Debate this with me: FWD car, good driver, where to put only 2 winter tires, front or back?

Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
Not worth the risk- do all four.

If you are really trying to avoid spending money, most your good all weather tires are going to do the trick in the snow so just make sure you have good tread all the way around.
 

Shawn

Just Hanging Out
Location
Holly Day
I bet the guy I saw doing three 360's yesterday as soon as he hit the brakes would agree about having snow tire on the rear :rofl: I will also say, that after driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon for the past 32 years that no snow is the same as the last snow, some snow is super easy to drive in and some is like flerting with death, one should not say that front only snow tires will work in all types of different snow or snow conditions. I'm also going to add that...... Not everyone should drive in snow, there are just some really dumb drivers out there and no matter what tires they have, they are going to spin out :shawn:, but you all know that...
 

Hickey

Rusty Girdle
Supporting Member
I would love to try one of those skid car systems at a track.

I used to do a lot of trailer drifting before the ABS brakes made it so difficult.
 

Hickey

Rusty Girdle
Supporting Member
I bet the guy I saw doing three 360's yesterday as soon as he hit the brakes would agree about having snow tire on the rear :rofl: I will also say, that after driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon for the past 32 years that no snow is the same as the last snow, some snow is super easy to drive in and some is like flerting with death, one should not say that front only snow tires will work in all types of different snow or snow conditions. I'm also going to add that...... Not everyone should drive in snow, there are just some really dumb drivers out there and no matter what tires they have, they are going to spin out :shawn:, but you all know that...
Don't the Inuit people have 100 different words for snow? The snow is always changing from mile to mile.
 

Hickey

Rusty Girdle
Supporting Member
Not to derail the thread, but does anyone remember the "Top Gear" episode where the boys raced against Pro-Ice racers in like Finland and got smoked?

I'm not a big fan of Top Gear, but that's a pretty funny clip. :rofl:
 

zmotorsports

Hardcore Gearhead
Location
West Haven
I would love to try one of those skid car systems at a track.

I used to do a lot of trailer drifting before the ABS brakes made it so difficult.
This wasn't a skid car system but I buy a lot of tires for our OTR trucks at work and I was invited to the Michelin test track in SC and got to drive various vehicles with various tires and varying track conditions and it was definitely a learning experience. I thought I knew quite a bit about winter and foul weather driving but that was very interesting and educational to say the least.
 

Coco

Supporting Vendor!
Supporting Vendor
Location
Lehi, UT
You ALWAYS want your BEST tires on the rear. If you only have a pair of winter tires, you will want them on the back. If you have them on the front, you may be able to drive/grip better, but then you risk hydroplaning/the rear coming around the front of the vehicle because the it cannot grip the road.

No tire shop will put them on the front (if you only have a pair [of tires, I don't care how big you think your balls are]) because of these exact reasons, and then they are liable. And like others have said, your back end will try to pass your front. Obviously ideally you want them on all 4 corners, but if you're ballin' on a budget, you want them on the back.
 

Coco

Supporting Vendor!
Supporting Vendor
Location
Lehi, UT
And side note, I put my first ever set of studded winter tires on my truck and I will never not run them for winter. (Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT3s - which side note to my side note - Nokian was the inventor of the first snow tire 80 years ago, and are continually improving their designs. They are a Finnish company, and continually test their products, including their all season/all weather tires inside of the Arctic Circle.) They grip the road like glue, and I haven't ever felt like I was going to slip or slide on the road. I was cruising up the freeway on Tuesday night doing 70 MPH and felt as if it was a dry road in the middle of summer. 2 mins later a newer Ram 1500 slid out, and went across all 5 lanes of traffic, and slammed sideways into the barrier. I thought, "Ok, it is slicker than it looks outside!" Now, a lot of factors could have played into this, including bald tires, or bad equipment, distraction, etc.
 

xj_nate

Poser
Location
UT
Yeah, that diagram just makes me want to put new tires on the front of all my vehicles.
 

thefirstzukman

Finding Utah
Supporting Member
This was my point... if you are driving fast enough to slide the back end out here, you would also be driving fast enough to slide you front tires and drive straight off the road.
If your front tires are still within their service life then you wont me sliding your front out like you are thinking. The best tires on the rear is assuming that the front tires aren't drag slicks, but this is Utah where when I was managing a tire shop I would constantly hear "I don't need good tires, this is just my wifes car that she takes the kids to school in and picks them up" or "just do the cheap brakes, this is just the wifes car" not joking either, heard that all the time.
 

BlackSheep

baaaaaaaaaad to the bone
Super Moderator
Supporting Member
it's all about understeer vs oversteer. Understeer is a situation that most drivers will immediately react to in the correct sense - which is to reduce throttle. Oversteer is not a situation that a typical driver understands well and worse, they won't know how to react, thus causing an accident.

We do a demonstration at our test facility where we use all the same tires on a front wheel drive vehicles, but on one car the deeper tread depth is on the front and the other car the deeper tread depth is on the rear. Then we go round and round in circles on a wet track. Very seldom does anyone spin the car with the deeper tread depth tires on the rear. 100% of the time, the car with the deeper tread depth tires on the front goes for a fun spin.
That's the rational for those who are wondering. It's about safety.



and just because it came up, here's the opposite perspective:

I didn't watch it, I'm a guy that buys 4 (sometimes 5) tires at a time. I did read his comment on the video and he says the opposite from the Michelin videos.

In response to the OP, you'll make your own choice but nobody is ever as good a driver as they think they are when the shit hits the fan.
 

SAMI

Formerly Beardy McGee
Supporting Member
Location
SLC, UT
Adding to the conversation.. I was looking up snow conditions in the canyons last week and came across UPDSL's "Snow tire, 4x4, tire chain requirements in the Cottonwood Canyons"... they list that:

"Approved tires can be identified by an M+S (mud and snow) or a snowflake symbol on the sidewall of the tire. At a minimum, snow tires must be mounted on the two primary drive wheels of the vehicle. Tires must have sufficient tread depth to be effective."
 

Coco

Supporting Vendor!
Supporting Vendor
Location
Lehi, UT
If your front tires are still within their service life then you wont me sliding your front out like you are thinking. The best tires on the rear is assuming that the front tires aren't drag slicks, but this is Utah where when I was managing a tire shop I would constantly hear "I don't need good tires, this is just my wifes car that she takes the kids to school in and picks them up" or "just do the cheap brakes, this is just the wifes car" not joking either, heard that all the time.
Yep, literally all the time...
 
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