Can I Replace Just One Tire?
Yes, you can. Replacing only one tire is possible when the others still have most of their tread.
Back in the day, tires were used differently. We thought a pair of “snow tires” would be mounted to the drive wheels for winter use exclusively, while today we believe all four tires in a vehicle should match: same model, type, and degree of wear, for both rear tires and front tires. The reason? A vehicle with four tires that behave the same way when it comes to braking, accelerating, or cornering is predictable and balanced. The performance will be unbalanced and traction characteristics will vary if any of those factors are different at one or more wheels.
Can You Replace Just One Tire If It’s Damaged?
Typically, tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch, and a large number of new tires have 10/32 to 12/32 of an inch of tread. If a car’s other tires have lost only from 2/32 to 4/32 of their original tread depth, it would be good to replace the damaged tire only.
However, some manufacturers of all-wheel-drive vehicles suggest replacing tires all at once and not just one or two, as the new tire will have a larger diameter than the rest. Therefore, the tires that have lost just a few 32nds of tread depth will spin faster than the new one, which could lead to an AWD system to engage on dry pavement and damage the system.
Should I Replace All Four Tires or Just Two on an AWD Vehicle?
Truth is that ideally, on an AWD vehicle or one with a conventional four-wheel-drive system, the four tires should be replaced at the same time, so they have the same diameter as well as the same amount of traction.
Should I Replace All Four Tires or Just Two on a Rear-Wheel-Drive Vehicle?
We must mention that similar guidelines are applied for both front- and rear-wheel-drive vehicles. Replacing one or two tires only will result in some wheels spinning slower than the rest, which could send false signals to the traction control and antilock braking systems if half or more of the tread on some tires is gone. The car’s behavior can also be affected if some tires are having less or more traction for acceleration, braking, and cornering grip than the rest. In the case of a two-wheel-drive vehicle, both FWD or RWD, a good option would be to replace tires in pairs on the same axle. However, the best one would be to replace all the tires at once if the tread is considerably worn. To avoid shelling out lots of cash, finding the best time to buy tires as well as other auto parts is essential for a great purchase.
Can You Get Just One Tire Replaced If You Get It “Shaved”?
For a fee, some tire dealers shave off some tread depth on a special machine, so the new tire matches the depth of the rest, avoiding this way purchasing more than one tire.
If you decide on replacing only one tire, keep in mind that the replacement should be the same size, model, and tread pattern as the others, as differences in traction and number of revolutions per mile will be greater if a different model or brand is used. Therefore, chances are it’ll wear at a different rate, and not necessarily slower than the others, even if it starts with more tread depth.
Should I Replace All Four Tires or Just Two and Mount Them on The Front?
Whether you decide on replacing only one tire or all of them, experts suggest the new ones should be mounted on the rear. This is due to the fact that if the worn tires are placed in the rear, the vehicle would be more likely to ride on top of the water on the road (hydroplaning) and could make the car rotate in a turn. Safety always comes first: remember that taking all measures to drive safely in different types of weather is just as important as wearing your seatbelt or getting car insurance. Being a responsible driver is crucial.