Key Takeaways

  • The front tires always wear faster than the rear.
  • Most of the vehicle’s weight resides in the front, which puts pressure on the front tires.
  • Driving conditions affect a vehicle’s tire wear rate.
  • Bad driving habits can cause uneven tire wear.
  • Rotate your tires to extend their tread life.

This post may include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we'll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This support helps us maintain and grow our site. Thank you for your support!

There are four tires on the majority of vehicles. Sometimes, tires wear faster than others. So which tires wear faster?

The front tires always wear faster than the rear. This is because the weight of the vehicle is mostly in the front of the car, where the engine resides. This extra weight is transferred to the tires, causing the tread to wear at a faster rate.

I’m a mechanic with five years experience diagnosing and repairing vehicles. I am ASE certified and received my degree in automotive repair. I receive regular training on the most recently released automotive technology. And I repair vehicles with the most up-to-date tools and technology.

Table of Contents

Front Tires

Front tires usually reside under the engine in the majority of cars. The engine weighs much more than the rear of a vehicle. For this reason, tires wear quicker in the front than the rear tires do. The engine of a car weighs 300 pounds.

With all the accessories attached, the front end of the vehicle, the steering, transmission, and all the other components of a car that live in the engine compartment, you’re looking at an extra 1,000 pounds of extra weight.

When the car is rolling down the road, the front tires have to support all of this extra weight so they wear faster. Another reason front tires wear faster is because most cars are usually front wheel drive cars.

Front wheel drive cars have the two front wheels do all of the acceleration so all of the car’s stopping and starting momentum are due to the front wheels being in action. When a car takes off momentum is being put on the front tires.

Even in rear wheel drive vehicles the front wheels take most of the car’s momentum and weight. The front wheels wear quicker in rear wheel drive vehicles as well. This is because of the weight issue as mentioned before.

But the accelerating tires being in the front for most cars matched with the added weight cause the front wheels to wear much quicker than the rear wheels.

Driving Conditions

While front tires typically run out of tread faster, tire wear is also dependent on a number of things. And one of those things is driving conditions. If you drive on steep inclines or winding roads a lot of time, the front wheels will wear faster.

This is because the front wheels bear the majority of the vehicle’s weight and are responsible not only for accelerating but for steering and braking.

But if you drive on straight roads for long periods, the weight of the car is shifted to the back. This weight shift would cause the rear tires to wear out quicker than the front ones. But the rate the rear tires would wear out would be much slower than the rate of front tires.

Driving habits can also play a part in the rate of tire wear that your car experiences. If you brake or accelerate aggressively the front tires will wear out quicker than the rear tires. This is because the front tires experience more stress during braking and accelerating, especially on front wheel drive vehicles.

Accelerating aggressively on a constant basis on a rear wheel drive car will cause the rear tires to experience tread wear quicker than the front tires. Driving down the road on a rear wheel drive vehicle for long extended periods of time will cause the rear wheels to wear out quickly, as rear wheel drive vehicles have a lot of weight in the back.

Usually, front and rear tires never wear at the same rate. One set of tires in the front or in the back is always wearing out quicker. That is why tire rotations are recommended. Tire rotations spread out tire wear evenly over time.

Tire Maintenance

Tier maintenance is important in order to keep uneven tire wear from happening. If you wish to extend the life of your tires and their tire tread make sure you enact proper tire maintenance. The first thing to do proper tire care is to check the tire pressure.

Tire pressure is usually around 32 psi to 34 psi but can be different depending on your car. Check inside your driver’s door for the correct tire pressure for your car. Setting the correct tire pressure is important for all types of cars, both front wheel and rear wheel drive cars.

The next thing in the proper tire maintenance checklist is tire rotations. Tire rotations should be done at least at every oil change. Now every oil change means if you get your oil changed every 3,000 miles. That’s how often you should be getting your tires rotated.

Not only does this ensure good tire health, but it gets the hubs a chance to breathe and gets your brakes and suspension looked at quite a bit. Lot’s of mechanics will say to rotate your tires every other oil change.

This number works but every 3,000 miles also works. And I rotate my tires for other reasons than just tire health so it’s good to do so at every 3,000 miles.

If you don’t rotate your tires your front tires will wear faster than rear tires. Passenger cars need tire rotations done unless you want to purchase tires before their usual time. Tires are expensive and can cost you up to thousands of dollars per set.

So why not take the extra time to do a rotation when possible? Rotate your tires as much as you can, preferably at every oil change. And when your tires are rotated, you will most likely have the tire pressure set.

If your tire pressure is not displayed on your dashboard, have your tire pressure checked once a month by a mechanic or check it with a gauge yourself. Checking tire pressure is relatively easy and if you are unsure of how to do it you can always watch a youtube video on how to do it.

New Tires On Back

New tires always go on the back because grip is minimal in the rear. That’s because the rear doesn’t have the weight the front does. So if you purchase two new tires to replace tires that have worn unevenly, they will always go on the back.

Like stated before in the article, lots of the vehicle's weight resides in the front of the vehicle. Because of this extra weight more grip is added to the front tires. When a car hits the brakes the rear of the car lifts off the ground a little bit.

It's good to have the tires with the most tread in the back to mitigate this problem. If you have tires with minimal tread in the back and you slam on the brakes, the back is likely to skid out. New tires will always go on the back.

Which Tires Wear Faster?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

Read more about Christopher Sparks