We always recommend installing new tires in sets of four—changing out a complete set will improve handling, comfort, and performance. If you prefer to replace tires in pairs, however, we can make that work—as long as they’re the same size as the tires already on your vehicle, and installed on the rear axle.
Why the rear axle?
When replacing tires in pairs, the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle; the better of the partially worn tires should be moved to the front. Placing the newer tires on the rear axle will allow for better handling, especially on wet roads— tires with deeper treads can keep a better grip on the road and are therefore better equipped to resist hydroplaning.
Read More: Which tires wear faster: front or rear?
Understeer vs Oversteer
If you don’t place the tires on the rear axle, it can create an oversteer, where the rear of the vehicle continues to move straight ahead while the front is turning, causing the car to slide. Oversteering is incredibly difficult to recover from, and decreasing your speed may actually amplify the effects of the oversteer.
By contrast, if front tires have less traction it can cause an understeer. While this is not ideal, an understeer is much easier to control and can usually be fixed by decreasing throttle.
Whether you’re replacing tires in pairs or swapping out the whole set, it’s important to consult a professional.
V&F Auto Sales has been serving the Western Mass community since 1988. As a family-owned and operated business, we treat our customers like family. Whether you are using our free shuttle for car service, needing assistance getting a part on time, or searching for your next family vehicle, our team will go above and beyond to meet your needs. Call us at (413)314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.