Should You Fit New Tyres To The Rear Or Front?

To limit uneven wear and extend the lifespan of your tyres, you should regularly change them and rotate the front and back wheels. When you fit new tyres, though, should you put them at the front or the rear? This is a question many of our customers ask and this guide provides all the answers. 

Considering most cars are front-wheel drive, many drivers believe their new tyres should be fitted to the front. This conclusion seems logical as you’d assume that it would be safer for you and your passengers. However, the general consensus is to fit new tyres to the rear but is it always the case?

Tips When Fitting New Tyres And How To Rotate Them

It’s time to fit new tyres when the tread depth is below the legal limit of 1.6 millimetres. That said, many experts recommend replacing your car tyres when the tread depth is at 3 mm for summer tyres and 4 mm for winter tyres.

In terms of tyre rotation, you should perform this swap every time you buy and fit new tyres. Always put better or newer tyres at the back and take note of the direction of the tyres to rotate accordingly. 

You should ideally rotate your tyres at intervals of 6,000 miles for cars and approximately 4,000 miles for 4×4 vehicles unless the manufacturer stipulates otherwise. In the next section, you’ll find out why it’s best to fit new tyres to the rear.

Which Is Better? Putting New Tyres At The Front Or Rear?

If it’s time to replace one or more of your tyres, you may be confused about whether to fit them to the front or the rear. Whilst the debate continues, here’s a closer look at which option Elite Garages would recommend, and why.

Fitting New Tyres To The Front

How well tyres grip the road surface is directly linked to their ability to clear surface water. When tyre tread is low and worn, it loses the ability to push away surface water as quickly or as effectively as it should. 

If you have new tyres on the front of your car and worn tyres at the rear, you may experience ‘aquaplaning’. Losing traction at the rear is very dangerous and can make it extremely difficult to control. 

This would likely result in oversteer which makes it very hard to correct and the vehicle could begin to slide. When this happens, it would be virtually impossible to control the car and you could end up spinning and crashing.

Fitting New Tyres To The Rear

For optimum safety, we always recommend that you fit new tyres to the rear. Not only will this ensure better grip on the rear axle but it also prevents potential oversteer or loss of vehicle stability on slippery roads.

The tyre industry has conducted several tests that have shown that it’s easier to control the front wheels of a vehicle than the rear. Having more tread and better grip at the rear would reduce the risk of aquaplaning and oversteer.

When you fit new tyres at the rear, your front tyres might still aquaplane and cause understeer which is much easier to control than oversteer (and far less dangerous). To remedy this, ease off the accelerator and brake lightly.

The Importance Of Tyre Pressure

Your tyres will wear faster when the tyre pressure is too low or too high. The correct pressure will depend on your vehicle and whether you are carrying heavy loads. You will find the recommended tyre pressure in your owner’s manual.

For best results, ensure your tyre pressure is at least up to 0.3 bar above the recommended level. Low tyre pressure not only increases wear and tear but also results in higher fuel consumption (up to half a litre per 100 km).

It’s important to check your tyre pressure and overall condition at least once a month. This includes keeping an eye open for bulges, cracks, punctures or any foreign object lodged in the tread.

Recommended: ‘10 FAQ And Answers About Tyres

Fit New Tyres At Elite Garages

There’s no right or wrong answer in terms of when you should replace your tyres as it depends on several factors. Some tyre manufacturers recommend that you fit new tyres after five or six years while others say ten years at the most. 

The golden rule is to replace them as soon as the tread level is close to the minimum legal requirement and when you have a puncture or damage to the sidewall. If you have any concerns about your tyres, visit your nearest Elite branch for a free tyre check.

If you’re looking to fit new tyres, Elite Garages stock a wide range of budget tyres, mid-range tyres and premium tyres from all the major brands. Reserve your tyres online today!