Tire Tread Mismatch, Same Size/Brand

I have a Nissan Maxima with 4 relatively new tires with maybe 5000 miles on them. One of them got damaged at a pothole so I went to my local tire store and he replaced it with a new tire of the same brand and size but with a different tread pattern. The model name is also the same, but I think it may be a newer iteration of that model, thus the different tread pattern. Load/Speed ratings are similar to the other 3 tires.

The local tire guy said it should be fine given that my other 3 tires are the same brand and size and don’t have too much wear on them but I’m still uncertain so I wanted to ask for opinions here. Thoughts?

The good news is that, because your car does not have AWD, there should be no mechanical consequences of the mismatched tread designs.

The bad news is that, in extreme handling situations, your handling may be less…predictable…than it would be with 4 perfectly-matched tread patterns.

My suggestion is to exercise caution when taking curves on a rainy day until you learn whether handling has been negatively affected. If your handling seems to be as good as it always was, then you probably have nothing to worry about.

Thanks for the prompt reply. Given the handling unpredictability, I’m not too keen on having 2 different types of treads.

One option is to replace the other 3 tires to match the 1 new tire which is obviously more expensive but would solve the issue.

Other option is to take back the car and see if they can find the old model that matches the tread of the other 3 tires. In that case, one tire will be 5000 miles newer than the other 3… Will that be problematic?

There are some tires that are the same brand and model name that have a different speed rating and a different tread design. Find the speed rating on the new tire and compare it to the 3 others.

If the speed rating is the same, I’d just accept the new tire.

If the speed rating is different I’d take it back to the shop and ask for another tire with the same speed rating (and same brand and model, etc.). A different speed rating means the tire cords and casing are different. Now you have a different tread pattern and a different internal structure for that tire. That means it really isn’t the same tire as the other 3.

I vote for taking the car back and see if they can match the other 3. that odd tire is different for a reason - and although we don’t have much information to go on, I can assure everyone that different is very likely different enough.

A little more info: new model is 98V and old model is 94V. Since posting here, I got an email response back from the manufacturer who said that as long as I’m not using an AWD vehicle (I’m not), then it will be fine to have one tire of the newer model with three tires of the older model. The manufacturer’s incentive would be to just get someone to buy more tires so I’m assuming that if they endorse mixing these two models, it should be ok. Happy to hear any other thoughts on the discussion (both pros and cons) but right now I’m leaning towards keeping it as is. Thanks to everyone who’s contributed so far.

I agree with @VDCdriver here because different treads relate to different handling and tire grip. I would not be comfortable with different tread patterns on my vehicle. It’s not worth the risk in my opinion. I would run this past my insurance carrier because they look for things like this after an accident.

Since you got in writing a confirmation from the manufacturer, and since they’re the same size/make/model and speed rating, I would use it. But that’s me.

Can you write down all the information that’s molded into the sidewalls of both an old tire and the new tire and post the information here?

Agree with @Texases. Cars with different tread patterns on different wheels will have different handling characteristics. The question is always how much as even tires with different wear will have different handling characteristics. Personally, I would be more concerned about matching tread depth as long as the tire models are similar…

if you expect to use extreme evasive maneuvers, don’t worry about it

many vehicles have abnormal wear to one tire over another, but they don’t go out and replace all 4.

sometimes you can be too safe. this imbalance could actually help you in an emergency situation.

roll the dice!

For those that are curious, here are the details regarding both of the tire models.

The older three tires are Hankook Ventus V2 Concept and the new one tire is Hankook Ventus V2 Concept2. Spec sheet for my particular tire size (225/50/17):

94V Rim 7.0 Max Load 51psi overall diameter 25.9 section width 9.1 tread width 7.0 tread depth 10.0 revs/mile 802

98V Rim 7.0 Max Load 50psi overall diameter 25.9 section width 9.0 tread width 7.0 tread depth 9.4 revs/mile 779

So from my layman interpretation, the numbers seem close, even if not exactly equal. Having the manufacturer’s “blessing” in writing does make me feel a bit better about it.

I mostly just use the car for errands once or twice, maybe a weekend trip an hour or two away occasionally so I’m not expecting a ton of performance out of the car (it’s a 2003), I just don’t want it to be dangerous.

“sometimes you can be too safe. this imbalance could actually help you in an emergency situation.”

Excellent suggestion!
I am going to deflate one or two of my tires so that the unpredictable imbalance in steering response will “help me in an emergency situation”,


Thank you for the information. Having the model number details enabled me to do a bit of research, and while Hankook appears to have made a tread pattern change the critical parameters of type of tire, wear rating, tread compound, load rating, carcass construction, etc. all seem to be the same. IMHO these tires should be entirely compatible. I would use them without concern.

The only suggestion I would make is to put the new tire on the rear if it isn’t already. That would make the front wheels the same diameter. Any difference in the front wheel diameters has to be compensated for by the gears in the differential, and having wheels of different diameters adds unnecessary wear.

Back in the old bias-ply days, I would often have a different make of tire on each wheel. In those days, we didn’t give this a moment’s thought. It was quite common to buy tires in pairs and have one brand of tire on the front wheels and a different brand on the rear wheels.
I did have to replace a tire on a Chevrolet Uplander that I owned. The Uplander was equipped with Goodyear tires. I picked up a nail too close to the sidewall to have it repaired and had to get to a meeting 25 miles away. A “Big O” store installed its house brand tire on the right rear wheel. I never noticed a problem. Later, I replaced the front tires with Sumitomo brand and had no problems with handling with this tire mix. I prefer to have all the tires of the same brand and tread type, but mixing the brands didn’t seem to cause me difficulty.

Mountainbike: Thanks for taking the time to look into it. I very much appreciate it.

I know it’s not ideal to have this mismatch, but since I don’t use the car a ton and don’t plan on keeping it around for more than a couple more years at most, I couldn’t justify replacing more than what’s necessary unless it was creating a dangerous situation.

I’m happy to read any more comments on either side of the issue and I’m sure future readers who find this thread years from now would also benefit from your opinions. Thanks again to everyone who commented!

Shelf-space and shelf-life of tires are in short supply…Over the years, MILLIONS of different tread molds have been made, used and discarded after very short periods of time…if you buy a set of tires and you go back to the tire store six months later to replace one, you will be be very lucky to find an exact match.

Unless you plan on using your car in a car magazine skid-pad test used to measure the ultimate G-force side loading the vehicle can produce, I would not give the “mis-matched” tire a second thought…Mount it on the rear and forget about it…

Not that I know much about it but how can a 98V and a 94V be the same? To me it would be a different tire. And you can’t just mount it on the rear because come time to rotate, it will be on the front. Now you have two different treads on the front with two different speed ratings. I dunno but I’d be inclined to at least put two of the same on instead. Nothing against Hankook but other manufacturers may keep their lines longer.

“Now you have two different treads on the front with two different speed ratings.”

Those two tires have the same speed ratings, but they have different load-bearing ratings.
The new tire has a higher load-bearing rating than the old ones.

98V maximum weight supported 1653 pounds
94V max weight supported… 1477 pounds

“V” rated to 149 MPH.

One tire is rated to carry 175 pounds more weight than the other…Since these weight limits will never be approached, this is not really an issue…