I have a 2003 Dodge Durango R/T. I only drive it maybe two or three times a month so the tires didn’t have the best inflation and last night the front right tire slipped off the rim. I had a tow truck come and he replaced it with the spare. The problem is that my other tires are severely worn out (nearly bald) and this new one is full tread.
I don’t drive my car very often, but I will need to drive it about 300-600 miles next month to move homes. I am also severely low on cash until after the move as well. They are rare tires 275/60/17 and will be very expensive to replace.
My question is if I can simply not drive my car except to move a month and a half from now without damaging my car. It is AWD/4WD and I heard I could severely damage my car that way.
So can I get by? Or is it really necessary to get new tires before the move.
The general rule is that AWD and 4X4’s need to have the same tires all around (Same = same size, same make, same model, same state of wear) or there is a risk of damaging the drivetrain (center coupling or transfer case).
But there is a certain amount of allowable tolerance and your owners manual should tell you what that is. However, do not assume that if nothing is listed than you can do anything you want. Some owners manuals do not seem not to address this issue.
Personally, I’d get 4 tires now and save the spare for a spare. It is 7 years old now, and old tires tend to come apart.
Maybe it’s time to kiss the 17" wheels good-by, use the money to buy a set of OEM steel wheels from a salvage yard and if you are lucky, scare up a set of used tires from somebody with more money than you who is “up-grading” his ride…Craigslist is FULL of tires and wheels…
If your tires are below the legal limit, which sounds pretty likely here, you shouldn’t even be on the road in the first place.
It’s really necessary to get 4 new tires. Forget the damage you might cause the truck, which may not if it can be left in 2wd. If it can’t, don’t chance it for your and the trucks safety.
TR lists 17 as the smallest rim/tire available for the Durango, so if they made a steel wheel for it, it’d be in 17" size. Also, the tires look to cost about the same as most other tires, so budget about 6~700 for tires, mounting and balancing. Cheapest tire listed is about $120 each, so probably $500 with mount/balance if you can get the shop to get that particular tire(they might even price match/beat TireRack’s price if you take a print out with the sale price in with you.