Tire Replacement for All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

I own a 2013 Toyota Rav4 and the indicator light for the tire pressure went on due to a nail embedded in the outside edge of the driver’s side tire. I took the car to a local tire center and the service rep mentioned that all 4 tires need to be replaced since the car is all-wheel drive. He also mentioned that since this is a “special” type of tire, all 4 need to be replaced. Is this really true? Thanks for your insight!

How many miles on the tires? Are the tires run-flats?

Ed B.

‘‘special’’ ? tire ?
WHAT tire exactly ?
How many miles on the tires now ?

All four tires need to be the same diameter. Wear changes this with time so a new , same, tire will be taller if the others are sufficiently worn.

I replaced a single tire on my 06 Escape hybrid awd. BUT these perameters were proven before deciding to do that. still have three Michelins and one General and no awd issues in two and a half years since.

Exactly what tires do you have now? What is the tread depth on them? Does your owner’s manual specifically say that the tire circumferences need to match within a certain tolerance?

If Tire Rack carries your current tire now, they can shave them to match the others if that turns out to be necessary.

You need to measure the tread depth of your existing tires and the tread depth of the new tire. If they are within a 1/16", you can replace just the one.

Chances are that the front tires have a little more wear than the rear tires, so measure the rear tires as well. Put the new tire and the remaining tire with the deepest tread on the front, the more worn tires on the rear. This will allow the new tire to “catch up” with the others.

If the front tires are worn more than 1/16" but the rears are not, then just get two new tires for the front.

If all the tires are worn more than 1/16", then you either need to buy all four or buy one and have it shaved down. If you replace all four, you can change tire type or brand, just use the same size.