When replacing just two tires, always put them on the rear.
At the Continental tires test track in Uvalde, Texas, I drove a front-wheel-drive Nissan with two new tires on the front and worn out tires on the rear, enjoying pushing the limits of the little car, the squealing and smell of rubber….until the track got wet and in a flash the rear end whipped around and I was in a ditch!
That’s because rear tires provide stability. If the worn rear tires are hydroplaning, they can’t offer stability — even if the new fronts are providing plenty of steering ability. So, you can easily end up spinning out of control.
But if the new tires are on the rear, the fronts will lose grip before the rears – which can be an easier situation to cope with. Release the accelerator, leave your hands where they are, and wait for the traction to return – Avoid turning the steering wheel more or applying the brakes.
Our policy is to always put the 2 new tires on the rear axle – Please watch this safety video from Michelin. It’s a little dated but gets the point across.