Buying tires & sizing

Hi! I just bought a 1995 neon, it’s old, yes… but when i bought it, the guy i bought it from had replaced 2 of the 4 tires, 1 front, 1 back. the tires are different sizes, the front ones are 175/64 14 and the back are 185/65 14. i know it probably isn’t good to have two different sizes like that, but i was just wondering how bad it actually was. one store i went to wouldn’t sell me two different size tires, but i’m not sure if it’s because he wanted me to buy 3 instead of 2, or if it’s actually something that’s horrible for my car. and if anyone knows the answer, please let me know soon, i want to replace them by tomorrow afternoon, if possible!

thanks so much!

sorry, the front tires are sized 175/65 14.

No, this is not exactly an ideal situation, but since the car is FWD rather than AWD it should not present any mechanical problems–as long as both front tires are the same size and both rear tires are the same size.
The current situation of one non-matching tire in front and one non-matching tire in back makes no sense.

My suggestion is to have both of the “newer” tires mounted on the front of the car. Then, just buy two brand new tires and have them mounted on the back of the car. As long as you buy two tires of the correct size and have them mounted on the back, the tire dealer should not have a problem.

But aren’t the newer tires different sizes? Don’t want that on the front, right?

I’m sure some will disagree, but I feel it’s equally important to have same tread design if at all possible, on front and rear and the same size. Poor rain traction on the rear regardless of tire tread depth means “less traction on the rear at the worse possible time”. At least make sure the newer ones are equally traction rated for poor conditions.

okay, i’m glad to hear that it shouldn’t be too horrible. the issue is that, one tire in the front is “newer” and sized 175, and one tire on the back is “newer” and sized 185. so i can’t have the one on the back mounted on the front or vice versa. my original idea was to replace the tires that the previous owner hadn’t replaced, one on the front in the 175 and one on the back in the 185. and i totally agree that all 4 should be new, with great tread, etc, etc, but i’m a student and have about $200 to replace them (buying new, of course) and have them aligned (i need an alignment, too). so would this idea be okay?

additionally, i would like to eventually replace all 4 at the same time. but for now, i either have to buy 2 tires of different sizes, or 3 of the same size and replace one of the “newer” ones, but option 2 is outside of my budget.

I’m not surprised that a store won’t install different sized tires, they don’t want to be sued if something goes wrong. I know this is more $$, but what I would do is find a shop that sells used tires, sell them 3 of yours and replace them with 3 new tires that match (size/model/brand) the one of the new tires that is the correct size for the Neon.

Just saw your note. You might see what you can get for the 3 used tires, you might be able to do this for right at $200 for 3 tires. Where are you buying?

In principle I agree with you dagosa, but I have taken into account that the OP purchased a 15 year old car.
I am assuming that when someone buys a car of that nature, their budget is very tight.
Ideally, the tread patterns should be identical, but in this case, some compromise may be necessary.

i was quoted 198.22 at firestone for one 175, one 185 and an alignment. i was quoted 232.00 at tire discounters for 3 tires, same size, no alignment.

OK, well then it comes down to what a used tire shop might pay you for the 3 tires you replace. I take it 2 of them are pretty worn out?

yes, the two that the previous owner did not replace are badly worn out. i just bought the car this past weekend and am actually kind of nervous about driving it with the two essentially bald wheels. that’s why i want to replace them by tomorrow if possible, but really, i’m glad to hear that it won’t be too big a deal as long as i have the same size on the front and the same for the back. but i appreciate everyone’s advice and help! i have to leave for work now, so i won’t be able to continue the discussion. but thanks!

Go to The correct size for your car is 175/65/14. The least expensive tire they have is $33.70 each. You could buy 4 new tires for the budget you have.

thanks so much! i’ll definitely check that site out!

Just double check the size, I came up with 185, not 175.