Can I mix and match tire brands?
The short answer is that, in general, manufacturers do not recommend tire mixing at all. For optimal safety and performance, it is recommended that vehicles are fitted with the same tires to every wheel position on your car. That means having the same brand, size, tread pattern, load index, and speed rating on the front and rear tires.
However, there are exceptions that can lead to mixing tire brands. There are also instances of mixing fitments such as with staggered fitments that require different tire sizes on the front and on the rear.
One thing is for certain when it comes to mixing tires, it’s best to do it all at once or in pairs. Replacing a single tire on a vehicle can have adverse effects on suspension systems, gear ratios, transmissions, and tire tread wear. If a single tire replacement is unavoidable, it is recommended that the single new tire be paired with the deepest tread tire from the vehicle and both be placed as a pair according to the recommendations in the paragraph immediately above.
Mixing Different Tire Brands on Your Vehicle
While mixing brands isn’t the best practice, the important part about new tires is their specifications and quality. When replacing tires, be sure that your new tires are the same size and tire type as your current tires. It’s important that your tire dealer always installs the new tires on the rear axle of your vehicle.
Mixing Different Tread Depth on Your Vehicle
When you put on two new tires, you’re essentially mixing tread depths because the newer tires have more tread than the worn ones. These new tires should therefore be installed on the rear because the driver will more quickly feel traction slipping if the lower tread tires are in front.
Deeper tread tires on the rear axle provide better handling, wet grip, and evacuate water, thereby helping to avoid oversteer and loss of vehicle stability on wet surfaces. Deeper tread tires on the front axle can improve wet straight-line braking and stopping distance.
Other Driving Safety Tips
There are plenty things you can do on and off the road to ensure you’re keeping your vehicle as safe as possible. Here are a few to help you get the most out of your tires while also keeping you and your passengers safe.
- Slow down before turning. If you’re one to take turns at higher speeds, you might be shortening the life of your tires. It’s best to maintain a consistent speed throughout the turn. Be cautious when braking in a turn.
- Check on your tread regularly. You don’t want to hold off until an inspection to think about your tires. An easy way to test your tread out is to put a quarter upside down into the tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head, start shopping for new tires.
- Check your tire pressure often, especially before long drives. You want to do it in the morning when the pressures are cool and stabilized.
- If you slip and slide, don’t brake immediately. Some weather conditions can really send tires sliding and braking suddenly could lead to losing control of your vehicle. Gently ease up on the gas pedal and slow down until the car regains traction.