Replacing tires on 4 WD

I have a 2006 Honda CRV with 4WD. Need to replace one tire. Only 26,000 miles on tires. Manual says to replace all tires, unless I don’t need , then replace 2. Can I safely do that and can I use the spare, that’s never been used as one of the 2?

Your spare is old enough now so it’s probably an orphan, impossible to match, so leave it as a spare. See if you can buy ONE tire that matches the set you have and have it “shaved” so it’s circumference matches the other three. This is easier said than done because only a few large tire dealers have the tread cutting machines…But if you work at it, you should be able to get it done.

My tire dealer said he thought it would be ok if he can get the same tire. Do you mean since it’s 4 years old, it will be too different, even with the same exact tire.

If you find a match for the spare and put the spare on the road, what will you use as a spare?

I suggest leaving the spare where it is and buying two new tires. The new tires should be mounted on the REAR axle.

“Manual says to replace all tires, unless I don’t need , then replace 2.”

Huh? Does the manual say that you need to replace all 4 or not?

Since the CRV uses an AWD system that almost always runs in 2WD mode, it is possible that you can safely replace just two tires, but I strongly suggest that you have this matter clarified. If you speak to a service writer at the dealership, it is likely that they will know very little about cars in general, and also very little about the AWD system of this car in particular. Ergo–you are just as likely to get a wrong answer from them as you are to get a correct answer.

I would suggest calling Honda Corporate (toll-free phone number is in your Owner’s Manual) to ask this question. They have technical experts who do know the correct answer. If you get the wrong answer from the dealership (or even from someone in this forum), you will be the one who is stuck with the big repair bill for the AWD system. Get an authoritative opinion from Honda on the corporate level.

If it turns out that you do need 4 matched tires, then you can save a lot of money by doing as Caddyman suggests, by just buying one tire that is shaved to match the circumference of the other three tires.

I was going to take one of the other tires off for the spare. So then I’d have the original spare that has never been used, a brand new tire, that is the same as all the other ones and the other 2 original tires.