1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best two tyres on the front or rear??

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Ads, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    Just bought a couple of cheapo tyres and have had them put on the rear. I have a couple of Goodyears on the front.

    Just wondering if it's best to have your best tyres on the front and worst tyres on the back, or vice versa??

    Will be investing in some better tyres in a month or two but for the time being I want to arrange what I've got the best I can.
    #1
  2. Harrelson
    Offline

    Harrelson Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    3
    Is it quattro?

    if not, put them at the back. good front tyres will give better traction, resist understeer and give you better braking
    #2
  3. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    It's not quattro.

    Yeah I thought good at the front also, but been hearing/reading it's better the other way around?!?
    #3
  4. Vertigo1
    Online

    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,710
    Likes Received:
    248
    You should always put the best tyres at the back and the worst at the front, regardless of FWD/RWD/4WD. The reasoning is that, if the fronts lose grip/traction, you can compensate with the steering, whereas if the rears lose grip, it's a lot harder to compensate.

    It sounds counter-intuitive for a FWD car, as you'd think it'd be better to have the superior tyres on the driven wheels, but the above rule still holds true according to everything I've read on the subject.
    #4
  5. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579

    See... This is what I have also been hearing. But then I see loads of people that say have the best on the front.
    Confused!
    #5
  6. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    #6
  7. crunchie
    Offline

    crunchie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    63
    nothing like a wee bit of oversteer to keep you awake tho :)
    #7
  8. biggiep
    Offline

    biggiep Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Regardless of if the handling is supposedly more secure with the best tyres on the back I'd always want the best traction off the line so have the best tyres at the front. It's not a worry now with quattro pulling out of junctions in the wet but when I had a mapped FWD 2.0TDi it always felt hard to put the traction down when the front tyres had gone off a bit. The fronts also wear out quicker so you'd have to see how good the cheapo tyre seemed at lasting.

    And I always found the handling to be spot on best tyres at front, so maybe try it and see which you prefer?
    #8
  9. paddy
    Offline

    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    122
    The real answer to this is ... don't buy cheap tyres.
    Yea i know people cant always afford the best but really, if you cant find that extra £30 for a tyre then your in a bit of a state. cut back a bit on mileage , beer, fags, takeaways etc but any biker will tell you the one thing keeping you alive at anything over 30mph on a bend is your tyres, especially in the wet....And the same applies to cars. One day you wil have to stop a few yards quicker than you thought and at that point the better tyres will seem cheap and if its a kid that runs out then they will seem priceless..
    It always bothers me that people have endless cash for mods and skimp on the basics like oil and tyres.

    If you must run cheapo then put them on the back of a FWD car. The front does the braking, steering and puts the power down, the 3 areas you dont want to compromise. I challenge Vertigo1 to stop as quick with cheap tyres on the front and frankly i would rather lose the back on a FWD car than lose the front ie steering and brakes.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
    #9
  10. Brett Butler
    Offline

    Brett Butler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    7
    Best tyres on front, you are less likely to get a puncture, but if you put worse tyres on front and if you get a puncture at high speed, it is a hell of a lot worse to sort it out than having a puncture on the back at high speed
    #10
  11. Khufu
    Offline

    Khufu Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    5,703
    Likes Received:
    30
    Best tyres on the rear.
    #11
  12. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    Isn't it the exact opposite???
    Punctures at the back make it a lot harder to control than punctures at the front.
    #12
  13. Brett Butler
    Offline

    Brett Butler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    7
    High Speed blow out on the front makes it impossible to steer, not to mention hard breaking makes it worse, very high possibility veer off and hit something, High speed blow out on the back sure the back end weaves around all over the shop, but you can steer and counter-act it, and brake.

    though these days it is not often you get a full blow out with tyres not like the old old days, remember having a rear blow out at 90 MPH on the M11 managed to keep the car under control pretty well and pull of onto the hard shoulder, if that was a front gold only knows where I would be now, heh though tyres have come a long way since back then
    #13
  14. h5djr
    Offline

    h5djr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    7,482
    Likes Received:
    564
    I had two new tyres fitted to my A3 a couple of days ago. The chap who runs the tyre depot (an independant rather than a chain) is very experience having worked in the tyre industry all his life and he's now over 60. He always says that on a front-wheel drive car any new tyres should always be fitted on the front as these are the tyres that do all the work providing both power, grip and steering. This is also why the fronts always wear out quicker than the rears.
    #14
  15. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
  16. akash_sky1
    Offline

    akash_sky1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    5
    Yeah that is tru re power and traction but still nonsense for safety. If you have budget or very worn tyres and are only changing 2 for some reason the new tyres should always go on the back. you can get VERY serious and dangerous lift off oversteer/ oversteer under braking when there is a big difference in grip - if there's a lot more grip at the front. Even on 4wd and fwd cars.
    #16
  17. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    Could you get more of a spilt decision!

    So far we have four people saying that the best/new tyres should go on the front... and four who say they should go on the back.

