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I need new tires, but I can not afford to buy all four, so I planned on buying two now and two next month. My mechanic tells me that if I do that, to make sure the new tires go on the back wheels. Why is that? That will leave the balding tires on the front for another month and I don not know if I want to do that. Should I take his advice?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi April, The Kia Rio is an All-Wheel Drive Vehicle. You need to replace all four tires at once. If you drive your vehicle with two brand new tires and two worn out tires you could damage the all-wheel drive system which would be very expensive to fix.

Maryann Croce, Owner at Croce’s Transmission Specialists April Gardner, In answer to your 2006 Kia Rio concern: As a general rule I would recommend getting 4 new tires at same time (safety) along with wheel alignment. If your vehicle is AWD, by not getting the 4 new tires at once, the circumference of the tires will be different and that can cause damage to the transfer case. If you vehicle is FWD then I would recommend putting the tires in the front for stability and traction. If your vehicle is RWD new tires in the front are best for stability and steering.

Julie Scroggins, Vice President, CFO at Waukegan Tire and Supply Company Inc. Absolutely take his advice the newer tires should always go on the rear. The front tires have driver input through the steering wheel and you can feel and compensate if they start to slip. With newer tires on the front when going around corners or sweeping turns (especially in wet) the front tires will grip and make the rear tires let loose like a whip and before you even know it the rear of the car is coming around and you have no input to the rear tires when that happens. So putting the new tires on the rear the vehicle will be safer. Julie

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