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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    • Good question, Mithrandir.

      There’s an old tractor or truck tire at my place, no idea how old it is or from what, it just looks really old. Surprisingly, to me, it’s still solidly inflated. I use it as a weight against a door, sometimes.

      When I store my bicycles over Winter the tires always go flat. I have a push cart with bicycle tires & I stored it upside down, so far the tires are still fully inflated, unlike the ones on my bicycles.

      I read once somewhere that spraying a tire down with Armourall or some kind of protectant will slow down dry rotting & such of tires. I don’t know if it’s true or not.
      I soaked down some tires I took off an suv several years ago, they still look good, but it was a bit of a chore to do which I don’t expect I’ll be repeating.
      They’re 13+ years old & I suspect they are only good for offroad use, or perhaps as a flower container? It’s a shame, cause one of them never got used at all.

      I suspect it may be better for your rims if you store them without a tire. Less rusting? I don’t know. I’ve just seen lots of rims stored in barns & after you wipe the dust off them they often look much better than the ones I’ve had fixed (wire wheel that rust off a rim) with slow leaking tires.


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