    Just to be clear; I'm asking from a safety angle, not performance.
    I can see that having your best tyres up front when accelerating straight will give best traction, but for safely cornering/braking etc I'm now thinking that having the best tyres on the back is the safest.
    Granted... having two cheapo tyres is never going to be good, but the least dangerous set up is what I am after! :happy:
    #17
  18. akash_sky1
    Offline

    akash_sky1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    5
    Ask anyone who know's anything mate for safety tyres with most tread/ life/ quality should go on the back, its pretty obvious really.
    The link posted a few posts up also says this.
    Best on the front is only good for FWD traction, at worst it will be lead to more understeer but thats far less dangerous then snap oversteer when you unexpectedly have to brake hard into a corner.
    #18
  19. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    :thumbsup:
    #19
  20. Brett Butler
    Offline

    Brett Butler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    7
    Personally I disagree with that link, in fact it is laughable, though for safety put your worse gripping tyres at front, so when you corner hard they dont grip and you go straight on, at least the safety part is because of this you have to drive slower in the first place :p

    And if rear wheel drive they do wear quicker than on the back than the front, though maybe if you are on a race track front might wear as quick? depends how hard you are driving into corners
    #20
  21. akash_sky1
    Offline

    akash_sky1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    5
    Thing is its a compromise either way- the choice is safe easy to control understeer or snap oversteer.
    Even on my old Nose heavy Bora saloon with budget tyres a couple of times I got HUGE tail out action when braking too late into a corner. That was with ok tread on the front and back. That would only be worse with worn rear tyres and cause a serious accident. Atleast if you brake late or lift off suddenly your car wont spin round, just understeer straight on abit.

    I was following a woman in a E36 3 serious round a r-about at only 15- 20 mph, and she did a complete 360 out of nowhere on ENTERING it ie off the throttle, her rear tyres were knakerd and front ok.
    #21
  22. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    Surely that's better and more easily controllable/correctable than going into a corner and finding that your rear is overtaking you, no???
    #22
  23. paddy
    Offline

    paddy Audi=No fault code, no idea

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    5,133
    Likes Received:
    122
    It seems to me we have a split here

    I would say if you want to stop...good tyres on the front, if you want to corner then maybe on the back..but as Akash says, its a compromise so just get some decent tyres all round
    #23
  24. Brett Butler
    Offline

    Brett Butler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    7
    It is not really a compromise for me, for the most important one, you can drive to suit every situation, except for emergency breaking, Please do not tell me that not having the best tyres on the front will not help you stop quicker especially in the wet.
    Just remember it is so much easier to rectify a back end slide but once your front goes you have next to zero chance if you run out of road.
    As for the women you refer to, if the tyres were the other way around, maybe she would have gone straight on instead :(

    There is one instance though If I think about it, that is a rear wheel drive, rear engine estate car, I would prob put the better tyres on the back of that one.

    Same as aqua planing, you are less likely to if best on the front,
    #24
  25. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    I do agree with that, but as mentioned in my first post I'll be investing in some better tyres in a few weeks but for the time being I want to arrange what I've got the best I can.

    Reading all of the above I think I'm going to stick the good tyres on the back. Sounds like the best compromise.
    #25
  26. Brett Butler
    Offline

    Brett Butler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    7
    No, it is easier to rectify the back end sliding, as soon as the back starts to slide you can try and rectify it straight away, and worse case if back does go so bad and over takes me, at least if I hit anything it is the back that hits first, which is better than front losing grip, going straight on and hitting something head on.

    Front wheel drive cars generally lose grip first because people think they are going to fast around a corner and lift, the worse the tyres on front the more likely it will lift easier.

    Anyhow everyone to their own, for me I just think about things logically and work it out, though driving 75k miles a year for many many years in cars and vans of all types you tend to experience most things and see a lot of things, so I have yet to be convinced to have my worse tyres on the back on most cars, especially front wheel drive cars.

    Lets not even talk about Snow :)
    #26
  27. Ads
    Offline

    Ads License to drive

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,222
    Likes Received:
    579
    I see where you're coming from but I just can't see how that can be the case mate.
    A car sliding straight forward because the front wheels have lost traction must IMO be easier to regain control (for the average driver) than a car spinning around because the back has lost it.
    #27
  28. h5djr
    Offline

    h5djr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    7,482
    Likes Received:
    564
    Well I don't agree. I have just put two of the same tyres on the front as the are on the rear. The rears have around 4-5mm of tread left. On all my front wheel drive cars (21 cars over 40+ years) I have always put them on the front as I have never had any problems. If you loose the back end then you are not driving in accordance with the conditions. On a front wheel drive car the front tyres provide all of the drive, all of the steering and most of the braking which is why they wear out quicker than the rear tyres..
    #28
  29. Watty
    Offline

    Watty ..... (_!_) Sarah's A3s #1 Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Messages:
    404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aythreee, obviously looking at your other thread,your best tyres are indeed on the front and you need to swap them back to front, or is that front to back? Check the tyre pressure in those new one's, are they 50 psi or something???
    #29
  30. Sarah's A3
    Offline

    Sarah's A3 MODERATOR V6 S3 Hybrid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Messages:
    5,920
    Likes Received:
    28
    I'm having new tyres all round! So I will be good to stop and corner lol!!!
    #30
  31. Brett Butler
    Offline

