"New tires on the rear" law

I’ve noticed more and more that when I order tires on XXXrack.com and have them shipped to a local service center that there is someone telling me it’s been put into law that they are required, when it is two new tires to mount them on the back of the vehicle.

I’m not here to get people’s opinion of whether or not I should do this, I’m troubled that I do not have the option more and more. Some service centers still do as I ask while others state that by law they are not allowed to heed my wishes.

It has led to such frustration that I have even contacted the chief of Highway Patrol for SC who gave me the website to go to and referred me to the proper section to look as he was not aware of any such law. I searched and searched but found nothing. I then googled some more. The closest I could find was a tire conference which stated the tire industry had adopted a rule as indicated above.

Still none of this helps me get my tires put on where I am paying these people to put them. Any Suggestions as to leads of the the law I’m looking for or other legal feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Likewise save your breath/typing if you feel obligated to quote me the science and physics of tire arrangements.

I am merely interested to see a law that states what comes out of these people’s mouth. Thanks in advance.

There are 50 different states with 50 different laws, care to throw us a bone here?
Also you might want to move this to the pit, as the new tires in the front crowd don’t give a damn about cites (which there are many) that say new in the rear is bullshit.
FTR I have been around cars and tires for 40+ years and new in the rear has been the recommendation for as long as I have been in the business.

If you read my post more closely you’ll see that it was stated that I contacted the chief of Highway Patrol for SC (South Carolina) .

I don’t mind recommendations, I actually keep an open mind to them, it’s when I pay someone money to tell me they won’t do it the way I’ve done it for years that bothers me.

BTW, it’s not a “roast post” I’m just looking for a state law to back up what I’m being told.

Having driven well over a million miles in my life, I have always put the best tires on the front.

If you lose the rear it is your fault as you were driving faster than road conditions permit.

In an emergency, I would rather have the best rubber on the front so that I have maximum braking and proper steering if I have to change direction urgently.

Thank you Zep, but it’s not what I’m looking for. If I don’t speak up this post is going to become the next “tire arrangement preference post” it’s not what I’m after.

"Do South Carolina shops, or an-y for that matter (maybe another state?) have legal right to restrict a customer’s wishes to how their tires are mounted onto their vehicle"?

The follow-on question is whether that is a law (assuming there is one) for shops or a law for everyone? Can you change the wheels / tires around when you get home?

Law or not, I would think the best place for new tires might be determined by which pair are the driving wheels, also the weight distribution. Not all cars are the same.

I doubt there’s any laws that say specifically that, but then there really aren’t that many laws that go into the nitty-gritty of auto maintenance. What’s more likely is that there’s generic laws that say you have to safely maintain your vehicle, and now that pretty much the entire industry has explicitly come out in the “best tires go on the back” camp, it’s no longer conscionable for a shop to put them on the front no matter how much the customer begs.

the question is limited to the shops and whether I can put them on where I want later is not the point, I’m paying these people to put the tires on where I want them.

My 2¢: In over 25 years of bying my own tires, I have never, ever encountered what you’re saying.

“Your tire installation includes free rotations?” … “OK, when you’re done mounting them on the rear, please rotate the tires, front to back.”.

This site claims that most tire manufacturers recommend that new tires be put on the rear, but no actual laws are mentioned-just court cases where the placement of the tires was a factor.

It sounds very similar to the apocryphal case of a confused average person standing in a shop while a bunch of smirking mechanics say “nope, sorry little lady, I know you just came in for brakes but the law says I can’t legally let you drive out of here on those tires. You have to buy 4 new ones from us before we’ll take your car off the rack…and you need some new muffler bearings too; don’t want to break any noise ordinances either! Heh heh…”

The “new tires on rear” would be a stupid law anyhow, as there are several cars which have unique tires on each corner. Fierra’s Corvette has unidirectional tires which are differently-sized on the front and rear - four completely different and definitely non-interchangeable tires.

Does it make a difference whether the car is front-wheel or rear-wheel drive?

I live in Colorado and was told the same thing. Also cost me extra to have them all rotated. I tried to find the law and couldn’t. Thought about posting it on the Dope, but didn’t.

Nope. It goes to the physics of how a car skids.

That’s bizarre. My Tiburon is FWD and I’m notoriously bad about rotating tires. So I often wear the fronts down first and have to replace those. Then, when the backs start to go, I rotate the fronts and put the 2 new tires back on the front. They’re my drive and steering, much less is happening in the back. Never had a tire shop question this. Had the car in both FL and MD.

Aha, so more likely it is not law but their lawyers (if they are a decent sized chain of stores) that demand the tires go on the back.

This falls into the “you can’t prove a negative” realm. The research required to comb through all possible applicable laws for a given state, so as to provide incontrovertible evidence that there is no such law, is formidable. The burden of proof is on the claimant to cite the law in question.

Of course they won’t be able to cite the law, because in all likelihood the law doesn’t exist. I’d be extremely shocked if any state has such a law. I’m sure what we have here is a case of misunderstanding, or maybe even inventing a lie so as to minimize argument, that has been told to gullible service personnel who repeat it as truth. It’s corporate policy (or shop policy) derived from manufacturers’ recommendations and/or company lawyers’ recommendations then dressed up as purported law so as to intimidate customers into accepting it.

Since you have done reasonable research into the question, my suggestion is to tell the next idiot who claims this that he is mistaken and that the state Highway Patrol has told you there is no such law. Of course, if he can produce this phantom law, you will stand corrected, but until then you stand by what the HP told you. Chances are, though, that the shop won’t back down and you’ll have to go somewhere willing to accomodate you.

FWIW, here’s an articleon why it’s a good idea to have new tires on the rear.

Also, vendors are often notoriously bad about following the law. For years banks told me that I couldn’t legally use the name “Stu” on my checks as it wasn’t my legal name, even though no one has called me anything else for 25 years. I was finally able to get it past.