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Seasonal Swap - Tire Tread Depth

So, it’s that time to swap your summer and winter tires over. You look and as is typical two tires have more tread than the other two. You may need to replace two tires if the tread depth is too low, or you may be safe to install all four. But the question is which should go on the front and which on the rear axle?

Read on to find out what we do with our Hightail Hotshotting trucks and why?

When it comes to replacing tires on a vehicle, many drivers may wonder whether it's better to replace all four tires at once or just two. However, here are some crucial safety considerations to keep in mind:

  • Putting the newer tires on the back of the car is safer, especially in terms of handling hydroplaning and traction loss.
  • Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle's tires lose contact with the road due to a layer of water, leading to a loss of control.
  • Having newer tires with better tread depth on the rear axle helps maintain stability and reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
  • The rear tires play a significant role in keeping the car straight during wet conditions.

Moreover, the ability of the average driver to handle traction loss differs between the front and rear axles. Here’s why:

  • When the front tires lose traction, it's generally easier for drivers to regain control by steering into the skid and adjusting their speed.
  • On the other hand, if the rear tires lose traction, especially in a front-wheel-drive vehicle, it can lead to oversteer and a more challenging situation to manage.
By having newer tires with better grip on the rear axle, drivers have a better chance of maintaining control during sudden traction loss scenarios.  This can occur when encountering slippery surfaces or making sharp turns.

In essence, prioritizing the placement of newer tires on the rear axle in important:

  • It enhances overall traction and stability.
  • Provides an added layer of safety by mitigating the risks associated with hydroplaning and traction loss.
This is a small, yet crucial step that can significantly contribute to safer driving experiences.  This is true in especially adverse weather conditions or emergency situations on the road.