Reader Question: Replacing Both Tires?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with  my reply!

Dave asks: I popped a curb last week and it tore my driver’s side rear tire on the sidewall. Went to a tire shop to get it replaced (it didn’t actually go flat but the gash looked not safe to drive on) and the guy said I needed to get both tires on that axle replaced because of wear. Is that right or did I get gypped?

My reply: You didn’t get gypped – assuming the tires on the vehicle had significant tread wear. Also assuming your car is equipped with AWD, which I’m guessing it is. As a tire wears down, its overall circumference becomes less and this affects rotational speed, which in turn can result in uneven wear and tear and other issues when it is paired with a new tire on the same axle that could end up costing more than buying two tires rather than just one.

Even if the vehicle is rear-drive, my policy has always been to replace both – throw away the damaged one – and keep the other/undamaged one as a spare.

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