Replacing Your Tires
The tread depth on all tires wears down while driving and the tires will eventually need replacing.
How quickly a tire will need replacing depends on various things, such as driving habits (distance traveled, speed, severity of braking & cornering, etc.), where you live, and how well the tires are maintained on your vehicle.
Signs when tires should be replaced
- Tread wear bars: All passenger and light truck tires have at least six tread wear bars (also known as treadwear indicators) located in the major tread grooves and spaced approximately equally around the circumference of the tire. The tread wear bars are raised smooth molded narrow rubber strips that are 2/32” (1.6mm) in height and enable a vehicle owner to determine visually when the tire has worn to a tread depth of 2/32” (1.6mm) – when the tread wear bar located in the tread groove is flush with the surface of the tread, the tire is worn to 2/32” (1.6mm) and should be replaced.
- Uneven wear patterns: Learn how to measure your tire tread depth and check for uneven or abnormal wear patterns that may indicate a vehicle alignment or mechanical issue that needs attention.
- Bulges or blisters on the tire’s sidewall: These can lead to tire disablement and should be inspected by a tire professional.
- Low Tire Pressure: It is recommended that a tire that has been run flat or severely underinflated be inspected by a tire professional before being put back into service.
- Sudden ride disturbance or vibration: A ride disturbance may be an indication of possible tire damage or a vehicle mechanical issue and it is recommended that the vehicle and tires be inspected by a mechanic or tire professional.
Buying tips for tire replacements
Replace all four at once: Vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing all four tires on the vehicle at the same time. Replacing all four tires at once helps to maintain optimum vehicle performance and handling. If less than all four tires are replaced, it is recommended additional guidelines be followed. When replacing only two tires of the same size and construction as those on the vehicle, it is recommended to install the tires with the deepest tread depth on the rear axle to prevent a possible oversteer situation. A single new tire should be paired on the rear axle with the tire having the deepest tread depth of the other three tires. Read additional information on where to install less than four two tires on your vehicle.
Install tires on the rear axle: As two new tires are installed on your car, the new tires should always be installed on the rear axle, then move the existing partially worn tires to the front axle. Placing the new tires on rear axle can help to maintain control on wet roads. Read more about installing tires on the rear axle.
4WD and AWD Vehicle Guidelines: Always check and follow the recommendation in the vehicle owner’s manual, even small variances in outside diameter may cause drive-train damage or mechanical malfunction. If no instructions for tire mixing appear in the vehicle owner’s manual, follow these guidelines:
- Do not mix sizes.
- Do not mix radial and bias-ply constructions.
- Do not mix tread patterns such as all-season and all-terrain.
Different speed ratings: It’s not recommended to fit tires with different speed ratings. However, if they are fitted with different speed ratings they should be installed with like pairs on the same axle. The speed-capability of the vehicle will become that of the lowest speed-rated tire. Refer to your owner’s manual or the vehicle tire placard for specifications on tire speed ratings.
Load-carrying capacity: Make sure replacement tires have an equal or greater load-carrying capacity to the original equipment tires.