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Tire Replacement Strategy?

The original front tires on my 2007 Yaris have worn thin and the original rear tires look great and have plenty of tread on them. I don’t rotate them.

After researching the subject, I know many people would replace all four tires because of the age of them. There is no cracking or any indication of degradation on the rear tires that I can see. The car has only 18,000 miles on it and is well maintained.

What would you do?

  1. Replace 2 tires only and put them on front
  2. Replace 2 tires only and put them on back
  3. Be safe and replace all four tires

This is so easy a caveman could answer it. 4 tires ( and start rotating them 0

  1. Buy 2 new and put them on the rear.

Btw, rotating tires would have balanced the wear and you could have gotten closer to 40,000 for all 4.

Replace all four.

They’re seven years old, worn, and unsafe.

My tires are just as old/worn, and I’m shopping for replacements.


How can tires with only 18,000 miles on them be worn out?

Depending where you are you may be able to stretch your tire life to 10 years. I feel comfortable with that in the cool maritime Pacific Northwest.

But frankly as cheap as tires for a Yaris are I’d buy 4 and rotate them regularly.

Even though you might get 10 years out of the rear ones, if you only buy two tires, you will always have the same issue of having to match two tires with the other two. Buy four now and rotate and you’ll eliminate having two worn and two ok tires.

How can tires with only 18,000 miles on them be worn out?

See answer from BustedKnuckles. Sounds logical to me that I would have gotten a lot more miles if I had rotated them.

Even with out any rotations I’d be surprised to see tires worn out at 18,000. What brand/model are they?

I think you ned to address the issue of the tire wear on the front, then replace all four.

I dunno, guys, OEM Yaris tires are little skinny tires (175/65-14 or 185/60-15), and considering that the advertised life of tires is based upon having them rotated, 18,000 miles might not be as premature as it sounds. They have to spin their poor little hearts out on the highway. And I doubt if the OEM tires used on the Yaris are high-mileage to begin with anyway.

Having said that, I would absolutely check for any anomalies in the wear pattern and probably get an alignment just for general principles anyway, but I wouldn’t necessarily consider that something is wrong.

Besides, if the OP is like me, he/she considers tires worn out when the wear bars become obvious, perhaps with somewhere about 4/32 left, rather than trying to squeak that last bit of rubber out and risk hydroplaning.

Areas like the East and Southeast use crushed granite in their blacktop. Those roads wear tires down much faster than, say, the Midwest where gravel (from glacial till) is plentiful.

Easy. Take your back tires and put them in the front and the new tires go on the back of the car. I do that too, because I always wind up needing just 2 tires. I not buying 4 tires if I only need 2. Tire prices have gotten very expensive the last few years.

You’ve sure got that right! I just bought a new set and it cost well over 5 bills, even after the “buy three get one free” discount. Of course mounting, balancing, and the new valve aren’t included in the “free” part. They never are. I had to bite down HARD when I paid that bill.

How can tires be worn out at 18,000 miles? My 2010 Kia Forte SX M/T came equipped with 215/45/17 Goodyear Eagles. I have had them in a different size on my previous car and they were fine. I had my Forte serviced every 5,000 miles including tire rotation. At 18,000 miles they were bad. At 19,000 miles they were toast and I had them replaced with Toyos. I think they were still under warranty but I know how pro-rated goes. I would be lucky to get $10 per tire for replacement and I did not want replacement as I am quite easy on my car. I have over 10,000 miles on the Toyos and they are like new. How can we compete with foreign manufacturers if we manufacture total crap. I did a search. Goodyear tires are manufactured in 57 plants in 23 countries! Goodyear Eagles come with America’s sports car. The Corvette. Do we have no pride???

“This is so easy a caveman could answer it. 4 tires”

It’s a no-brainer, all right: just get the pair of tires.

C’mon…these tires are less than a decade old! There’s no way in Hades I’d scrap a pair of good-looking tires with under a decade of wear. (Granted, I might not BUY a used tire that old…but that’s a different kettle of fish.)

What I’d do: buy a new pair, as similar in style as possible to the remaining pair. Put them on the rear axle. Then, when the older pair does go bald, put a pair of new tires on the FRONT axle (yes, I know I’ll get feedback) and you can probably get all 4 to wear out simultaneously.

Important question for OP: Do you garage your car, or does it sit out in the elements? If you garage it, then this has to be about the easiest decision ever: 2 tires!

Mean Joe, thats what I would do-Kevin

As long as the tires are within 2/32 inch of tread wear with the new ones and the tread matches, replacing just two would be fine. I can’t imagine that the rears left alone and not rotated wouldn’t be close to that. The front tires wear differently and putting the new ones on the front would be OK if the wear was that close. That is the only alternative you have. Though I generally agree with putting the best on the rear, when the wear is close, you do have that option. Read tire rack.

What nobody has mentioned is the reality that–even if there is still adequate tread remaining on the two rear tires–7 years of exposure to ozone and sun has hardened the rubber compound in those tires, and as a result they have much less traction than they did when they were new.

I would replace all 4 tires and then begin to do rotations on the schedule recommended by Toyota. However, if the OP is bound & determined to take the cheap route (even though it is the less-safe route), then those old tires need to be mounted on the front and the new tires should be mounted on the rear.

However, if the OP decides to retain the 2 old tires, that means that he can not do rotations. Tire rotations should only begin when he finally comes to his senses and buys a full set of 4 matching tires.

Btw, not rotating tires, low tire pressure and less then great driving habits can easily do an OEM tire in less the 18k miles, anywhere, especially little cookie cutters.

Joe Guy:
The opinions on this will be all over the map. You can’t say any one is right or wrong.

Tire age should be considered. Our well respected industry tire expert gives his take on tire age here:

Like many of the others, I have never rotated my tires, and that’s worked fine for me. When my fronts wear out, I install new tires on the rear and move the rears to the front.

I agree my tires would may last a bit longer if I routinely rotated them, but it’s never been a problem that warranted me spending my time or money on.