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Is it okay to fit tyres with different levels of wear?

You've punctured a tyre and you're wondering if you can replace just the one tyre without changing the rest? Or maybe two of your tyres are worn out and you're wondering if you should invest in a complete new set? These are important questions because fitting compatible tyres is essential for your safety on the road. Here’s our advice on replacing tyres.

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Fitting tyres on a 2 wheel drive car

Tyres on a 2 wheel drive car (front or rear wheel drive) can be replaced one at a time or in pairs subject to the following conditions:

  • When changing a single tyre, opt for a replacement which has the same size, load index and construction (radial, cross-ply) as the original. Also, you should avoid fitting two tyres with significantly different levels of wear on the same axle.
  • When changing both tyres on the same axle we recommend that, wherever possible, you opt for the same type of tyre (in terms of model, brand, size, load index and speed rating) as those already fitted on the other axle. This will ensure a higher level of safety than if you fit mismatched tyres.

Also, make sure that the new tyres are always fitted on the rear axle to ensure better road holding, especially in wet conditions. New tyres on the front and older tyres on the rear could make your vehicle oversteer (the rear slides).

Fitting tyres on a 4 wheel drive vehicle

When fitting tyres on a 4 wheel drive vehicle, you should keep in mind that the four tyres must have a similar level of wear. If you only change two tyres, the resulting difference in diameter between the old and new tyres could cause the tyres on the front and rear axles to rotate at different speeds, leading to premature wear of the transmission.

4 tips for optimum safety

  • Avoid changing your tyres one by one: buy tyres in pairs and ideally, in fours.
  • Always choose a tyre size approved for your vehicle.
  • Fit new tyres on the rear.
  • Try to minimize differences in wear between the two axles.

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