Replacing just 1 tire, is that bad?

My mother’s front tire was damaged beyond repair. I’m wondering if replacing just one tire would be a bad idea. She doesn’t drive a lot, probably put up no more than 20K miles in the last 10 years and never drives in adverse condition like rain or snow. All tires are in pretty good condition.

We need to know the year, make and model car. And please tell us how many miles are on the tires that are on the car now.


If it’s a front wheel drive, then this could be a bad idea, depending on how much tread is left on the other front tire. If there is little wear on the other front tire, then you should be OK, but “pretty good condition” implies some wear.

But (if FWD) you could put the rear two on the front, and the remaining and a new one on the rear, as long as the new one is the same make and model as the others.

Nissan Maxima, I believe it’s 2004, under 30K miles.

It’s ok, as long as the new one goes on the rear. If any of the remaining 3 is nearly worn out I’d replace it, too, so there are two pairs of matching tires.

Well this afternoon I will be paying $1600 to have four new tires put on. I had a piece of metal in one close to the sidewall and don’t trust it. Depending on the car and the tread left, at least replace the pair for decent handling. If its all wheel drive, replace all four. If the tires still have good tread but are getting old, replace all four. The only time I would put one on would be if it were near new tires like I did at 1500 miles, or a used one just to get by for a few days.

^Wow. You have tires that cost $400 per? If I experienced the exact same problem…I’d be spending $2.50 on a plug. I couldn’t afford to live in a manner where a nail totals my vehicle! (Blue book of my truck <$1600.)

Hauling scrap, I shudder to think how many times I would have had to “replace all four” per your protocol…would probably turn scrapping into a money-losing proposition. If my procedure ever kills or maims me…then your strategy is right…but (as I’ve never had a blowout on a vehicle I’ve owned–and adeptly handled the one I suffered in somebody else’s), I’ll enjoy spending the $10K that my strategy has saved me, relative to yours.

It might be a good idea to replace all the tires. The tires on the car are 12 years old and may have deteriorated from age even though the tread is good. I know high speed driving isn’t involved, but even a blow out in town driving is not pleasant for any motorist, particularly an older driver.

Good point @Triedaq - @jayre - the tires are more than 10 years old, right? They all need to be replaced.

“Wow. You have tires that cost $400 per?” Yep, pretty much. They’re Michelin, same as original. They are down to almost in the yellow anyway and cannot trust a patch right on the edge when you are running out of state and far from home. Even TireRack was almost $300 without shipping and install, and they weren’t around Wednesday when I needed a quick patch.

Didn’t realize they were 12 years old so definitely just replace all four.

What size and what Michelin tire that costs $400/tire. Even the Michelin LTX truck tire for my Highlander is half that price ($199).

Actually it was a little cheaper at $1360 when all was said and done with mounting, balance, tax, etc. The originals were the Mich Pilot that are $274 at TR before shipping, mounting, etc. But I got the Michelin Primacy P245/50R17 MXM4 for a little less than the Pilot, and they actually got better ratings than the Pilot. So $303 a tire plus $12 balancing plus $3 disposal plus $89 tax. Yeah TR would be $40 a tire cheaper but I buy tires local. I don’t know about $199 tires. I think the Generals I got for the Pontiac were $150 out the door. That’s life.

Mike in NH asked: "What size and what Michelin tire that costs $400/tire. Even the Michelin LTX truck tire for my Highlander is half that price ($199). "

Pretty much every tire manufacturer has specialty tires that can be quite expensive. For example, Tire Rack lists a P325/30R19 Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 ZP at $576. Shipping is extra.

I agree that manufacturers do sell tires that are extremely expensive…but most car and truck tires are no where near $400/tire. And those low profile tires can be very expensive…I’ve just never come across needing a tire that expensive.

I agree that manufacturers do sell tires that are extremely expensive…but most car and truck tires are no where near $400/tire.

Last Tuesday a regular customer came in for an oil change on his 2013 Taurus before heading out of town. I told him he needed tires for his trip. I couldn’t get anything for him that day from my local tire shop. Firestone, Les Schwab, Discount Tire, and Costco didn’t anything in stock that day either. He ended up at the Ford Dealer, $1200 for Hankook or $1300 for Michelin. He chose the Michelin.

For a Taurus.

I don’t know about specialty tires but the Michelin Pilot was original equipment on the Acura. I wanted what was OEM. No research required. I had planned to trade rather than put tires on but this is not a good market right now for buyers. Having one tire with a questionable patch made the decision a no brainer. Maybe someday I’ll wish I had the money back, who knows?