AWD Tires (Front/Rear Tires Faster Wear, Tire Lifespan)


An All-Wheel Drive car is a vehicle that has a powertrain capable of sending power to all four wheels. AWD provides better acceleration and better grip in slippery conditions, which affect the condition of the tires after some time. Since all tires on your AWD car are receiving power, you might be wondering which tires will wear faster.

So, which tires wear faster on AWD? The front tires wear faster than those on the back when using AWD. The front tires will wear faster because the transmission delivers more torque to the front axle than the rear axle. Most cars are also heavy in the front because of the engine, and when braking or turning, the extra weight is shifted to the front tires causing them to wear out faster. To counter this problem, you should rotate your tires frequently to ensure all tires on your car wear evenly.

Wear is a common occurrence on tires, and every driver is expected to replace their car’s tires when they are worn out. An AWD car functions differently from a 2WD, and the AWD system does affect the tire’s tread and overall condition.

If you are looking to buy a new car, you might be interested in getting that new AWD car you’ve just seen advertised. One advantage of having an AWD car is better traction and stability when driving in unfavorable conditions like rain or snow. After learning how an AWD car works, you might be wondering which tires will wear faster after driving it for a while.

The front tires on an AWD car will wear faster than the rear tires because the transmission sends more torque to the front axle than the rear. The AWD car puts more force on the front tires, making them lose tread faster than the rear tires.

Another reason the front tires usually wear faster than rear tires is the engine placement. The car is heavier on the front, and the extra weight causes the front tires to have more grip on the road leading to faster wear.

The extra weight from the engine also causes the tires to wear faster when braking. Front tires are used for turning, and every time you take a left or right turn, swerve or change lanes, more force is applied to the front tires causing them to lose tread faster than rear tires.

All-Wheel Drive cars are perfect for people living in areas with poor driving conditions such as rain or snow. These cars rarely get stuck, and if they do, it is easier to get them out than two-wheel-drive cars. Because of the improved performance, the tires on an AWD car are subjected to more power and force compared to a two-wheel-drive car.

The tires wear out after some time, but the front tires will be the first to wear out. You have to replace the tires as soon as possible because the front tires will lose traction and make it hard to get the best performance from your AWD car.

To solve or mitigate the issue of the front tires wearing out quickly on your AWD car, you need to rotate the tires frequently. Tire rotation is recommended for AWD cars to maintain the tire’s tread and improve safety while driving. After driving your AWD car for some time, you have to rotate the tires, remove all the tires, and switch their positions.

The front tires are fitted on the rear, and the rear tires are fitted in the front. You can use several patterns to rotate the tires to ensure the tires wear at the same rate. These patterns are front to rear, rearward cross, X-pattern, and forward cross.

The rearward cross is the best rotating pattern for AWD cars. The rear tires are moved to the front axle and maintain the side they were on the rear axle, while the front tires are moved to the back axle but on the opposite sides. 

If your front tires are worn out more than the rear tires, you need to replace the entire wheelset on your AWD as soon as possible. Having mismatched tires on an AWD car is unsafe because the car’s computer will get the wrong information from the wheel sensor, making you make bad decisions while driving.

For example, when the front tires lose tread, they will spin faster than the rear tires because of poor traction. Most AWD systems have sensors on each wheel that monitor traction and determine how much power is sent to each wheel.

If your car detects the front tires are spinning too fast, it might activate the four-wheel lock, which is meant for driving in slippery conditions, even though the road is dry. Driving using the four-lock wheel in dry conditions can cause damage to the drivetrain and could be costly to repair. 

Does AWD Wear Tires Faster?

When buying a new car, one of the things you have to consider is the cost of maintaining the car. When maintaining your car, you need to check the condition of the tires and replace them whenever they wear out or get damaged. If you want to buy an All-Wheel Drive car, you might be wondering whether it wears the tires faster than other cars using a different system.

AWD does wear tires faster, especially the front tires because of the improved traction and handling. The All-Wheel-Drive system sends power to all wheels on the car, making the vehicle stable even in dangerous driving conditions. When you drive an AWD car, the vehicle experiences two additional points of contact on the road, and the force exerted on the wheels increases grip and friction, which tends to wear the treads faster.

If your AWD car tires are worn out, you have to replace the whole set. The front tires might lose tread quicker than the back tires, but you cannot only replace the worn tires. It will be dangerous to drive a car with mismatched tires.

There are different AWD systems, and most car manufacturers use the system they deem to fit their types of cars. The main types of AWD systems are Symmetrical, On-Demand, and Torque Vectoring. They might be different systems, but they work in the same ways, hence they will have the same impact on your tires.

