1998 Honda Passport 2 or 4 WD - mismatched tires

I have a '98 Passport that can be shifted into 4WD. I have to replace one tire (nail in sidewall) and have been told I need to buy all new tires. I understand that this is true due so I will not potentially overhead (ruin) the differential. However, if I do not engage the 4wd, can I continue to use mismatched (tread and/or brand) tires for a year and then buy a set? I do not wan to ruin the differential but I hate spending $500 because I ran over a nail and ruined one tire.


The axle should be matched so pairs. If a LSD(limited slip differential) is involved typically on rear it will burn it right up with mismatched tires on an axle.

The fronts can be mismatched from rear however it will stress the driveline if put into 4wd and run on dry pavement.

Given that your 4wd system is designed to only be used when there can be some tire slipping, you would probably be fine with just the two tires being replaced, especially if the tires are relatively new.

the tires are going to have to be a LOT off in size to wear out a limited slip differential.

Tire shops may still be reluctant to sell you just one tire. They don’t want to be responsible for any damage done to your car and then you coming back and suing them.

We’re all just guessing. You haven’t told us how much wear you have on your current tires. Or if you plan to match the tire make & model.

By the way, your owner’s manual should give you guidelines on how much difference the drivetrain(s) will accept without problems.

One way to solve this is to go to a tire shop that does ‘tire shaving’. Usually done for tires used in autocrossing, etc., they can shave your new tire to match the circumference of your old tires. But if your old tires are near their end, I’d rather replace them.