General Rotating wheels from rear axle to front

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General Rotating wheels from rear axle to front

Rocking robin

Feb 25, 2024
Do all the 4x4 panda owners change wheels from rear to front ? , I used to own a second gen Subaru forester and every 3 k I would rotate wheels in pairs from front to back , the drive was permanent but split 60/40 front biased .
Since owning the panda and it obviously being pulled along most of the time I still plan to rotate the wheels as I did with the forester but with bigger change over intervals this will make sure the tyres wear evenly and ultimately protect the drive train .
The question is - do any of you do this and what are your findings and what mileage do you do before the rotation ?
I have never bothered on the 2wd

I just put the best on the rears

So if the fronts are worn down I would put the two new ones on the rears and move the part worn rears to the front

It's not a hard and fast rule, but I like to have the most tread depth at the rear
I have spent years of my life rotating tyres. Conclusion? Its a waste of time, and it hides any tyre wear issues so you get worse wear overall if there are any issues. I hav enever in many many 100s of 000's of miles seen a benefit. I still di it, but I use a tread gauge and decide which go where on that basis to keep pairs of tyres at the same wear stage if possible.
New directional tyres make it more difficult as you can pnly swap front to back and NOT side to side.
Tyre ,makesr suggest that it may be best to keep tyres on teh same side of the car as the stresses are learned by teh tyre and changing rotational direction can be a bad thing.

I put new tyres only on the front as the brakes on teh front axle do most of the work, I feel the best benefit of the new tyres is putting them where the work they do is hardest. This seems to be the tyre makers recommendation but I can see the logic of fitting to the rear axle as I hate the rear of the car overtaking the front. If the car was rear drive I would fit to the rear axle every time.

I throw tyres out soon after they reach 3.5mm of tread as the wet weather braking distances belwo this level of tread extend rather a lot.
I have been swapping fronts to the back when they are part worn for decades, the front always wear more than the back on a FWD. That way when getting a new set, they are all worn out. I suppose you could wear the fronts out completely (down to the legal limit) then put the rears on the front and just get new for the rear. Need to be careful if the tyres are directional (they need to stay on the same side)

I never take them to the limit either, I like a bit of sound rubber on the road in the wet.
I look at it this way

If you have a puncher or blow out at speed it's better to be the front

On standing water, ice and so on it's best to feel the grip of the worst tyres via the front steering

I have had a car on the M62 overtake me going backwards, at one point we were bonnet to bonnet and a could have waved to the drive

You don't want sudden oversteer especially on a short car, once it goes your a passenger, it's not like drifting the back end out under power in the bad old day of RWD
I hardly ever rotate tyres on family's petrol Pandas, but the Multijets do give the walls on the fronts a harder time, so they tend to get swapped round every six months or so.
I do keep them in axle pairs. Seems to work for us.
I was aiming the question predominantly at 4x4 owners , the drive train only works without damage when both axles are rotating at the same time ( revolutions) , driving on tarmac etc . The viscous coupling engages when the front wheels rotate quicker than the rears and the coupling locks the front and rear wheel in union . If the front tyres were worn much more than the rears the wheels would be rotating faster than the rears causing the viscous coupling to heat up continuously over the course of the journey. This is why it’s important to have evenly worn tyres and the correct tyre pressures , I’ve owned quite a variety of 4x4s over the years and have always followed manufacturers guide lines to main a healthy operational drive train .
Best tyres I’ve had - nokian winters which I used all year round and they were fantastic, expensive but fantastic.

Always get tyres with good wet weather grip ……aqua planning is very very scary
I hardly ever rotate tyres on family's petrol Pandas, but the Multijets do give the walls on the fronts a harder time, so they tend to get swapped round every six months or so.
I do keep them in axle pairs. Seems to work for us.
Front tyres get a work out and yes the sidewalls suffer , I don’t drive quickly and corner in good time but I still plan to rotate my wheels in pairs front onto back 🙃
It really depends on the 4x4 system, some care, some dont. Those that care can have hefty bills as the transfer box eats itself up inside.
The vauxhall 4x4 needs the tyres matched since it's a permanent 4x4, but a lot of the newer 4x4 cars only use the rear when needed so no real stress when just drving along.

Less than 3mm is when I usually think about getting new tyres. Remembering to check is more of an issue as tyres last so long these days.