Why You Should Not Replace Only One Tire

January 16, 2023 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you have a flat tire, the natural response is to replace the damaged tire and continue driving. However, by installing only one replacement tire, you run the risk of negatively impacting your driving experience. When replacing tires on your automobile, what your manufacturer recommends is typically replacing multiple tires at once. Here is a brief overview of the drawbacks of only replacing one tire and what auto manufacturers recommend.

Common Issues If You Change One Tire

Only replacing one tire can negatively impact your automobile’s road traction, handling, and ride comfort. This is because the new tire has a different tread depth due to being brand new, and the other tires will have tread wear due to regular driving. By changing your tires at different times, they all develop wear imbalance, with each tire having different degrees of tread wear. In addition, electrical and safety systems can produce inaccurate results and performance due to the differing information received from your tire sensors. Many manufacturers advise replacing all four tires at once to improve performance so all tires will have even tread wear.

What To Do When Replacing Only One or Two Tires

In some cases replacing all four tires at once is simply not feasible. No matter your reasoning, there are steps you can take to improve performance when only replacing one or two tires. The correct response depends on your car’s drivetrain.

  • Front and Rear-Wheel Drive Cars: If replacing one tire, this tire should be paired with the tire on your car that has the deepest amount of tread depth. Both tires are then mounted on the rear axle. When replacing two tires, both are placed on the rear axle. Placing the tires on the rear axle prevents hydroplaning in wet conditions.
  • Four and All-Wheel Drive Vehicles: These types of vehicles can be very difficult to replace only one tire at a time. Due to how these types of drivetrains work, differences in tire diameters can cause various performance issues. Be sure to check your automobile’s manual, as this can vary.
  • Staggered Fitment Tires: Vehicles with staggered fitment tires have tires in different sizes on the front and back of the automobile. The back tires are usually taller and wider to improve handling when accelerating and the vehicle’s overall appearance. With these types of tires, your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations should always be followed.

Replacing one tire is sometimes unavoidable. Be sure to consult with your mechanic and your owner’s guide to achieve the best results.

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