyres on the front than on the rear, i'll put a new set on the front, wait till they're done then swap the rears to front and put my new, new ones on the back.

    At the end of the day if you manage to drive a FWD car so that it loses traction at the rear in the wet/cold so badly that you spin out, even on half worn tyres then you're a numpty and should learn from your mistakes.

    FWD Oversteering = throttle, and if you need it, tiny bit of opposite lock. It's really not hard

    Infact why arent you taught things like this when learning to drive, perhaps given a lesson on a skidpan or something rather than pissing about doing 3 point turns and reversing round corners. Who the hell has ever had to reverse round a corner, and if you have, did you care how close to the kerb u were? etc etc

    Perhaps if i'd been taught some car control i wouldnt have wrapped my first car(MGzs) around 2 trees on a greasy road.

    No, i definately would have as i was a numpty then too. At least i have learnt( a bit) form my mistakes tho.
    #33
  35. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    :thumbsup:
    #34
  36. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    what do you think happens when you have less understeer?

    it turns into oversteer as the front end grips

    then you have the part worns on the rear, the arse of the car goes loose and you go straight to the scene of the accident

    seeesh!

    do you really know what you're talking about?
    #35
  37. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    :thumbsup:
    #36
  38. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Feb 19, 2008]
    :lmfao:

    I've read your post, thought about it and have come to the same conclusion - you still don't know what you are talking about

    if you read JamS3's post he nails it 100%, you might also want to refer to my comment on his post...

    I don't know why it still surprises me that internet bods think they know better than specialists in their field
    #37
  39. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Feb 20, 2008]
    :thumbsup:
    #38
  40. mitch78
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    mitch78 Active Member

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    [Feb 20, 2008]
    :thumbsup:
    #39
  41. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Feb 20, 2008]
    fair do's - everyone's entitled to their opinion but trying to pass it off as a statement of fact can end up missinforming people, that happens far too often on fora

    besides which, what's more worrying is the results of the poll...

    each to their own (ditch) ;)
    #40

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