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Old 08 Feb 2013, 02:46 pm
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Default Can I rotate the tires on my '95 Honda Accord? Why or why not?

I have a 1995 Honda Accord ex v6. Bought it recently, had great, nearly brand new tires. One front tire had a bubble in the wall, so I took it to the tire place to get two new ones.

They informed me that the manufacturer specifies size 205/60R-15 for all four tires. The tires that came on my vehicle however are size 195/60R-15. They told me that because they're different sizes and I was only going to have two replaced I wouldn't be able to rotate them. Cost made the decision, and two new tires size 205/60R-15 were installed on the rear, while the rear, old tires were rotated to the front (as per company policy apparently.)

I've been trying to find information as to why exactly I can't rotate my tires. For some vehicles I've found, the manufacturer calls for two different sizes for the front and back. Usually the ones in the front are smaller, and the ones in the back are larger. At that point, it would make sense you wouldn't want to put the larger tires on the front. However, my car is SUPPOSED to have all the same size tires, and after having read about tire sizes it seems that the only difference between the two is one centimeter in width.

If there is a good reason not to rotate my tires, I won't. If I can though, it'll be longer before I have to invest in four new tires. I haven't found any good reasons not to, I'd like to hear what the people have to say. Thanks people.

Also, I do have ABS, but I've been told since it's a '95 there's little chance of an ABS error should I decide to rotate the tires.

- Don't know why the tires are smaller than spec. Something I didn't think to check when I was inspecting the car for purchase.

- My receipt says it is their company policy that, for safety, if they're not changing all four tires, they always put the new tires on the back. Roads are iffy right now, if that makes any difference.

-Since the newer tires should have been put on the front, can I, at the very least, do one single rotation when it's time?
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Old 08 Feb 2013, 03:01 pm
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I think it's horrible that the service station told you/decided to put two different sized tires on your car. Admittedly, the size difference is hardly noticeable and will work in its current configuration, it's just an irresponsible thing for them to do. In any case, I think the reason they tell you not to rotate tires is so you don't put different sized wheels on the front of the car which might ruin the transmission. - Also, why would they put the old tires on the rear if it's front wheel drive? Most shops will install new tires on the end that drives the vehicle.
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Old 08 Feb 2013, 03:16 pm
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You should be able to. I don't understand why you had smaller tires on though. different tire sizes affect the way a speedometer reads, as it calculates it based off the speed of the wheel. You can switch left to right, but with different sized tire you can't go back to front. Also in suspension a small difference like a millimeter can make a huge difference in comfort and behavior.

My fronts were worn out, so we bought new ones, put them on the back and moved the old ones to the front. Now, I had neglected to rotate the tires even when I have been meaning to. Those older tires were worn in such an odd way due to the different geometry of the rear suspension, that it created this unbearable noise when driving. You could also feel the vibrations in the wheels. I was glad when they were finally due for replacement. My car was quiet again.
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Old 08 Feb 2013, 03:31 pm
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They are telling you this because the tire size you currently have was smaller than manufacturer size. Basically not manufacturer specific.

Its also a marketing trick to persuade you into buying 4 new tires instead of 2.

Usually the new tires should go in front, because they are the drive wheels (front wheel drive) and they wear out faster because they turn.

The size difference is not much. I dont see why not. Depending on the tires you have if they are directional or not. You can only switch in pairs, going back and forth. You might not be able to do the crisss cross rotation pattern.
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Old 08 Feb 2013, 03:46 pm
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There is also about a half inch height difference, which will cause the smaller 195 tires to spin faster than the other 2. Keep the same sized tires on each axle, ideally 205s up front.
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Old 08 Feb 2013, 04:16 pm
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thats about the funniest thing ive heard from a tire shop

but to answer your question ye you can rotate them
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Old 08 Feb 2013, 04:31 pm
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It all sounds correct, just a bit picky. The newer (and more important, larger) tires are going on the back where they provide more stability. New tires generally go on the back on any car and you don't want wider tires on the front than on the back. The 1 cm (5%) difference in width wouldn't make a practical difference to the way it handles but if they were to put those on the front and you were in an accident where control of the vehicle was an issue in any way they would be liable. Darned lawyers.

From the standpoint of speedometer accuracy and ABS it won't matter. The odd sized tires are on the front, and they have been, so if there is going to be any hanky panky you have already been living with it.

My inclination is to leave them that way. The idea of rotating the tires (a lot more popular in the States than in the UK, I hear) is to wear the tires evenly. In this case the front ones, the ones that will wear much faster than the rear, are the ones you want to go away first so life is good. When you wear them out you will have 4 matching tires again.
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