Tire Mixing Basics
For your vehicle to perform as it was engineered, your tires should all be of the same size, load carrying capacity, speed rating, construction, and tread pattern.
It would be ideal for all four tires to wear at the same rate, so that they could be replaced at the same time. However, that does not always work out. Many factors can affect the way a tire wears, which means that one or more of your tires may need replacement before the other tires have worn out. Although the remaining tires may still have usable tread, replacing all four tires may still be the better choice. It provides you with a wider variety of choices replacing tires and is the best way to maintain the handling and performance characteristics as designed by the vehicle manufacturer.
When replacing less than four tires, it is ideal to replace them using the exact same tire. If the exact same tires are not available, be sure to replace them with tires that have the same load carrying capacity, speed rating, construction, and size. It is acceptable to use a tire that is not an exact match in these areas solely for temporary purposes, such as temporarily using your spare tire. A tire with a different size, load carrying capacity, speed rating, or tread pattern can lead to poor handling and be unsafe in severe weather or emergency driving conditions.
If for whatever reason you replace only two tires, we recommend installing the two new tires on the rear. This helps maintain reliable traction in wet weather. If only one tire is being replaced, it is best to match it with the best of the three remaining tires and place them both on the rear axle. Learn more about replacing only two tires.
Mixing Winter Tires
It is best to avoid tire mixing, if at all possible. It is important to avoid mixing winter tires with any other tire type, including summer and all-season tires. For the best winter performance, you should install winter tires on all four wheels. Learn more about winter tires.
Mixing Run-Flat Tires
While run-flat tires can provide peace of mind, it is very important that run-flat tires are not mixed with non-run-flat tires. Mixing these tires can cause instability in the overall ride and performance. Run-flat tires are constructed and designed through a different process than a non-run-flat tire.
Tire Mixing on AWD Vehicles
When replacing tires on your All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) vehicle, it is highly recommended that you replace all four at once, even if one or more still have tread life left. If the differences in tread depth between the remaining tires and the new tires are too great, serious mechanical damage could occur. You can safely replace less than four tires if the remaining tires are within a safe distance of the new tire’s tread depth. We recommend that you consult your owner’s manual or contact your vehicle dealer to determine if your tires are within the recommended specifications.
It is vital that all four tires be the same size as your original equipment tires, even when installing winter tires, unless specified by the vehicle manufacturer. It is also very important not to mix tread pattern types, such as all-season and all-terrain. If you have any questions, please contact us or visit your local Discount Tire store.
If you need to replace your tires as soon as possible, we can provide payment arrangements through our credit card — offered in partnership with Synchrony Financial.