Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has reached out to consumers by recommending that for optimal handling, stability and traction, four new tires definitely are better than two. And in an emergency maneuver, they’re a must, particularly in areas where inclement weather is forecast, the tiremaker said.
Goodyear research shows nearly a third of motorists still rely on just two new tires. Silvana Valencic, Goodyear brand manager, said if new tires are installed on the front of a vehicle, they also should be fitted on the rear.
“Motorists figure a cost savings up front by buying just two tires,” Valencic said, “but in the long run, that can be an expensive proposition. In an emergency, it’s better to have a balanced vehicle with traction equalized at each corner.”
The company said to optimize traction capabilities, never mix tread patterns of different types of tires. For example, winter tire tread designs, regardless of construction, can produce different handling characteristics than all-season tread patterns. Those differences can affect the handling and traction of the vehicle.
Some tire buyers purchase only two tires and insist they be installed on the drive-wheel position to get the most traction; however, on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the tires transfer most of the traction capabilities from the rear to the front and may make the vehicle susceptible to oversteer, according to Valencic.
Goodyear recommends that tires be rotated at least every 6,000 miles. Tire rotation helps even out wear in conventional tires in each position, preserving overall balanced handling and traction. Infrequent rotation can result in premature, uneven tire wear, and eventual early tire replacement, according to the tiremaker.
Goodyear said a non-rotated tire could lose up to a third of its useful life due to premature wear.
“Tires play the single largest role in determining how your vehicle will handle in an emergency situation,” Valencic said. “It doesn’t matter how many electronic systems you have on your vehicle, such as traction control and anti-lock braking. The brakes stop the wheels; the tires stop the vehicle.”
When installing new tires or winter-specific tires, she said they “must be applied at four corners to get the full effect in winter traction.”
Goodyear’s lineup of winter tires, she added, is engineered to perform in cold temperatures, as well as in snow, ice and slush. Goodyear recently introduced the Ultra Grip Ice WRT winter tire, with tread designs for both SUVs and light-trucks.