The most important thing in an AWD system is the center differential, a set of gears that divides the transmission power to the rear and front axles. All AWD cars have wheel sensors to tell which tires are losing traction or speed.

The vehicle’s computer will command the engine to provide extra power to any wheel with little traction or speed. The more power the engine sends to the wheels, the more traction and friction occur, making the tire wear quickly. 

It is important to replace your tires as soon as they are worn or damaged. Even though the front tires of an AWD car wear faster than the rear cars, you need to replace all tires even if the rear tires seem to be in good condition or use the recommendations of your car’s manufacturer.

If you only replace one or two tires on your AWD car, the wheel sensors might send incorrect information to the vehicle computer, damaging your vehicle. Some car manufacturers recommend that you can replace one or two tires if the rest have only been used for not more than 2000 miles. The distance can change depending on your car manufacturer; therefore, before you buy four new tires, ensure you check your owner’s manual or contact a tire expert.  

If you have bought an AWD car and want the tires to last long before they need to be replaced, there are a few things you need to do. First, you need to rotate the tires from time to time to avoid having the front tires wear faster than the rear tires. You should also check the tire pressure monthly and ensure that the tires have the PSI recommended by the car’s manufacturer.

Before traveling a long distance, check the tires for any damages or deformities like cracks, holes, or bulges. Even if your AWD car can handle rough driving, do not overload and misuse your car. You should also replace your tires according to the owner’s manual, do not wait until the tire has no tread to replace them.

How Long Do Tires Last on AWD Cars?

It is well known that tires have a limited time, and usually, you have to replace your tires after driving your car for some time. However, other factors might make you replace your tires at some point, such as irreparable damage. If you own an AWD car, here is how long the tires will last before you have to replace them.

Tires on AWD cars will last for five or six years, depending on your driving style and road conditions. The time varies depending on how you drive your car, how frequently you drive your car, the conditions of the road, and the distance you drive each year.

After five years, you should inspect your tires physically to determine if they can drive for another year or if you need to replace them. If the tires have been on your car for more than six years, you need to replace them as soon as possible. You should also replace the tires if they have been damaged beyond repair.

Even though your tires will need replacement at some time, there are things you can do to preserve the life of your tires and avoid replacing them after a short period. The first thing you should do is ensure the tires have the correct PSI.

If your owner’s manual indicates the PSI should be 30, you should not drive the car when any of the tires have a tire pressure below 30. You should not exceed 30 PSI when filling your tires with air. You should check the tire pressure in the morning before driving the car to get a more accurate reading.

Another thing you need to do is ensure your tires are properly balanced and aligned. AWD cars have excellent performance when driven on poor roads but driving the car on poor roads can affect the wheel balance.

Signs of unbalanced or misaligned wheels include uneven and faster tread wear, vibrations in the steering wheel, difficulty steering, poor fuel economy, and bad shocks and bearings. If you notice any of these signs, you must immediately take your car to a qualified mechanic for wheel balancing and alignment before your tires sustain irreparable damage.

You should also check the tread on your tires and measure if you can still drive the car using those tires or have to replace them. If the tire’s tread has been reduced to 2/32 of an inch, you need to replace that tire.

Some tires have indicators that indicate whether you need to replace the tire, or you can continue to use it. If your tires do not have a replacement indicator, you can use a penny to check if the tire has enough tread. Place the penny upside down with Lincoln’s head facing you into a tread groove. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you need to replace those tires.

You should also rotate the tires on your AWD car to maintain even tread wear. It is recommended that you rotate the tires after 6,000 or 8,000 miles. You can consult an expert or the owner’s car manual on when and how you should rotate the tires on your car. Another thing you should do is always change the tires when due, even if the tires look good, after five or six years. Do not wait until the tires burst or tear before you replace them.

Wrap Up

Tires play an important role in the performance of your car. If you own an AWD car, the tires will not wear at the same rate. The front tires will wear quickly because of the force exerted on them and the engine’s weight. To avoid wearing front tires and back tires that are still in good shape, you need to rotate the tires frequently. You should use the rearward cross pattern to rotate the tires on your AWD car.

AWD cars have better traction, and that is why most people who frequently drive in poor conditions like rain and snow love them. However, the increased traction causes more friction between the tires and the surface of the road, hence the tires will wear quickly compared to tires on a two-wheel drive car.

If you want the tires on your AWD car to last long, you should always physically inspect the tires before driving for a long distance, use the correct tire pressure, ensure the wheels are perfectly balanced and aligned, and always rotate the tires.

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