For optimal safety and performance, it's strongly recommended that the same tires should be placed on every wheel position on your car. Mixed tires might force you to replace them earlier than expected. Identical tires will provide traction, grip, and overall safety. Tires play an integral role in every vehicle's comfort and handling capabilities. It is always best to drive on tires that are identical in every detail.
Examples of mismatched tires include mixing:
A Matched Tire Set is Best
For optimal safety and performance, it's strongly recommended that the same tires should be placed on every wheel position on your car. Tires should be the same brand, size, tread pattern, load index, and speed rating on the front and rear. This helps you maintain optimum control and stability for your vehicle. Mismatched tire sizes and constructions can be dangerous. Our tire experts always recommend following the vehicle manufacturer's specifications for proper tire size, load index, and other specifications when choosing new tires for your car, truck or SUV.
Note: Unless the tire and/or vehicle manufacturer specifies that this is acceptable. (Some vehicles have what is known as a “staggered fitment" -- different-sized tires on the front and rear axles.)
Matched Tires = More Even Wear
In addition to maintaining control and stability, having a uniform set of tires lets you rotate them regularly. This helps the tires wear evenly, extending their life and making the most of your investment.
But even with regular rotations, your tires can still wear unevenly if your vehicle has different-sized tires on the front and back (the “staggered fitment” we mentioned earlier), has an alignment or other mechanical problem, or if you don't keep up with maintenance. Even driving conditions can cause uneven wear. You could also lose an individual tire to puncture or other irreparable damage. In this case, you may need to decide whether to buy one or more new tires to replace the worn and/or damaged tires, or whether to buy a complete set, forfeiting the remaining life on the non-damaged tires.
So is it okay to replace just one or two tires -- or do you need a whole new set? It's always going to be best to replace all the tires at the same time, because it will restore the vehicle's handling and traction to optimum levels. However, this is also expensive, so we know it's not always possible.
If you decide to replace one or two of the tires, the best choice is to replace them with the exact same brand, style, and size that are already on the vehicle. If this is possible, the dimensions, internal construction, materials, and tread design will be nearly identical to the tires you are replacing. If it's not possible (for example, if the tire is no longer available), the next best option is to choose tires in the same performance category with equivalent load ratings, speed ratings, handling, and traction characteristics as the original tires.
The third option -- choosing alternative tires that don't match any of the characteristics of your original tires -- should only be used as a last resort or in an emergency. Using tires with different performance characteristics, load ratings, speed ratings, or sizes can cause the vehicle's handling to become unbalanced, especially in bad weather.
Why Not to Mix Tires?
Uneven Tread Wear - Routine tire rotations and wheel alignments will provide uniform wearing on all tires. Mixing tires will cause uneven weight distribution across the four wheels, and some tires will wear out faster than the others.
Poor Handling - Mixed tires can make it challenging to drive. The tires on your vehicle are designed with traction and handling properties. Mixing tires with varying sizes, designs, and tread patterns will cause vehicle handling and braking issues. Poor handling makes for unstable driving conditions and increases your risk for accidents on the road.
Limited Performance - Mix-matched tires will not work together effectively for smooth and safe driving. This can prevent your vehicle from reaching optimum driving performance, limiting its acceleration rate, maximum speed, and load capacity.
Industry leaders recommend replacing all four tires at the same time or at least two on the rear of the vehicle.
If You Need New Tires, Contact Us
Mixed tires might force you to replace them earlier than expected. Identical tires will provide traction, grip, and overall safety. Tires play an integral role in every vehicle's comfort and handling capabilities. It is always best to drive on tires that are identical in every detail.
If your car, truck or SUV is in need of new tires and you are unsure of what would be best, we’re always here to answer your questions. Reach out to our NTW experts today!
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