CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Radial tire replacement

Why are you forced to buy four NEW radial tires when you have only one un-fixable flat?

Could you just replace the one flat or just buy two opposing tires?

Why four?

It’s because having a mismatched tire will damage the AWD system in your Subaru, and the damage is very expensive to repair.

The other option is to have the new tire shaved to match the other three.

You are not “forced” to do anything. You can replace the one tire if you can find one that nearly matches the other three. If you don’t then the AWD system can be seriously damaged. This could be so expensive it would not be worth repairing the vehicle. If the three good tires are nearing the end of their life then four new matching tires are needed. That’s probably what happened in your case.

If you can find a similar tire and it’s CIRCUMFERENCE is within 1/2" of the other 3 tires, that’s fine. Tire stores, of course, want to sell sets of 4 tires so they capitalize on the weakness of AWD systems. Some large tire dealers have tire truing machines that can “shave” the new tire to its circumference matches the ones on your car.

The dealers that sell AWD vehicles will of course jump on any excuse not to warranty AWD repairs and blaming mis-matched tires is one of their favorite reasons…So tire stores have gotten very defensive about replacing tires on AWD vehicles…

Motorists need to ask themselves: “Do I really need AWD??”

Thanks

Thanks

Thanks

One question not yet asked is how many miles are on the existing tires? Tires are a critical safety item, your only connection between you car moving 70 mph and the pavement. If the other tires are 2/3 worn down, I’d recommend replacing them all.

OK, Thanks

read this info from tirerack…http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=18

tires must match within 1/4" circumference.

Subaru has one of the best AWD systems, but this is part of the price you pay for that. Just order from Tire Rack and have the tire shaved.