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Discussion Starter #1
My wife was driving our Insight on the NJ Turnpike last week, when a truck in front of her dropped its drive shaft. Three cars ran over it at 65 mph, including my wife. No injuries, thank goodness -- and miraculously, the only damage to the car, other than a scratch on the front bumper, was the destruction of both tires and wheels on the driver's side.

My wife managed to cross four lanes of traffic to the breakdown lane, and a flat-bed tow truck hauled it to the nearest Honda dealer, who confirmed that the wheels and tires were the only things damaged.

He replaced both wheels and tires with new ones, but put the new ones on the front and moved one of the passenger-side old tires, with about 45K miles on them, to the driver's side rear.

Normally, I'd be happy putting the two new tires up front on a front-wheel-drive car, but I'm a little concerned that moving a radial tire to the other side might create a handling problem.

Does anyone have any advice or opinions to share?

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Well considering the tires are supposed to be rotated periodically anyway, I see nothing to be concerned about.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I do rotate them front-to-back, but I've always understood that you can't rotate radial tires left-to-right.

Isn't there a difference?

Thanks!

Mike
 

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My understanding is that you should not have two different tyres on the same axle. As the dealer placed the new tyres at the front and old at the rear, so far so good.

However, many radial tyres have a 'direction' in which they should travel; so if the dealer swopped left to right (etc) then that tyre could be going in the wrong 'direction'. However, I don't recall ever seeing a direction instruction on our OEM Bridgestones and they may be symmetrical in design and able to cope in either direction. Check the tyre and someone else may post who is likely to know more than me. HTH.
 

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Safety is not an issue in regard to cross rotating radial tires anymore, but it used to be way back. Mismatching tires by tread _OR_ wear (a significant amount of) is a handling safety issue.

Directional tread tires as Christian pointed out should NOT be cross rotated without remounting. The stock Bridgestone's aren't directional tread.

With all that said and while its increasingly infrequent you _may_ introduce radial tire pull. If you end up with a pull while driving (varies from slight to annoying) then cross them to their opposite sides. Sometimes the pull disappears or simply follows the tire (pulls in the opposite direction). Not a safety issue unless you let go of the steering wheel.

In any accident that results in a tire failure the condition of wheel alignment is in doubt. Get it aligned ASAP :!:

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to all for the education. I didn't realize my knowledge of tire rotation was that out-of-date. I'm getting old...

The Honda dealer did perform an alignment, and I discussed it with him ahead of time to ensure that toe-in was per spec. Of course, I also asked him to inflate the tires to 40 psi, where I keep them, and he returned the car to us in the low 30s. Oh, well.

MF
 

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One comment about this (not wanting to trigger argumentation) is that it's actually better to put the good tires on the rear of the car, regardless of whether it's front wheel drive or rear wheel drive.

This is counter-intuitive if you look at it from the "best tires on drive wheels" viewpoint, but the more likely way to get in trouble is in an accident-avoidance move with an abrupt change in direction. In that case you want to maintain the understeering characteristics designed into every passenger car (except some old Porches, VWs, Corvairs, etc.), and the way to do that is to have better traction at the rear. The risk is an unintended spin.
 

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Whatsay??

:p
I'd leave it the good ones in front, unless it never rains where you are! Thin tires up front in the rain is just looking for a hydroplane. ( Hey, we could get a rap thing going like that! :wink: )

If one got into a situation that kinky, you'll be sweeping up pieces anyhow after you get it right side up again. Still want max control up front for violent steering in an emergency situation. Would there really be that much difference, on this counter-intuitive idea, between new and worn tires of the same brand? Unless the old pair is worn down slick, I woulda thunk the suspension design would accomodate the situation untill you put radically different tread width / design / size on opposite ends.
 
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