While not ideal, it is possible that your car might have mismatched tires. Whether you bought it used that way, or you just can’t afford an entire set right now, driving on mismatched tires isn’t necessarily unsafe, assuming all the tires are in good condition.
As a general rule, you want to replace all four tires at the same time. Assuming you have your tires rotated regularly, your tires should wear at the same rate, making it easy (and necessary) to replace all four at once. In the event you haven’t been diligent about rotating your tires, and only the front ones have worn out, you can replace just those. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to replace the rear ones at some point in the not-so-distant future.
If you’re thinking about buying a used car with mismatched tires, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, but it is a red flag. Uneven tire wear indicates that the tires were not regularly rotated – a sign of neglect. If the previous owner didn’t rotate the tires or have funds to replace the entire set of tires, what else did they skimp on? Did they change the oil regularly and get the brake service taken care of?
Assuming the mismatched tires aren’t extreme (one bald tire and three new tires, or two winter tires and two summer tires), and are in good shape, they should be okay to drive on – at least for the short term. However, we do recommend getting a new reliable set of four tires as soon as you are able to do so.
For more information, visit blog.drivetime.com.
Have questions about your car’s tires? Give us a call at Don Wessel Honda!