Replacing tires by the pair or set Why you shouldn’t just replace one
What can you do if your tire can’t be repaired? Tire experts say if one tire needs replacing, you should replace all four.
All for one and one for all
Today’s advanced tires are designed, engineered, and constructed to work together—not independently. For example, the safety standards set by your vehicle’s manufacturer are based on all four tires working as a unit. Performance capabilities, such as traction in wet weather or quality of ride, are also measured with four matched tires operating as a unit.1
Tip: Putting a new tire with three partially worn tires can throw everything off balance. Size or brand alone doesn’t guarantee a matching tire—tread wear is just as important.
How to match replacement tires for All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) or Four-Wheel-Drive (4WD) vehicles
Owners of AWD or 4WD vehicles may be surprised to learn that tire experts strongly recommended replacing all four tires at the same time. The reason: Mixing tire brands, tread designs and tread depths puts extra strain on the vehicle’s differential and drivetrain. Only when the brand, size, construction, tread design, tread depth and tire type of all four tires on your vehicle match, will your tires react to road conditions and driving stress in a balanced way—improving your vehicle’s safety, balance, stability and overall handling.2
This is especially important for vehicles equipped with a differential. Even a difference as small as 1/8 ” in tread wear between front and rear tires on your AWD can overwork the differential and drivetrain and eventually cause damage.3
Tip: If your budget won’t allow you to replace all four tires at one time, consider shaving, which is covered in the section that follows. You can also get more information on special financing* online at Synchrony Car CareTM.
When you can only replace one or two tires
It’s possible to match the tread depth of replacement tires to the tread depth of the remaining partially worn tires on the vehicle by removing tread rubber from the new tires. It’s called “shaving,” and it’s done on a specialized machine that operates as a tire lathe. In addition to providing equivalent tread depth to eliminate driveline stress, shaved tires will also better match the traction and handling qualities of the remaining worn tires.4
To the rear, please
If you’re replacing a pair of tires, install them in the rear. Rear tires provide stability. If you put the new tires up front, the partially worn rear tires could cause the vehicle to hydroplane in wet conditions and possibly spin out.5
Tip: Consumer Reports recommends rotating tires routinely following the guidelines spelled out in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, typically every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. This will help optimize a tire’s tread life and will wear all four tires evenly.6
Because tires can affect the comfort and handling capabilities of your vehicle, it’s best to drive on tires that are identical in every detail, including tire brand, model, size, tread design and remaining tread depth.4
Need new tires today? We can help.
When it’s time to replace your tires, Synchrony Car CareTM can help. We not only provide special financing* for new auto and light truck tires, but also major automotive repairs.
*Subject to credit approval. Credit extended by Synchrony Bank.
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