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Nashua;49.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/novc.png;2014-10-24 21:23:44
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Should snow tires go on the front or the back wheels?  

A few inches of snow is falling this morning but for some reason it's very slick - commuting was a mess. This brings up a conversation my wife and I had recently: If you only have two snow tires, should they go on the front (drive) wheels or the back wheels?

I thought front, of course, since the point is to help us get out of the driveway - the hardest part of any post-heavy-snow drive. But the shop put them on the back - the non-drive wheels! This baffled me, but a bit of Googling finds that it is industry practice, out of fear that having them only in the front will cause very dangerous spin-outs on the highway, leading to death, dismemberment and other bad things - whereas having them only in the back will just make you get stuck.

The situation is similar for non-snow tires: The tires with better tread should go in the back, not the front.

The universal advice: Use four snow tires, not two. Oops.