Why do you have to buy 4 tires?

When it comes to maintaining a vehicle, there are certain recommendations that vehicle manufacturers and experts in the tire industry provide. One of these recommendations, specifically for cars with all-wheel drive (AWD), is to replace all four tires at the same time. While some may question the need to purchase four new tires instead of just the ones that are worn out, there are several reasons why this is considered best practice.

One of the main reasons behind this recommendation is the difference in tread depth between older and newer tires. As tires wear out over time, their tread depth decreases, leading to reduced traction and stability. When you have a set of new tires alongside worn-out ones, the difference in tread depth can cause imbalances in the handling of the vehicle. The newer tires will have better grip and handling characteristics, while the worn-out tires may struggle to maintain traction. This imbalance can impact the overall performance and safety of your vehicle, especially in situations where you need optimal control, such as during emergency maneuvers or in slippery conditions.

Furthermore, AWD systems are designed to distribute power to all four wheels, ensuring better traction and stability. In order to function optimally, AWD systems rely on all four tires rotating at similar speeds. When you have tires with different tread depths, the smaller diameter of the worn-out tires causes them to rotate faster than the new ones. This variance in rotational speed can affect the performance of the AWD system and potentially cause damage to its components over time.

Another factor to consider is the tire warranty. Most tire manufacturers provide warranties for all four tires when purchased as a set. By replacing all four tires at the same time, you can take advantage of these warranties, which often include coverage for things like road hazards and manufacturing defects. Replacing only one or two tires at a time can result in a loss of warranty coverage for the remaining tires.

Additionally, having a set of four new tires offers a more balanced and consistent driving experience. When all four tires have similar tread depths and characteristics, they work together seamlessly to provide optimal performance in terms of braking, cornering, and overall handling. This can enhance the driving dynamics of your vehicle and provide a more enjoyable and safe driving experience.

In conclusion, while it may seem more cost-effective to replace only the worn-out tires, replacing all four tires at the same time is recommended for AWD vehicles. This ensures equal tread depth, better handling, and optimal performance of the vehicle’s AWD system. Additionally, it allows you to take advantage of tire warranties and provides a more balanced and consistent driving experience. By prioritizing the safety and performance of your vehicle, you can enjoy the full benefits of driving on a set of brand new tires.

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