I have a set of Falcone tires that have 20,000 miles of a 40,000 mile warranty. One front tire has been damaged and cannot be repaired. Can I replace only the front tires, not the whole set?

depends upon the car. AWD, FWD, etc.

Make sure to replace them in a pair and move the old ones to the front if a FWD car. If AWD you need to replace all four tires typically.

Assuming FWD, assuming a new full size spare, buy one new tire and put the new one and the spare in the back. The next best 2 on the front.

No full size spare, buy 2 new tires, put on back, as andrew says.

AWD, buy 4 new tires

If it is not AWD (where they all must be closely matched for diameter) then you should replace two and put those on the back.

Replacing one will cause a mismatch in traction that will only become aapparent in emergency handling conditions, which of course is the one time you don’t want to have it. Having better traction on the front means that under emergency handling conditions the back end of the car will tend to loose grip first causing the back end to swing around to the front, also not good (Think Ralph Nader an the Corvair).

It is not necessary to buy more than one tire. If there is plenty of life left in all of your remaining tires, then go ahead and simply replace the damaged tire.

But be aware that a 40,000-mile warranty by no means predicts that you will get that many miles from a tire. It is quite likely that in another 10K miles or so (or even less) you will be considering replacing the other three. Take that into account when you make your decision of how many tires to replace today.

you are contradicting the other posts. I have heard both sides before, which is correct?

… causing the back end to swing around to the front, also not good (Think Ralph Nader an the Corvair).

I had a 63 Corvair. While I loved the car, you are correct about its ability for the back end to swing around to the front.

If my rear tire treads were mostly worn down and the roads were wet, all I had to do was to make a hard-sudden turn and the back end would break loose. Being a teenager in high school at the time and wanting to impress my friends, I got very good at doing this on back roads at low speeds.

I learned to drive on a 1960 Corvair. It was a very nice car and I never had an problems with it, but I know a lot of others did. I had problems with RWD front engine cars. I really hated the Pinto.

The tire pressure was a critical issue on that car, as rear tires that were too soft would also lead to severe oversteer on the Corvair. Since every other American car at the time had a problem with severe understeer, Corvair owners who encountered oversteer did not usually know how to handle the situation.

Despite the fact that correct tire pressure, including a difference between the inflation pressure of the front tires and the rear tires, was so important on that car, GM did not post any information on that issue anywhere other than the Owner’s Manual. If they had put a prominent label in the trunk area and/or on the door frame and/or on the inside of the glove compartment door, more people would have been aware of the seriousness of correct tire pressure on that car.

As we all know, very few people seem to read the Owner’s Manual and the issue of tire pressure on the Corvair was a critical issue that GM needed to post in a place more prominent than in the Owner’s Manual. After the accidents started happening (the one that killed Ernie Kovacs being the most famous), some surveys of Chevy dealerships revealed that even the dealerships did not know how important the correct tire inflation was on those cars. The result was a lot of accidents that did not have to happen, and a number of deaths that could have been avoided, simply by posting the necessary inflation pressure information more prominently.

Bill, it is the same old story – the conflict between the practical, economical solution and the ideal but expensive solution.

It is always very easy for advice-givers to recommend the more expensive action. They will never be wrong… and, obviously, it is not their purse that has been lightened.

Sometimes an expensive solution is the only thing that will work; it would be extremely foolish to economize. There should be no options. Other times the economical solution is certainly good enough for all but the purists. Those who seek advice should be given both sides. Then they can then make their own decisions.

Unmatched tires in on wintery roads(not sure if applies) pose a challenge a driver trying to stop and corner. I concur if its winter conditions is a non issue than replacing a single (matched brand/make/model) tire is valid. Sounds like this tire is roughly half done.

I have a feeling SteveF you live outside a place where winter road conditions occur?

You are correct, andrew, but you’ll always find me and my car in NYC during Christmas week… where in addition to snow they have snowplows and (ugh) salt. And crazy drivers. Never had a handling problem.

Just out of curiosity… if you claim replacing a single tire creates a challenge on turns and stops, would this be the fault of the new tire or of the other three old tires? That is, if those three tires can’t hold traction, why would you want a fourth that can’t help hold traction? Anyone?

it has been my experience that the skid, break loose has happened when one wheel has failed. sometimes not the tire itself, but a sticking caliper, or bearing.

i am worried about losing control and if a (relatively cheap) solution is buying an extra tire, so be it!

The idea is that the car should have equal traction at all 4 corners, no matter wet or dry or snow or ice. If all tires are identical and have equal tread, this is the most favorable condition for equal traction.

1 new tire vs. 3-50% worn out tires is a mismatch. It’s really tough to say how it will affect your car in many possible driving conditions. The safe thing to do is make all tires the same.

One possibility is to buy 1 new tire and find a shop that will grind 50% of the tread off so it equals the other 3. Expensive, but cheaper than buying 4 new tires and tossing away 3 tires that still have 50% life.

Keep in mind a lot of advice here is simply folks passing the same accepted information back and forth. Could be myth, could be true, could be a mix. If someone did actual testing and reported the information, we would all benefit. Until that happens, we’ll keep recycling the same information.