Yes, it's a bad idea. In my experience, the vehicle will become quite
unstable with snows only on the front, turns and braking on slippery
surfaces become quite the treat.
Don't be cheap with tires. Remember, the two things most likely to kill you
if they fail on your vehicle are brakes and tires. Decent snow tires (if
needed in your local climate) are far cheaper then body shop visits and
That is VERY dangerous. What will happen is your back tires will break
loose first in a turn, causing you to spin out. Either get 2 more winter
tires, or don't use the old ones.
Even with a front-wheel drive car, if you are cheap and only decide to
buy 2 new tires because you were too cheap to rotate them, and the
fronts wore out, put the new tires in BACK. In slippery conditions, you
want the FRONT to break loose first because it's easier to recover
control. Once the back looses grip, it's VERY difficult to recover.
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As t'other guy says, yes, a bad idea. You will be able to accelerate and
brake better in a straight line, but if you come to a corner and it's iffy
down there, your van will swap ends sooner than you can say, "I say chaps,
rather icy down there, eh?" (or words to that effect)...
Ahhh, well that's why, then. The snow in the 2000s is much worse than it
was back then! :)
You may or you may not get a problem, it will depend on how the car is
driven, what the road and weather is like, so on and so forth. If you're
going to do something stupid, it won't matter where the tyres are :) and if
you're careful, you'll hopefully not need the extra grip.
But a sticky front end and a loose back end is _not_ such a good idea as one
might think for a front wheel drive car. Yes, the front wheels do most of
the braking, all of the steering and all of the acceleration, and for most
of the time the rear wheels are just there to stop the ass end dragging on
the road. But for those times when you need the back to grip...
Oversteer in almost all front wheel drive cars is unpredictable and
"snappy," that is, the car snaps into oversteer and is difficult to get back
All snow tyres, or none, going for two is going to compromise something...
Agreed. When you want it to be. But when Bambi has just run out in front
of you on the approach to a gentle right hander, with a ditch that side of
the road, you really don't want to be going into the ditch tail first
(disclaimer that we have right hand drive cars, reverse as necessary).
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