Need Advice About Replacing A Single Tire On '99 Lexus ES300?



I bought a '99 Lexus ES 300 earlier today.

I got a mechanic to do a buyer’s check on the car before I bought it.

One of the suggestions was about a single tire being more worn than the other three and needing replacement.

The three main tires are Yokohama P205/65R15.

As it turns out, one of my friends has an unused Yokohama P215/60R15 from his '98 Lexus ES300.

So, my question to the knowledgable folks here is:

Can I put a P215/60R15 as a 4th tire when the 3 existing tires are P205/65R15?

Thanks a lot for your time and your help.


That would be a bad idea.


If you Google Tire Size Calculator, go to the Miata site and then key in your old and new tire sizes, you will see that the original tires, if unworn, turn at a rate of 791 revs per mile. The new tire revs at 802 per mile, only 11 more. I would use the tire on my car. That small difference or even a little more considering that your old tires are worn a little and the 4th tire is new, will not harm your differential gear. Your can can see that difference and more on a curving road.


You obviously don’t want one odd size tire, at a minimum buy one new tire to match the other three. Personally, I would buy two new tires of the same size and put them on the same axle, but you should be able to get away with one.


I wouldn’t do it. Granted the size difference is small but it will still be as if half of your car is always going around a slight curve, placing additional stress on the drive line amd steering. You will always be compensating slightly to keep the veh straight and as a result cause uneven tire wear. It is not worth it. Buy a tire the right size.


One tyre different means under an emergency the handling will be uneven and my well put the car into an uncontrollable skid. It does not take much.

I would want to know why that one tyre was worn more an I would want that fixed.


Go ahead and use your friend’s tire. Is your Lexus front wheel drive? Then put the new tire on the rear so it is not involved in the drivetrain. It will serve you well. You will not be able to detect any difference in handling compared to what you’d have using a matched size. Good luck with your new car.


Terrible idea to replace a different size/model tire on any car. Match the axle at the very least. If you drive in slippery conditions this difference will make itself well known and at the worst times.


My basic advice is not to do that. But if you do, put it on the rear and don’t push the car to the limits of its handling. Be more cautious in bad weather as well.


Let’s see. You have just spent 10 to 12K on a decent performance vehicle. You are wondering if you can save $105 by taking your buddy’s tire (he’ll give it to you free??) instead of buying the correct size. It makes no sense. Tell me where you live so I can beware of Lexi when I next drive through. Spend the money. Better yet, find out why one tire out of 4 is bad; get that fixed, and then buy two tires so they are even.


You who show concern with a very slightly different tire size: How can you deal with a compact spare when you have a flat? Not to worry, I say.


Another silly idea, I’ve never owned a car with a compact spare. However, there are specific speed and mileage limits on those silly little tires, they are not intended for long term use.

I would also hope that having mismatched tires would be cause to fail a safety inspection. What about emergency braking with mismatched tires? It’s just a bad idea, find someplace else to save $100.


The cars with compact spares I have seen instruct the driver to limit top speed to something like 50mph and total distance to less than something like 100 miles. It would appear that they recognize the problem.