The only thing worse than hearing that a damaged tire cannot be repaired is hearing that you should replace all four tires, instead of just the bad tire. This has to be a tire sales pitch, right? Why should you replace three tires that still seem to have good tread, just because the fourth hit a nail at a bad angle? There are actually several good reasons why you should replace all four tires, instead of just the one that has been compromised.
Most of today’s all-wheel drive vehicles recommend that you the replace all four tires at a time because all four wheels need to have the same rolling circumference. If the wheels are not uniform, abnormal drivetrain wear can occur, resulting in costly problems down the road. All-wheel-drive systems are designed so that the differential and the computer work together to send the right amount of torque to each wheel to minimize slippage and maximize control. When one of the tires is a different size than the others because three tires are worn and one is brand new, the computer will take an inaccurate reading and the differential will have to work excessively hard. This can eventually result in damage to the drivetrain.
Additional benefits in going with a full set of tires for replacement include a more comfortable ride and better safety. Uneven tires can result in road noise and a vehicle that handles improperly, affecting maneuverability, traction, and smoothness of the ride. Four equal tires will provide the best performance for your vehicle.
Understanding the importance of uniformity in your tires also serves as a good reminder of why tire maintenance is so important. Keeping your tires properly inflated and keeping up with recommended tire rotation will make sure they wear evenly, and give you the best performance and service life.