Single tire changed on outback

Had 4 tires done at a shop that provided a road hazard warranty. Then had one tire go out from a nail. They checked the treads and replaced the single tire with a matching tread depth of a different brand. They said their policy stated that on an AWD vehicle if the treads match then they are only to replace a single tire.

After doing some research, I am concerned. How long would it take for the differentials to be affected if the true circumference of the tire does not match the others?

Is my only option now to buy 4 new tires? (The shop says they would charge me for the other three tires, as they were not affected by the nail).

The car runs fine 2002 outback 165K miles and I want to keep it going at least 5 years if I can. I have put about 2500 bucks this year into the vehicle already. Should I buy new tires, or let it keep running? It has been about 6 months that I have had one “different” tire on the vehicle (7K miles).

It’s amazing how critical tire stores are concerning the exact matching of tires, i.e., size, brand, speed rating, etc when you bring your car to them to buy tires. Yet when they are the ones paying the bill specifications are “nominal.”

I am tempted to drive all 4 tires over a bed of nails. Just saying.

Rod…great observation. The problem I have is not matching tread designs from the same make and model may make for a safety issue in slippery weather if the tire they added does not have similar traction performance. Otherwise, I don’t feel it’s a car problem now. Because some tires may wear at different rates, get a cheap tire gauge, rotate them regularly and do who you can to keep them wearing equally.

As we discussed in other threads, one can’t assume that tires that are different (different make or different model) but the same size are the same diameter.

I understand. That is why I am asking if it is worth it to change them out and how long would it take for damage to show up.

I agree with “Capri” and add, just because the tread depths are the same, you can’t assume the diameters are the same. Maybe checking the diameters after mounting them ?