Suppose one of the tires of your vehicle gets damaged due to some reason. In such a situation, you will go to an expert and get the tire changed, right? The issue is that this can lead you and your vehicle to some future troubles. If you want to avoid these problems, it’s important to check all of the tires even if only one needs repair.
Let's first start by understanding the tires.
Everything About Tires
Tires are the primary components of your vehicle. What makes them different from other car parts is that they constantly remain in direct contact with the ground. Therefore, they experience extensive wear and tear, and you need to replace them more often.
You must have heard that people in old times used to mount a pair of "snow tires" on their driving wheels during the winter months. But the times have changed now. Today, you have to ensure that all your tires are of the same type, model, and even have worn-out to the same degree. This helps in creating a synced behavior of all the tires, resulting in smoother driving.
One of the methods to check the wear and tear of your tires is through their tread depth. The new tires come with a tread ranging between 10/32 to 12/32 or an inch. As per your use, the dept keeps on decreasing with time. So the lesser the depth, the more worn-out your tire is.
When To Consider Changing All Tires
In most scenarios, it will be recommended that you get all the tires changed even if only one of them is damaged. You can face a few problems by only replacing one tire in these situations:
Difference In Spinning: The decrease in tire's tread depth also depreciates its overall diameter. This makes the wheels spin faster. So when you replace only one tire, a contrast is created between the spinning of older and the new tires.
In all-wheel-drive vehicles, this difference can engage the system on dry pavements and ultimately damage it. Whereas for front/ rear-wheel-drive vehicles, the spinning diversion can result in sending false signals to the antilock braking and traction control systems.
Behavioral Difference: The worn-out tread depth can also affect the traction of the tire for braking, grip, and acceleration. This can make the vehicle behave differently. Therefore, you won't feel comfortable while driving.
The problems are solved in a different way for different systems.
All-Wheel-Drive: Most of the AWD manufacturers recommend that their users change all tires at once. This will ensure that the diameter and tread depth of every tire is similar.
Front/ Rear-Wheel-Drive: In these systems, you can consider changing just the couple of tires on the axle. However, changing all tires is still viewed as the best practice even for these systems.
When To Change Only One Tire
If you want to remain safe, it is best to change all tires at the same time. But in case your older tires have lost tread depth only up to 4/32 of an inch, you can get away with not changing all of them. Still, you will have to ensure that the new tire is of the same size, model, and tread pattern.
You can also get its tread depth shaved off to make it even with the older ones. It is suggested that you mount this new tire at the back to avoid hydroplaning in rainy weather.
The answer to your query is yes; you can change only one tire. However, you must check all tires' states to ensure that they won't create a problem later on.