Tire maintenance & safety

What if I Have Mismatched Tires?

Last updated 3/10/2022 - Originally published 9/24/2020
Written by SimpleTire

As a general rule, your tires should all have the same tread pattern, construction and size, meaning they should all be the same make, model, and age. If they aren’t, you’ll compromise on your car’s control, traction, stability, and ride. Mismatched tires could mean tires from different manufacturers, winter tires with all-season tires, run-flat tires with conventional tires, or tires with different tread patterns.

Until you can invest in an entire set of tires of the same make and model, and if you’ve only got one mismatched tire in the set, you should put it on the rear. If the tire that had a problem was on the front, take one of your rears and put it on the front to replace it, then put the mismatch tire back on the rear axle. This will probably mean the least impact on handling and traction, although it could still affect your ABS system’s performance. If the mismatch tire is a different size, it could also throw off your speedometer readings.

The best thing you can do? Replace the mismatch or mismatched pair with exact matches for your remaining tires. You’ll notice an improvement in your car’s ride, handling, and control immediately. 

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