1A Auto Video Library
Our how-to videos have helped repair over 100 million vehicles.

Is it OK to Mix Tires on a Car or Truck Old New Winter All Season

Share on:

Is it OK to Mix Tires on a Car or Truck Old New Winter All Season

Created on: 2020-10-21

Len explains the pros and cons of mixing and matching tires on your car or truck.

Hey, friends, it's Len here from 1A Auto. Today, I want to talk to you about your tires on your vehicle. I want to talk about whether or not it's safe, or even practical, to replace only two tires.

So, where I'm at right now, fall is coming in, the leaves are starting to change, and the weather is starting to get a little bit colder outside, which of course, with the cold tends to mean slippery conditions. More than likely you're either going to have some leaves on the ground that could create something slippery, or even snow/slush coming in the near future.

So, with that said, would it make sense if your tires are worn to only replace two? Sometimes people don't have much money, and they think maybe they have their front-wheel-drive vehicle, they're going to replace those two front two tires that way there they can have the most amount of grip, for whether they're trying to accelerate, stop, or even turn. Or maybe you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle and you decide maybe you want to just replace those rear tires, give yourself a little bit more grip. If you go to make that first turn, and maybe your front wheels are turning, but they're just still going straight because there isn't any traction coming from those front tires. Good thing about that is your vehicle has four tires on it for a reason. All four tires need to have the most amount of traction touching up against the ground. So, obviously, either of these conditions aren't going to be any good, and overall it's going to be a major safety issue. It's something that you want to think about, and you're, of course, going to want to make sure that you take care of ASAP.

With that said, it really only makes sense to go ahead and replace all four tires. Like I said before, you want the most traction of your vehicle onto the ground at all times, especially if you're in slippery conditions. Sometimes what tends to happen is over the summertime, you go on nice long road trips constantly, or whatever it is you might happen to do, but you're not necessarily paying attention to your tires. Those tires go ahead and they get worn down over time. That's just what's bound to happen. Maybe you don't really think about it so much. You go for a nice ride in the fall. You check out the leaves and the foliage and all that, and everything seems fine. You wake up one morning, and it's a little bit cold outside. Maybe some frost came along, there's some frozen leaves on the ground, you go to drive around, and you tend to feel maybe you got a little [vocalization] slipping condition as you're trying to turn, or even try to take off. That's because your tires don't have enough traction.

And, of course, we don't want to just talk about the safety aspect of it. Of course, that is the most important thing, but you also want to talk about the fact that maybe you have a four-wheel-drive or even all-wheel-drive system in your vehicle. If you have either of those, what you might tend to notice is a humming noise, or even a grinding noise coming from your transfer case, or even your front differential on your vehicle, especially if you're in four-wheel drive, on a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The reason for that is because maybe your tread depths are different. Maybe for some reason, you decided you just wanted to replace two tires because the two that were in the rear maybe are a little bit more worn than the ones that are in the front. But the fronts are still half worn. "I'll just leave them on there. I'm going to get myself some new ones for the rear there." Why not, right? Now, you've got tread depth that's maybe this thick, and then tread depth that's maybe thick in the front. Obviously, that's going to cause a binding issue when it comes to your transfer case. That's going to be no good for your vehicle, and it could be a safety issue overall as well.

Something else that I want you to think about real quick is maybe you go ahead and you replace two of your tires with winter tires, which of course, they're going to have much more siping, and they're going to be made out of soft rubber. And maybe you leave two all-season tires, whether it's on the front, or the rear. Well, those tires more than likely won't have as much siping, and they won't be made out of the same rubber composition. They'll probably be a little stiffer than those snow tires. If that's the condition, what you're probably going to notice is that you have griping coming from the snow tires, and maybe a little bit more slipping coming from the all-season tires, especially in inclement weather such as maybe snow or slush. So, if you're replacing all-season tires with snow tires, it only makes sense to replace all four tires with winter tires.

Now, I know not everybody has a whole bunch of money to go ahead and buy four tires all at one time. The best way that I'll go about doing this is to think ahead. That's why we're doing this video now. It's going to give you plenty of time before the winter comes to start thinking about those tires. Go out, take a peek at your tires. See how much tread depth is there. Do you think it's going to be safe when we get maybe six inches of snow, a foot of snow, or who knows what we get, really? But any type of situation where you might have a slippery condition, such as slush or snow like I was saying.
So, for the purpose of this video, it's really just to help you kind of think ahead. Go out and take a look at those tires. See if they look like they have plenty of tread on them. If they just have maybe 5/32 or 6/32 on there, that's really not a lot. It might be enough to get you through, but is it going to be the safest? Maybe not. Essentially what you could do is go ahead and buy yourself four new tires. Of course, if you're going with snows you want four snows. Or if you're going with all-seasons, you want to go with four all-seasons. The reason why you want to go with four of the same is because you definitely don't want to mix and match those treads.

Okay, so we've all either said or even heard this before. People forget how to drive in snowy or inclement conditions. Maybe they didn't necessarily forget how to drive though. Maybe they know how to drive, but they just didn't do the preventive maintenance to make sure that their tires are going to be in safe condition for those roadways.

So, that's pretty much what I've got for you on whether or not you should replace two tires or four tires. In all honesty, it only makes sense for me to replace all four, whether I have a two-wheel drive, or a four-wheel drive. Whether it comes down to safety, or even just the mechanical functionality of your vehicle itself. With that said, I hope you like the video. If you did, please feel free to smash on the like button for me. It would mean the world. While you're at it, why don't you go ahead and comment, because I love to hear from you. Subscribe and ring the bell that way there you can be kept up with all of our latest content. Thanks.

How to Remove a Seized Wheel - Lug Nuts Are Off But Wheel Is Stuck

If the wheel is stuck after you removed the lug nuts, this video will show you a few options for what you can do to remove it

Search Videos
Go To Top

Same Day Shipping

Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.

Guaranteed To Fit

Highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts enforced to the strictest product standards.

USA Customer Support

Exceeding customers' expectations, our team of passionate auto enthusiasts are here to help.

Instructional Video Library

Thousands of how-to auto repair videos to guide you step-by-step through your repair.