When do I need to replace my tires? Should I replace all 4 tires? Can I get away with replacing 2 tires? Does it really matter where my new tires are mounted? These are all important questions to ask when you're beginning to think about replacing your tires or if you've unfortunately ended up in an emergency scenario where a tire replacement is needed immediately. Here are some important facts and tips to know when replacing tires on your vehicle.
How do I Know My Tires Need to be Replaced?
- Low Tire Tread
- The Department of Transportation (DOT) considers tire tread depth below 2/32" as having reached the end of its useful life and should be replaced.
- Learn how to measure your tire's tread by clicking here.
- Tire Damage
- If your tire(s) are punctured in an area that's unable to be repaired or if there is any material such as steel or fabric that is exposed and is visible, the tire will need to be repaired or replaced immediately.
- Learn more about proper tire repair by clicking here.
- Irregular Wear
- Visually check your tires for uneven or irregular wear, bulges on the sidewalls, or any other signs of irregular or uneven tire tread wear.
- Learn more about tire tread wear by clicking here.
Why Should I Replace All Four Tires?
The best practice according to the Tire Industry Association (TIA) is to replace all four tires at one time to avoid drive-train damage and maintain consistent tread wear. For certain all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicles, the manufacturer requires all four wheels to be replaced to avoid inevitable drive-train damage.
Please check with your vehicle's owner manual to see if your vehicle qualifies for these manufacturer requirements.
1 or 2 Tire Replacement
If you're replacing 1 or 2 tires on your vehicle, the new tire(s) should ALWAYS be mounted to the rear axle of the vehicle and never the front. Although some believe that the tire(s) should be mounted to the front axle for better traction, it's quite the opposite. According to TIA standards, if the new tire(s) are installed on the front, the vehicle is more likely to lose control when turning in wet, icy, or slippery conditions.
As shown in the Michelin USA safety video, you can see the dramatic difference between 1 or 2 tires being mounted on the rear or front axle of the vehicle.
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