Should you replace all your tires on your auto at one time?

United States
August 27, 2007 9:28pm CST
A couple weeks back we bought an older truck. And, the tires look as if they haven't been replaced in years. I'd really love to get new tires for the truck, just for safety reasons. I've heard that bad tires are the cause of many auto wrecks and I don't want to become another statistic. But I'm not sure if I am supposed to replace all four tires at one time. Does anyone know the answer to this question? Is it best to get four new tires at one time? Or, can the front two tires be replaced safely, and then later replace the rear two tires as money becomes available?
2 people like this
16 responses
• United States
28 Aug 07
Hi beautyqueen26, If a person cannot afford to replace all four tires at once then they should replace the two worst tires with new ones, have them installed on the drive axle (probably the rear axle if you bought an old truck it would be rear wheel drive), and ask the tire dealer to put the best two remaining tires on the front. The tire dealer will be able to tell you how approximately how much life is left in those tires, and if they are dry-rotted or unsafe, they usually have good used tires to replace them with for about $26 a piece until you can afford new ones.
3 people like this
• United States
28 Aug 07
PS, if the seller has neglected the tires, chances are there are other issues too. While the tires are off, you may want to pay for a brake and suspension inspection...but be prepared, upper and lower ball joints alone can cost around $800 installed for a pickup - IF it needs them, and there are many other suspension parts as well...springs, tie rod ends, etc. Brakes are generally a fairly inexpensive fix and well worth having checked while you're getting your tires and alignment.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Aug 07
Thanks! I did not know all those things could be wrong with a truck. Will have them checked out. We are first time truck owners, so there may well be a slight learning curve.
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
28 Aug 07
You can get away with only replacing two at a time if you need to...we do it all the time! Just put your new tires on the drive axle like was mentioned before...rear on rear wheel drive (and older 4X4's usually), front on a front wheel drive and then pick the two best of your old tires to keep on the other axle. Also while you're at it, check the condition of your spare. They can get so dry rotted from sitting, you might be better off switching it out with one of the two remaining old tires. But, to answer the question,,,Yes it is BEST to replace all 4 at the same time but not a MUST.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 07
Our truck was apparently sitting idle and unused for awhile before we bought it. So, now we are working out all the kinks and making sure it runs properly. Men! If I'd had my way, we would have gone with something smaller and more easily and cheaply repaired. I had no idea that trucks had such specialized mechanisms!
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
28 Aug 07
It is best if you replace all four tires at once. If you can't do that, you definitely need to replace them two at a time. It's never a good idea to just replace one tire, unless your others are almost brand new (think less than 3 months old). Otherwise the wear will just be too uneven. If you replace just two tires, that will work, but they will wear faster than if you replace all four of them at once. If you replace them all four, and get them rotated when you are supposed to, they should last a lot longer, than getting two now, and two more a few months from now.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 07
Good advice! We will most likely do just that.
@stealthy (8188)
• United States
28 Aug 07
Don't rule out getting all four because if you can afford it they sometimes have much better sales if you get all four. I have seen sales where if you buy three the fourth one is free and things like that. So in the long run you could end up spending a lot less by getting four at once than if you got two at a time. It all depends on your finances and whether you could do without something short term to be able to save long term, like cutting back on something that isn't as necessary like an expensive fancy coffee that you may get every day as an exmaple of what many people buy and never realize just how much they spend on something like that. Of course if you are already very thrifty, there may not be much you can do.
1 person likes this
@peanutjar (5211)
• Canada
28 Aug 07
Hi beautyqueen!You can replace only one if you want to,it does not make a difference which one you replace at all.My boyfriend works in the woods.And he always has to replace a tire from being busted with a new one.I know this all to well.Rocks,stumps,no more treads etc.He just replaced one friday with a new one,he busted it driving over a stump with a sharp branch sticking out.MEN!!He,he!As long as you have enough tread on all the other wheels its o.k.BUT,if its almost NO tread hardly left,youd better buy new ones and protect your safety!Have you tried after market tires?I dont know if you have this kind where you live,they are called "KELLY"tires.
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
11 Jun 08
I normally only replace 2 of my tires at a time. I have front wheel drive, so when I get my tires replaced I get the back 2 replaced and the ones that were in back go on the front.
@saundyl (9690)
• Canada
10 Jun 08
It all depends on how BAD the tires are..if they are bad enough that the wires are showing they should be replaced or risk a blow out.
@sacmom (14314)
• United States
2 Sep 07
If all four tires look that poorly then I would suggest that you replace all four tires with brand new ones. Though there is a post I made on here some time ago about blowouts where someone replied and said they had a blowout even with 4 new tires. So I guess there is always the chance that the tire(s) can blow even if they are new. When my husband and I bought our truck back in the end of 2005 my husband was told by the previous owner that two of the tires would need to be replaced soon, but that two of them were new. My husband and I waited a little too long (maybe a month or so) and I had a blow out. I was able to pull over to the side of the road safely (I was going 65 mph before the driver's rear tire blew) and after that my husband decided to buy new tires all around. My husband picked out the best old tire out of the four and I told the tire people that we wanted to keep it as the spare.
@DJ9020 (1596)
• United States
2 Sep 07
It depends on whether or not your truck is all wheel drive. If it is, then all four should be replaced at the same time. Otherwise you can do two at a time. How did I find this out? I replaced 2 tires on an AWD vehicle and almost screwed up the differential, or something. Anyway, it would have been bad. The tire company did not tell me any of this when they sold me the 2 tires. When I went back and asked about it, they did say, oh, yeah, that's what we recommend. But since it had really messed up the two tires I had recently bought from them, then gave me two new tires, then I bought 2 new ones!
@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
29 Aug 07
I usually get four new tires at once, because my dad will get them for us as a gift for Christmas or my birthday. It makes him happy, and I didn't really understand it until we took my husband's mom's car in to get new tires. I think you can get two replaced at a time.
@mkirby624 (1599)
• United States
28 Aug 07
We change ours two at a time, and we put the new pair on the front (front wheel drive car) and the old pair on the back.
@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
28 Aug 07
Although it is best to replace all four tires if they are worn, replacing two at a time is the next best thing. Just replace the two worst ones, and put the two new ones on the front for a front wheel drive, or the rear for a rear wheel drive. Then replace the other two when you can afford it. It would be much safer to replace two of them now than to have something happen during the time that it takes to save up for the other two tires. You really should get the other two tires checked though, just to make sure that they are safe to drive on.
@ssh123 (31100)
• India
28 Aug 07
Many people think like that. But my friend who is a specialist in tyres suggest which new tyres to be put in rear and which tyres to be put in front and when it has to be replaced. If it can give 2000 kms. he will not allow us to change, though he owns a tyre shop.
@larskie23 (867)
• Philippines
28 Aug 07
i think if you are capable and has budget to get new tires at once then its good. its always nice and safer to have new tires.
• Malaysia
28 Aug 07
My husband has been doing it all the time. We can't afford to change all four tyres at the same time, so he will change the first two front tyres and later replace the two at the back when money is available. It is safe as long as we don't drive too fast as if to race in a track. Lol. Until now nothing has happened to the car when he is driving. So I guess it is safe to change the front tyres first and later the back ones.
@crazed_moma (1054)
• United States
28 Aug 07
I had that dilema recently. I bought my car a couple months ago. My front tires were worn to the legal limit and the back ones still had a wee bit of life in them. We opted to replace all 4 so that rotation can be done better. lol if we get the rotation done when it needs to be it'll make all 4 tires last longer.