Tire tread mixing

Many folks perpetuate the myth that the front and rear tires need to be of the same tread design or pattern. I disagree. I can’t see why it would make one bit of difference. What do you guys say?

Sorry, no myth. Are there particular pairings of different-tread tires that might work? Sure, but it’s far from a sure thing. The problem is, different tread patterns often go with different tire construction and design parameters, something you definitely want to avoid.

One of the other dangers of mixing tread designs is that because every tread design will handle certain conditions differently, it makes is really difficult to get the right tires where they should go. In other words, you want your tires to be as close as possible in tractive abilities or failing that you want the grippier tires on the back, but with different tread designs its not always clear which tires are the grippier ones, or one may be better in one situation and the other in other situations. This can lead to unpredictable handling in slippery conditions.

But for most driving in non-snow country it’s not something I’d lose sleep about.

In normal everyday driving not an iota of difference. When it acutally matters in an more extreme case (accident avoidance or swerve) or other slippery conditions(winter especially) your vehicle will be unbalanced and want to spin out.

I am glad you have never seen the problem. Generally the only people who have experienced the difference are those who have had accidents or avoided one.

In normal daily driving there is little reason to worry. It is only under the extreme conditions that those differences show up. Since it is not easy to predict how a mismatch might react under those conditions, it is far better to stick with the good advice to match tyre types and keep the best pair on the back.

If you play Russian roulette, most of the time nothing happens, but when something does …

If someone consistently drives “like Grandma”, if that person never has to drive in the rain or snow, and if that person never has to engage in an emergency evasive maneuver, then unmatched tire treads would not be a problem. However, since it is impossible to predict whether one will be forced to make an emergency evasive maneuver and since inclement weather can occur without a lot of warning, I think that it is unwise to drive with unmatched tire treads.

Different tread patterns and tire constructions handle differently. This can become obvious to the point of disaster in heavy rains, snowy/icy roads, and even on dry roads should a sudden evasive maneuver become necessary.

The weakest link in the entire control of your vehicle is those four rubber patches the size of your palms. They’re the only thing keeping your car from sliding sround the pavement. They’re the weakest link to stopping your car quickly when needed. Do you really want to compromise that? Are you really willing to risk your life for the sake of a few hundred bucks? I’m not.

They may have personal experience that indicates that is the case. My dad once replaced two tires on his Suburban (3/4 ton). He was towing a largish RV well away from home, and had puncture that wrecked one tire and he decided to replace both on one end of the truck. He had vibration that made the package undriveble. The tire shop determined that there was nothing wrong with the new tires. They switched to another brand (still mismatched) and he had no problem.

I agree with the replies about the mixing being OK until an emergency situation occurs - where they might make a difference.

Back in my teenage years when I worked in a gas station pumping gas and had no money, whenever customers would buy new tires at our gas station, if their old tires had any tread on them, I’d put them on my Corvair. I was continually updating my tires with these ‘discarded tires’ and drove for several years with different size tires on my car. I never had a problem, though I wouldn’t do it now.

My mom has an 05 Cobalt that had 3 different brands of tires on it. She said she could spin the tires with just a slight amount of water on the road. She didn’t feel very comfortable driving in the rain or snow, and I rode with her when we had a really heavy downpour and I could tell just by riding in the car with her, it wasn’t very good at all.
So, for her birthday(this past wed.), I decided to get her some matching tires(Goodyear Tripletread), and she said just driving home on dry pavement she could tell the car was more stable than it had been.