An argument about blowouts...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

My buddy and I have an ongoing argument about blowouts. I say a rear tire blowing is worse than a front tire blowing--assuming you have power steering and a hold on the steering wheel. He says a front tire blowing is worse. What do you think?

TOM: Great question, John. Let's say you had to take a long trip, and you knew that one of your tires was bad, and was in danger of blowing out. The question is, where would you put that tire?

RAY: Well, I'd put it on my brother's car. He'd never know the difference. But we'll assume you don't have that option, John.

TOM: If you don't have a dumb brother like my brother has, then the next best place to put it is on the right, front wheel. And here's why. You want it on the front because with power steering, you can compensate for the flat tire to some degree. With the steering wheel in your hands, you can feel which way the car is pulling, and it's easier to make the necessary adjustments.

RAY: And you want the bad tire on the right side, so that if it blows, the first movement of the car will be to the right--off the road--rather than to the left into oncoming traffic.

TOM: Of course, the best thing to do if you know you have a bad tire is to tie a rope to it and make a swing for the kids. But hypothetically speaking, John, you're right.

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