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Tire Replacement Guide: How Many Tires Should I Replace?

Knowing when it's time for a tire replacement is important for any driver.
Whether you ran over a nail, blew out a tire from hazardous road conditions or your tires have just lived out their life-span, there comes a time where every automobile owner has to replace their tires. We understand that tires are a major investment when it comes to maintaining your vehicle. Below we have listed some general tire replacement guidelines to consider when making a tire replacement purchase and deciding how many tires you should replace.

Tire Replacement: Replacing All Four Tires

It’s always best to replace all four of your tires at the same time. This ensures that you have the same tread depth on each tire. If you own a four-wheel or an all-wheel drive vehicle, you must replace all four tires at once. The traction advantages achieved by these vehicles are due to mechanically connecting all four tires. If you replace less than four tires, the difference in tread depth and traction between the old tires and the new ones can cause unnecessary wear to your differential. The difference in traction may also cause the new tires to wear out faster.

Tire Replacement: Replacing Two Tires

If you are only able to replace two tires, match size and speed rating to the other two tires that are on your vehicle. We recommend that your two new tires be mounted on rear. This is because the difference in traction between the new tires and the old ones will affect your vehicle’s steering dramatically.

The old tires will slip more easily than the new ones. If you mount the new tires on the front axle, the rear tires will be the first to slip if you have to make a quick steering maneuver. This will cause the back end of your car or truck to swing out, which can easily cause a spinout at low speeds or a rollover at high speeds. This tendency of the rear end to swing out is called oversteer. If you mount the new tires on the rear, the old tires on the front will lose traction first, which will merely prevent your vehicle from turning as sharply as it would with four new tires. This is called understeer. Understeer is a much safer condition, because there isn’t nearly as much risk of a severe spinout or rollover.

For safety’s sake, always install the newest tires on the rear of your car or truck.

Tire Replacement: Replacing One Tire

When replacing one tire is it advised to pair that tire with the tire that has the second most tread depth. Both of these tires should then be mounted on the rear axle. Mounting them on the rear axle.

Please Note: Tires may not be the same size in the front and back of your vehicle. Match size and speed rating recommendations listed in your owner’s manual or on the specifications plaque inside your driver’s side door. In some cases, the vehicle manufacturer may specifically advise against replacing less than four tires. Always check and follow the manufacturer guidelines found in your owner’s manual. Learn more about finding the right tires for your vehicle from our blog.

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