Some things look, sound and work better in pair such as salt and pepper, Batman and Robin, Scooby and Shaggy so on! The same theory is applied to car tyre fitting as we need considering both front and rear.
Being fitted on the same axle (a central rod connecting a group of wheels), it’s obvious why tyre experts recommend changing the wheels in a pair of two which is crucial for balance and stability. Just installing or replacing a single new tyre on the axle, you’ll eventually create an imbalance that lead to troublesome driving or worst, vehicle spinning uncontrollably in an emergency situation.
This is another reason to go for identical tyres for each side of the axle from the same brand, identical tread pattern, same size and ratings so on. In an ideal scenario, you’re likely to change all four tyres at the same time however in actual, this rarely happens as doing so would simply wipe clean your finances.
In order to gain the most of the tyres, always fit the new pair to the rear axle. Doesn’t matter if yours is a front, rear or four-wheel drive, losing grip to the rear is uncontrollable! But, this isn’t the case with all vehicles as different factors are considered such as size of the vehicle and the rims, recommended tyre pressure and tread-depth patterns so on.
Having two different tyres on the same axle compromises safety so read on to find out more on this!
Rules & recommendations
Despite the state laws and recommendations from experts, car tyre fitting in pairs requires meeting certain conditions and these are;
- Never mix radial & cross-ply tyres on the same axle
Fortunately, this isn’t a problem for most as majority of the tyres being sold bear radial construction. Finding cross-plies nowadays is pretty rare unless you’re hunting for a niche or specialty product.
- Tyre size, speed & load rating as recommended by vehicle manufacturer
If you’re expecting improvement in vehicle’s performance and handling when on the road, increasing tyre size, speed and load rating can be a choice however, the metrics shouldn’t fall below the recommended size and rating.
- Don’t fuse winter tyre with all-season standard or summer wheels
It’s no surprise that tyres are seasonal-specific so mixing them would only give troublesome vehicle performance and handling. If you’re purchasing summer, all-season or winter tyres, buy in a bundle of four! Although it’s a huge bit out of your finance, the return would be much greater in terms of longevity, durability and performance.
- Full set replacement of four-wheel drive vehicles
For a big four-wheel vehicle, it’s important replacing all four of the tyres together else you may end up damaging the system permanently. The only exception is tread –depth difference between existing tyre and the new pair which is likely to be less than 3mm tread.
The more you know about car tyre fitting the better for you don’t want to face any roadside trouble especially while driving.