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Do I Have To Change All Tires?

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My lovely wife got a flat tire with our RX300 (2002) and drove approx 200 m before she stopped. This resulted in a mashed tire which wasn't able to repair.

The tire-guy told me to change all the four tires due to the 4W-drive, but the other tires where only 15000km old. I only changed the pair of tires (note: same brand and model as the rest). It is snow tires and I do see a deferens in the depth of the pattern between the new and the old tires.

Can it brake down the 4W-drive mechanics to have slightly different wheel size between the front wheels and the rear wheels?


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normally 4 wheel drive you have to change all 4 tyres at the same time, as it can affect the electronics on your car, sorry but the tyre guy is correct

I would check with your insurance should be covered.

if it doesn't state in the owners manual then you don't have to.

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The issue here is the rolling radius of the wheel/tyre combination. If one wheel tyre combination is smaller than the other three, then that wheel will rotate faster than the other three for the vehicle distance travelled, the result is that the electronics will reason that the smaller wheel is spinning slightly and try to compensate. However the system has a tolerance factor to alloy for variations in tyre pressure and uneven wear patterns.

Therefore using the spare wheel on an axle with a slightly worn opposite tyre is acceptable, likewise replacing a damaged tyre with a new one should also cause no reaction. BUT, any replacement tyre must be the same make and spec as the other tyres on the vehicle to ensure the rolling radius is as similar as possible.

When changing badle worn tyres then the complete set should be changed.

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