The integrity of your tires is arguably the most critical safety aspect of your vehicle. When your tires wear down, they can sometimes fail unexpectedly. Replacing a faulty tire on your car with a used tire or one that is mismatched can put you and your vehicle at risk.
Why a matched set is best
Riding on a matched set of tires is the best way to ensure the handling, performance, and safety of your vehicle.
Manufacturers recommend that all four tires (and your spare) should have the same:
- Tread depth
- Speed rating
- Load capacity
Speed rating, load capacity, and size information can be found on the sticker inside your driver’s side door or in your vehicle owner’s manual.
How does a matched set of tires improve driving safety?
By outfitting your vehicle with a matched set of tires, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that they will:
- React identically in any road and weather condition
- Provide a safe, predictable ride
- Restore your vehicle’s traction to optimum levels
- Eliminate vibrations and excess road noise
- Alleviate unnecessary stress on your vehicle’s drivetrain
How does tread depth affect mismatched tires?
Even if you replace a faulty used tire with a new one of the same make and model, the difference in tread depth between your existing tires and the replacement might be significant enough to affect your vehicle’s handling.
Many tire manufacturers recommend the tread depth amongst your tires be at around 4/32 inches deep and no less than 2/32 inches.
If the difference in tread depth between your new and existing tires is significant, there's a good chance your used tires will need replacing. Being proactive and changing your tires regularly to an identical set is a common-sense approach to vehicle safety.
Learn more by reading our article What Causes Tire to Wear.