Replacing one tire - Passanger Car

With limited $$ and possible need of replacing brakes in a few months…

I was wondering can I replace one

balding tire for now or do I Have To replace a Pair. The tire is in the rear.

I live in San Diego - car is 2007 Toyota Corolla LE I do drive to Los Angeles once a month… and when I do I tend to have a lead foot.

If they are both about equal in tread depth (or lack of it), then replace both. Usually they wear near equally, anyway. If you can’t afford new, see if you can find two good matching used tires and use them. Any new inexpensive tire will be superior to your balding tires.

You are asking for trouble if both rear tires are near balding with your trips to LA. Given these trips, strongly suggest keeping your tires in good shape and don’t go below the tread wear indicators (balding indicates you probably exceeded that some time ago).

You need to have two closely matched tyres on each axel (front and back). Next you need the two best tyres on the back.

Generally the best tyres should be installed on the rear of the car, even if this seems wrong. In icy conditions it is a must!

If you were strictly driving around town at speeds of less that 35 mph, you might be able to get away with replacing one tire. However, you are doing interstate driving, and by your own admission, you tend to drive fast. Therefore, you should buy a pair of tires and, as others have recommended, put them on the back.

your life depend on the condition of your tires…no reason to scrimp on tires or brakes. cost otherwise is too great. IMHO.

I agree with this.
The most expensive thing one can do is be cheap on tires and brakes.
Not saying go out and buy the most expensive tires available or going to the dealership for brake work, but you also don’t want cheapo Chinese parts/tires

If you drive with a lead foot replace in sets. They make inexpensive tires (no name/store brands) they work decently and are safe.

You can find a shop that sells used tires and see if they have one that is a close match (size and tread depth) to the good rear tire on the car now. If you can find a used tire it can save you some $$$ and should be ok for awhile.

Would a set of Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 tires qualify as cheapo Chinese tires, if they say on the sidewall “Made in China”?

This is the case with the Goodyear tires that my gf bought for her Crossfire, and they definitely were not cheap.

Not everything that comes out of China is crap, you know.
I love their food. :wink:


I see no reason that the rear tires on a front drive car need to match closely in diameter and tread design.

She stated she drives on freeways from San Diego to LA and likes to drive over the speed limit. Seems to me a tire of the same size would be safer in those conditions.

The problem with mismatched tires is equal traction on both rear wheels when braking. On wet pavement equal traction may be critical in an emergency stop.

Vehicles tend to pivot around odd tires under emergency conditions - and the more odd the tire is, the worse it is. The problem here is that as long as there is no severe manuevers, you’ll never know how bad it is. Once you have a situation and can assess how bad it is, it is too late!

If your choices are driving on a tire with cord showing or driving with one new tire among 3 old tires I vote for 1 new tire. All tires should be very similar in size and function rating.