Has anyone heard of a tire retailer not selling you a single tire because of the policy of Infiniti

had a tire blowout went to a Discount tire shop for only 1 tire gave all the appropiate information to the retailer in regards to the one tire I need, he confirmed that he didn’t have it but informed me that the car only requires a 95V tire and I would be fine to have that on the car no problem. Upon my arrival he inspected my other times and said I was low tire tread.

He then went inside talked to his manager and then I was told that infiniti’s policy is not replace only one tire that isn’t the same and he wouldn’t not be able to replace that tire unless I purchased all 4. I then told him that is not been a policy of infiniti it may be a recommendation but I’ve never heard of such and have replaced one tire in the past. He then changed his story to say it’s a situation that they can’t do because it could mess of my transmission and they would be liable, but in saying all of that how come you don’t have a liability form for customers to sign. Has anyone every heard of such for a g35x awd 2007

Read your owner’s manual. On any AWD car, replacing only one tire can/probably will destroy your differential. It’s incredibly important for all tires to be of the same diameter. If you buy an AWD vehicle then you are committing yourself - knowingly or not - to always buying 4 tires at a time.

I would also note that having mismatched tires can also mess with the anti-lock brakes and traction control systems as they depend on constant monitoring of the wheel speeds.

Agree with cigroller, you must read the owners manual and do exactly what it says regarding tires or risk damaging your AWD.

Also read this article from tirerack.com for the technical background:


If you want to buy only one tire you can order it from tirerack and have them “shave” the tire to match the diameter of the other three. That’s what I would do in your situation.

Great article jesmed.

Yep, if the other 3 are worn you could damage some VERY expensive equipment by putting one new tire on it. The store was right.

This is just one more case of a car owner who has apparently never bothered to read the Owner’s Manual.

Instead of doubting the advice about changing all 4 badly-worn tires at once, he should go back and thank the guy at the tire store who was attempting to prevent damage to the car’s AWD system, and–possibly–to the transmission.

(Yes, I know that the tire shop’s prime motivation is to make more money by selling more tires, but in addition to helping to keep the OP’s car operating properly, the tire store is also avoiding a returning customer who mistakenly believes that they somehow damaged his car.)

Make mine another vote of support for the store.
They did you a big favor by refusing to sell you the one tire.

Unfortunately, the good old days are gone when I might have a different make of tire on each wheel. The last time I replaced just one tire was on a Chevrolet Uplander (front wheel drive). I noticed a tire was low the morning I had an important conference about 40 miles away from home that I had to attend. I stopped at the closest tire store. Unfortunately, the nail was too close to the sidewall. The tire was on the right rear, so I had the store put on a new tire–I had 3 Goodyear tires and one “Big O” tire. I reasoned that the rear wheels weren’t powered, so it would work. It seems to me that I once replaced just one tire on my Ford Aerostar (rear wheel drive).I had no problems, but after I sold the Uplander to my son, he put on 4 new Michelin tires. I have been very fussy about replacing all 4 tires at once on our 4 wheel drive Toyota 4Runner as specified in the manual. Back in the good old days of rear wheel drive, we also would put snow tires on the rear wheels in the winter. Now we put winter tires on all wheels. I think I would be appalled if I had to drive one of my old vehicles with mismatched tires and compared it to my present vehicles–I’m sure the handling of the old vehicles would scare me.

Thank everyone for their responses and let me say that everyone answered in regards to needing all 4 tires replaced based on the everything but the posed question of refusing to sell you a tire because of Infiniti’s policy. Now for VDC Driver, I did in fact purchased the 4 tires and I didn’t need a smart you know what response, this site is designed to be insightful and helpful to folks not for a know it all. I did read the manual and it clearly states recommend, but for the other folks thank you for your helpful responses.

I didn’t realize we were in law school, deciding whether the witness said the exact correct thing. If the manual said ‘recommended’, then the store was correct.

I also support @VDCdriver and his comment. @base41 …I think you owe the tire store a great big “thank you” since they probably saved you a lot of money.

It’s too bad many people don’t realize that a tire can be shaved to match the diameters of three other tires.

@base41, people at car places will say all sorts of things. There’s a really good chance that the employee of the place who looked at the car doesn’t even understand what the scoop is with AWD. So, were they right to bring it down to “Infiniti policy?” Well, no. Someone should have explained the thing about AWDs and such. So you were given the correct information, ,but in the wrong way.

I would note, however, that I have also seen posts here where people did have it all explained to them correctly at a shop and then they post here asking whether or not they’re being fed some kind of line. So sometimes even being told the right stuff doesn’t work on people.

Do note that there is nothing that stops you from buying a single tire (from any number of places online or brick and mortar), and then taking your wheel someplace and having it mounted and balanced. Bad idea though as I’m guessing you understand. The damage wouldn’t be “maybe” it would be probable on the closer to certainty end.

Frankly I agree with @base41 in that they should have let him trash his diff, if he was bound and determined to do so. After all, it is his car, and he’s the owner/captain/chief maintenance officer…the nice thing about “learning the hard way” is that you generally only have to be taught the lesson once!

I trade with an independent tire store that has been in business for at least 35 years. They keep up with the auto industry and know what the manufacturers recommend. The last time I bought tires, the store recommended that unless I was going out of town to wait three weeks and the tire I wanted (Michelin) was offering a rebate. The shop also does alignment work and has a good reputation in this area.
My own independent shop is now handling tires, but without an alignment rack and specialist, I prefer to deal with the tire shop.

I too support VDC. There was absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with his response.
He is smart.
He may be a “you know what”… I know I myself am.
But the latter was not evident in his response to you. Only the former.


I agree that doesn’t seem to be offered much as a solution. Granted, it’s probably only financially sound if your other 3 tires have enough life left in them to make it a wise choice…

They don’t probably self distruct for the present owner and if the differences are within normal rotating tire differences of 1 or 2/32 inch and up to 4/32 inch, you will know little or no change in the life of the differential for the life of a vehicle. As the differences get greater, in all probability, the life expectancy will decrease. Back when people bought one new tire and put it on the rear of a car without changing the other, they did not all fail, as a matter of fact, few did. . Now, did they wear faster ? Yes.

But the degree of wear depends upon how different the diameters are. When you buy tires, you should keep them all about the same tire pressure, load, tread design which is just as important, and tread depth. Not because they will self distruct in the next three thousand miles. That might happen if you had a several inch difference in a tiny spare and drove it 80 mph. But, implying they probably will fail is
a stretch when buying only one tire. I just wouldn’t want to be the next owner, 100k later.

IMHO, the tire store is doing the correct thing. Not because the differential will probably fail for the present owner, but following good practices that maximize the life of any car according to the manual, is just good business. Not only that…but the real reason is IT’s SAFER when tire wear and tread design on one tire is closer for traction purposes. These are just part of the reasons why Why some of us are reluctant to recommend people buy Awd cars as used vehicles. It’s the second and third owners who may pay the price. And, the Tire Rack article says it best…

Please note that the “differential” in question is not the front or rear, but the center one that has to deal with the difference in speed between the front and rear axles. Most AWD systems don’t use a traditional differential but a viscous coupling of some sort. These units are VERY sensitive to the effects of tires being of different diameters.

Consumers need to ask themselves: “Do I really need an AWD vehicle?” And “How much is this feature going to cost me in the long run?”