Buy one new tire or two?

Someone punctured the sidewall of the 2yr old/20,000 miles of use out of 65,000 miles total warranty on one of my Toyo tires. Dealers in my area have stopped carrying Toyo and recommend Yokohama with a 60,000 mile warranty. They recommend (as always) that I buy 2 tires (left and right) and throw out a perfectly good tire.

My husband recommends buying one, rotating tires to put new one up front (paired with an old one) and seeing if I can tell the difference. If not, dont worry about it. If so, buy a second new tire.

Do I really have to buy 2 tires? Two reasons to do so that I’ve thought of are:tread pattern differences and actual diameter of the wheel with the tires mounted (given that one has 20K worth of wear and the other would be brand new).

What do you recommend and why?


2 not one

You will get a lot of mixed answers on this. Basically, the two tires should match in model and wear. How closely they have to match is open to debate.

But if you change manufacturer and model and tread depth all at once, I’d be leery of driving that car. You may get strange handling, especially in emergency conditions. Also, different diameters can cause differential wear (how much is open to question).

I hope this is not an AWD vehicle, in which case you might want to change all 4.

Several other thoughts: There are still plenty of dealers for Toyo, and you can order online. do you have a full sized spare: then you have one new tire of the correct model and brand.

My own opinion: Buy 2, and get as good a tire as you can afford. Tires are not a area where you want to cut corners.

Buy two new ones and put them on the rear.

NYBo is correct. The best tires are supposed to be mounted on the rear, and both tires on an axle (both front or both rear tires) should be the same, otherwise strange handling problems can result.

Contrary to other views, I have always bought tires only as needed and one at a time. The safe answer is two tires but I have not had the slightest hint of a traction, handling or braking problem with only one new tire; have done this for many years. If you want to go one better than what I have done, then get a new tire with the same traction rating on the sidewall. The small difference in diameter between a new and a used tire is of no consequence to your vehicle unless it has four wheel or all wheel drive. Note that your owner’s manual is silent on this for a reason; no consequence for two wheel front or rear drive. Some vehicles, such as Subaru, are sensitive to differing tire diameters. The tire diameter among brands should match up well but you can verify this to your satisfaction with a tape measure to check the circumference.

Google “Tire Size Calculator” and note that nothing is said about differences in brands given a tire size specification.

As Bill predicted you will certainly get varying opinions on this one. My lifelong methods have always matched your husband’s recommendation – replace one tire.

You will get all sorts of warnings, some dire, about potential handling problems if you only buy one tire. But are they realistic? Nearly all of us have driven cars with one tire that is not identical to the others and have not detected any difference in handling. We are driving passenger cars, not Indy Formula 1 bombs.

The location of the newer tire(s) is also controversial but that’s another matter. I’ve been contrary enough for today.

I am in the camp that the tires should be matched per axle and the best pair is installed on the rear. I’ve held this view for years.

Having said that, I worked in a gas station as a teenager for several years. When a customer had their tires replaced, if one of their worn tires had better tread than my tires, I would put it on my car to save me from buying tires. So I was always driving around with four different tires (different sizes,makes,tread). I was young and naive.

I bought an Impala with one Uniroyal and 3 Goodyear tires on it. I’ve noticed no negative handling or performance issues.

If you have a front wheel drive car, put the new tire on the back. The rear tires essentially just hold the rear of the car up, so minor differences are not a big problem. With different sizes of tires on the front, it’s possible to damage the front transaxle, or cause driveline problems.

In any case, if you need to replace two tires, the dealer should honour the warranty left on both of them, and pro-rate the new ones.

Ask the tire dealer to match the tire with one as close to what you have as possible. I’ll bet you can’t tell any difference.

The real issue becomes on a slippery surface like winter conditions of ice/snow/slush you will definitely notice the difference. However if your lucky on replacement you match the traction or lack thereof of your current three tires.

It is recommended that identical tires be kept on the same axle. Chances are the vehicle will be, apparently, fine with mismatched tires but handling could be affected by this. The car MAY pull to one side and traction rating differences could have an affect.

I don’t think Tirerack carries Toyos but you might contact these people. Surely someone can come up with Toyos.

Depending on the tire needed, I’ve ordered tires on-line, gotten a good price, and shipping has been lightning fast. Just ordered 2 tires from Tirerack on a Mon. morning and had them on my doorstep by midday Tues.

Tires sould definitely be replaced one axle at a time(2 Tires). This is primarily for safety reasons. Your old(good) tire and a used rim would make a good full size spare. The cost of one more tire is cheap insurance against your family’s safety.

I could recommend anything. To know what you’re driving, what a help it would be. Which wheel drive too. Some are more forgiving than others. I won’t recommend anything this time; and on tires, you can do without my awful recommendations anyway, especially if I start in on my balancing/no balancing stuff.

If they are the original tires on your car, they are still under warranty. Your tire warranty phamplet will tell you where & how to get a replacement. The tire center will pro-rate the tire.

The OP said: “Someone punctured the sidewall…”

So how does the warranty apply here?

Fact: new tyres and older tyres or tyres of different types do not have the dame traction as matched tyres.

Fact: having mismatched tyres (left/right) will result in uneven handling.

Fact: under normal conditions that uneven handling will never be noticed.

Fact: the only time it is usually noticed is under emergency conditions, which may be too late.

Fact, chances are you will never notice the difference.

Do you feel luck? What is your life worth? How much is a second tyre?

Fact, nearly all authorities (all I have seen) recommend the best tyres on the back to provide the safest handling, even on FWD cars.

Dose you husband have a large life insurance policy on you? :slight_smile:

My car (1992 Honda Accord, stick shift) was damaged in an accident about 13 years ago. It was fixed professionally. About 1 week after I got it back I noticed torque steer while accelerating hard in first gear. I had never noticed torque steer in the previous 45k miles.

Investigation showed that the collision repair shop had replaced 1 front tire (they found a cut on a sidewall). The other 3 tires were several thousand miles old. I bitched to my insurance company and they paid for a second new front tire, same brand and model, for the other side. This cured the torque steer. I kept the 2 front tires on the front, because in 1995 no one recommended putting new tires on the back.

I hope this is not an AWD vehicle, in which case you might want to change all 4.

since you didn’t tell us the make/model of car you drive, this is important to repeat. If you have a Subaru or any other 4/Awd vehicle, you should replace all 4 tires as this can lead to expensive repairs down the road with your differential.

doesn’t apply to 4WD, as you would never be driving down the highway in that mode, except in conditions where some slippage wouldn’t matter.