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spin direction on tires

Hello everyone,

I am the recent (10 months ago) purchaser of a '90 Quattro Coupe 20V, for 
which I recently bought a new set of tires (Viper "Patriot HX" P205/50 R15 
M+S).  (I was planning to buy Falkens but that tire is only recently 
becoming widely distributed in northern Michigan, USA where I was at the 
time; no-one had any in stock...oh well) (This spring I will buy some 
performance tires but that's other topic en-tire-ly.)

Anyway, these Vipers seem OK, nothing special, but not very sure-footed in 
the wet.  I looked into this an discovered that the two front tires were 
mounted rotating the opposite way than the direction arrow on the tire 
specifies!  Probably the tread pattern doesn't displace water very 
efficiently this way...The place I bought them (Sears -- never again!) 
seems prepared to argue that they don't need to be replaced, just swapped 
left-for-right and off I go.

I have heard that Radial tires get "used" to rotating a certain direction 
and cannot be reversed once they've been "broken in".  My tires now have 
over 2000 miles on them.  It this rumor, truth, or somewhere in between? 
 Is this (more) true for Quattro vs. conventional rear-wheel (or 
front-wheel - ack!) drive?

I guess another way of asking this question is, when you rotate your tires, 
should you do it front-to-back only or is side-to-side/round robin rotation 

Any comments would be welcome.


John Hadjisky
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