Should snow tires go on the front or the back wheels?
Posted by David Brooks | Wednesday, January 16, 2013
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.