    Brett Butler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    7
    That is the point, if the front have lost traction going around a bend, you cannot gain control hence you go straight on, once the front loose traction what ever way you turn the steering wheel it makes no difference, so you turn the steering wheel to try and rectify, and chances are when they gain traction again you have the wheels facing the wrong way and shoot off in a different direction that the one you want to go.
    #31
  32. akash_sky1
    Offline

    akash_sky1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    5
    First of all I dont think anyone including the Stig would say correcting a tail slide -whether lift off oversteer or power oversteer is easier then correcting understeer.
    Correcting understeer is pretty simple- you just quickly but gradually lift off the throttle and or apply a dab of the brakes ( or reduce braking pressure if locking the fronts has caused it to slide in the first place) to transfer MORE weight to the front wheels and allow the car to turn in. Little or nothing needs to be done to the steering angle. A careful lift off and or dab off of brakes is all thats usually needed.
    If you are in something with a short wheelbase or mid engine'd you must be careful to lift off gradually to prevent unloading the rear too suddenly and causing oversteer.

    Correcting oversteer requires careful modulation of steering angle- even complete opposite lock one way then to the other - as well of the throttle /brakes. Lifiting off too suddenly here can make things worse ( unlike when understeering ) as you can unload the back end TOO quickly and jus spin out- although this mainly applies for RWD. But basically there is much more requirement of steering input and in being more careful with the throttle to control a slide. I can't see how that is more simple then controlling understeer.

    It does not seem you have much experience of driving powerful or any RWD cars as people know these are hard to control when the back end comes out, much harder then when your little fwd hatcback veers straigh on in a roadabout.

    If controlling a tail slide was so much easier then I think we would all become Drift Kings world champs in no time.

    Secondly you seem to have invented somethings there - front end lift off understeer wtf lol ? If your driving a FWD too fast into a corner and lift off the front tyres will NOT slide MORE upon lifting, if you have understeered and then lift off this will transfer weight forwards giving the fronts MORE grip and hence allowing the car to turn in. Lifting off in a front drive or ANY car when entering a bend does NOT cause more understeer!
    #32
  33. akash_sky1
    Offline

    akash_sky1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    5
    I know that , that is fundamental, but overall safety in compromised situation is what we are talking about here.
    #33
  34. Brett Butler
    Offline

    Brett Butler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    7
    I am talking about once the front wheels has lost grip, not starting to drift wide. and talking from my experiences. I agree you need to be more careful driving rear wheel drive, but I still maintain it is better not to lose the front completely over the back.
    As for not driving powerful cars front or rwd, well yes not really really powerful cars, but certainly cars that are powerful enough, Owning 2.5 PI, V8 Rover 5 off R5 Turbos, Nissan GTI, RX8, not to mention god knows what else. and Yes I have raced off road as well.

    As I said everyone to their own, best tyres on the front for me though, safer all round in my view.
    #34
  35. Vertigo1
    Online

    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,710
    Likes Received:
    248
    Sorry but I'd have to question his "expertise" as literally everthing I've ever read on this subject says the opposite.

    Much the same discussion over on PH a while back: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=86&t=784276&mid=0
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
    #35
  36. Vertigo1
    Online

    Vertigo1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,710
    Likes Received:
    248
    How exactly? If you lose the rear end in a FWD car then it's generally lift-off oversteer. The only way to correct this is to steer into the slide and floor it in an attempt to drag the car out of the slide. In most cases, this will have you running wide round the corner and possibly into oncoming traffic.

    Basically you have very little control over the back end of a FWD car and thus need all the grip you can get at that end.
    #36
  37. Brett Butler
    Offline

    Brett Butler Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    7
    But that is contradictory in its self, as worse tyres on the front so less grip if you floor it, though do you have to actually floor it if the back end slides out on any car, steering into the slide will start to correct it, there are so many variables it is hard to call it any which way.

    On a front wheel drive car how often does the back end comes out unless you on purposely want it to?

    But it is all about what is the first most common situation on everyday driving you will encounter the the tyres will have most disastrous outcome, prob emergency breaking in the wet.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
    #37
  38. Khufu
    Offline

    Khufu Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    5,703
    Likes Received:
    30
    Its been proven numerous times its better to have more grip on the rear that the front for the average road user.

    The 1st thing most people do when understeering is to lift off and often hit the brakes. This transferes the weight forward and gives more grip to the front and lightens the back end reducing grip. If your tires on the rear are better than front both the this could match the grip levels, if not then the car can swap ends and I dont care who you are a car can get to a point that nobody is going to correct the back end.

    Of course there are drivers of all sort of skills out on the roads but not always enough road/space for the drivers car to go sideways.
    #38
  39. Harrelson
    Offline

    Harrelson Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    3
    Because its rear wheel drive. If she had new tyres at the rear i doubt it would have happened
    #39
  40. akash_sky1
    Offline

    akash_sky1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    5
    she was going into the roundabout and NOT accelerating> anyway i said new tyres should go on the back ANYWAY!! contrary to what the n00bs and drift masters above have said LOL
    #40

Share This Page