Chev Traverse Tire Repair

I have a 2012 Chev Traverse AWD with 30,000 miles. Had a bad flat and went to a franchise tire dealer to repair the flat. They reported that the flat was not repairable (two big a hole). They then required me to purchase 4 new tires because “your not allowed to replace just one or two tires on an AWD vehicle”. Can anyone tell me why this is so?

They also told me that the new tires had a full road hazard warranty which meant that if this should happen again the tires would be replaced for free. My wife asked me a good question that I had not thought of… Does that mean that if I have one bad tire that they will replace all 4 for free?

Check the vehicle owners manual for tire replacement recommendations. If it does recommend that all four tires need to be of the same circumference, tire shops can shave down a new tire so it matches the circumference of the other tires.

All tire warranty’s are pro-rated. This means that if a road hazard damages a tire, the tread of the tire is measured for wear. So if there’s 50% tread wear on the damaged tire, you pay half the price of a new tire to have it replaced. But then you’re back at the situation where you can’t put a new tire on the vehicle that has three worn tires.

Nothing’s free.


They aren’t going to replace four tires if one is bad-just the bad tire. Then you’ll have to buy the other three. That’s why I didn’t buy an AWD, to have to replace all the tires if one is bad.

how many miles were on the tires when 1 was damaged?

I have heard of tires being shaved down to match the wear, other people have gotten used tires of a similar tread depth, same make and model of course. Call them and ask them what their policy is, that is the only way to know for sure. Glad you are thinking of this in advance of any problems.

Two options with AWD: replace all 4 tires so that the diameter is the same or buy one tire and have it shaved to the same wear level as the other 3 tires. Since these are probably to original equipment tires, there is probably less than half the life remaining. I can’t see the tires from ere, but replacing all 4 seems reasonable.

The tires have to be nearly the same diameter or the drive system might be damaged. One revolution on a new tire 1.2" longer than on the same tire with just 3/16" wear. The wheels are propelled by axles that should rotate once to prevent excessive forces on the drive components.One new wheel can’t rotate once fully when all the others do. That results in excessive forces that will damage your SUV.

@Bing I purchased such a warranty from Firestone and asked the very question about AWD and four tires. They said yes and did end up replacing four tires when one was torn on manhole at about 60% life. The installation charges did bite though but sure made the $60 tire hazard feel well worth it and they adjusted the value so I paid a pro-rated value on tires. Not sure if I’d do that again however each tire on that car were $150/each.

“your not allowed to replace just one or two tires on an AWD vehicle”

Allowed? This is a free country and you’re “allowed” to do what you want with your car and tires.

But as others have said, on an AWD vehicle it is important to have all 4 tires within approx 3/32" tread depth of each other. Now driving for a short while on a spare or different tire won’t ruin anything, but driving on mismatched tires for thousands of miles can damage the chain/gears/coupling of your AWD system. Better to spend a few hundred on tires than a few thousand on transmission or transfer case repair a year from now.

There are also other options to 4 new tires as the others have pointed out above. But at 30,000 miles your original tires were likely half gone anyway. You did the right thing.

The tire dealers are milking this “you must buy 4 new tires” thing to the MAX…The four tires on the ground must be the same circumference. They don’t have to be four new tires…But four new tires is always the recommendation because it’s the most profitable solution…

There’s a dual edged sword here.

On the one side, there are AWD units that are pretty tolerant of differences in rolling diameter.

On the other side, there are AWD units that are pretty intolerant of differences in diameter - and if one of those fails, the cost to fix is pretty steep!

The problem is that most tire dealers don’t know which are which. To complicate matters, it isn’t always noted in the owners manuals. The only solution for tire dealers to take the safe route and insist than all 4 tires be replaced. That way, if the AWD unit fails, it wasn’t their fault. The fact that there is extra profit for the tire dealer is just a positive incentive.