New Tires: Back or Front?

I bought two new Michelin tires for my '94 E320 Wagon today, as one of the back tires went flat last night and was found to be unfixable. (The older tires are a different brand, so I decided to save the other
back tire for a spare.) My Mercedes mechanic said Mercedes recommends that new tires be placed on the front end, for better handling and safety. That's what I requested from the tire service, and, of course, to have the front tires moved to the back.
When I picked up the car, the new Michelins were on the back. I asked about that and was told that the tire manufacturers recommend it that way for better handling and safety.
So now I wonder: why would Mercedes and Michelin have different recommendations? Any thoughts?
~Des
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Note that the recomendations are consistent if one allows for front wheel vs rear wheel drive
cheers
ps I put my two new tires on the rear

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wrote:

I doubt this recommendation to put new tires on front actually comes from Mercedes. Must be a personal opinion.
I guess you can find recommendations both ways but my personal view is strongly suggesting "better tires to the back". I too had recently two tires changed and specifically asked if my Michelin dealer if he agreed that the new tires should go to the back, and he certainly did agree.
This is actually good for an MB because the rear tires normally wear more, after a while you can change the better tires from the front to the back which allows even ware. But this is not the real argument to use better tires at the back.
The reason to put better tires to the back is that this setup allows better car handling! I guess people assume that car handling comes from front tire grip, as long as your front tires have grip, you can handle the car but this is not that simple. If the front loses grip, the car tends to go straight, which is not always good but most often, you should always have a bit of time to allow front grip reappear. But if you lose rear grip, the car may quickly turn without a chance to compensate for that by turning front wheels.
Losing grip on back tires can be from water on the road (especially on worn roads) or ice and snow. To be able to handle the car with your steering wheel, you do need some grip at the back, otherwise it doesn't work.
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wrote:

Meanwhile had a look at the W221 S-class owners manual (unfortunately not my own but the manual on the MB web), it says: "Fit new tyres on the front wheels first if tyres of the same size are required on the front and rear wheels".
So I guess MB does recommend new tires to the front. I would still not do that on my MB.
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I think it's 'old school', others I've asked say new tires to the front, as well; my husband said "That's what my father always told me."

<good explanation snipped>

Well, what do you expect? They can't even spell 'tires' correctly. ;-)

I'm relieved to know that Herb the Mercedes Man knew what he was talking about, anyway.
Thanks for your posts.
~Des
(Nice Name.)
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On Fri, 9 Dec 2005 02:03:36 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (Guenter Scholz) wrote:

Hm. Well, aren't all Mercedes modesl rear wheel drive? Except for the 4-Matics and SUVs.
[...]

My wagon isn't a 4-matic but where would two new tires go then? Still to the back?
Just curious,
Des
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What I meant in short is that consistency seems to exist if one requires the new tyres to go onto the undriven wheels. With 4 wheel drives we are likely beginning to split hairs
cheers

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On Sat, 10 Dec 2005 00:38:13 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (Guenter Scholz) wrote:

I was always under the understanding that the purpose for putting the newer tires on the front was that the older tires were more likely to fail sooner and if a tires blows out while driving, that it is better for it to NOT be on the steering end of the car, so you can more safely pull off the road. If a drive tire goes your car will still be hard to handle, but not near as much as if a steering tire goes out!

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Aha. Here we go. Well, the tire service man said exactly the opposite. He gave an example of a blowout and said, specifically, that the tire manufacturers would rather have a blowout on the front.
~Des
"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it." ~Dudley Moore
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I have had blowouts on the front and the rear, and I had much rather have it on the front. This is also true on a motorcycle. If a rear tire blows or goes flat, either vehicle is almost uncontrollable. Paul <Des> wrote in message wrote:

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FROM A MERCEDES DEALER: new tires go on the front!!!!!!!!! It is true, it is in the owners manual. (so the dealer just told me)
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the group, myself at least would want to know why, some good arguments supporting this view? The majority of opinions, some with personal experience claim that better car handling is not one.
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Funny, Goodyear says the rear axle (http://www.goodyeartires.com/faqs/Care.html#9 ). There's also a good article at Tire Rack (http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techidR ) that explains why new tires should go on the rear axle (to increase vehicle control in case of hydroplaning).
Josh
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