You may have noticed that the front tires of your all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle tend to wear quicker than the back tires. Have you ever wondered why? Well, it’s because the front tires take care of the braking and steering of the vehicle. Additionally, failure to regularly rotate the tires, misalignment, aggressive driving, and underinflated tires can also contribute to the faster degradation of your front tires. Replacing only two tires on your vehicle may seem tempting, but could possibly lead to more problems in the future. What about 1? Can you replace 1 tire on AWD? Let’s answer that question and examine other AWD tire replacement myths.

Tire AWD

Mismatched Tires on AWD Vehicles May Cause Damage

By only replacing one or two tires on your vehicle, you could be causing damage to your drivetrain. As tires are used and driven on, the tread life of that tire is diminished. This makes the tire diameter smaller than a new tire. By replacing one tire, it forces the other tires to spin slightly faster to keep up with the new one. Due to the increased diameter of the new one, a single revolution of the tire will travel farther than the older tires.

The drivetrain is the system that transfers power from the engine to the wheels. By having different size tires, even when they are labeled the same size, they are putting more stress on the drivetrain which will eventually cause problems to the system and your AWD vehicle.

Ideally, whether your vehicle is AWD or has a conventional drive system, you should have all four tires replaced so that they are all the same size with the same amount of traction. This is the best way to go so that you are not damaging your drivetrain or any other parts of your vehicle.

Can I Replace 1 Tire on an AWD Car?

Replacing just 1 tire on AWD vehicles may seem like the cheapest option at first, but as we mentioned before, doing this may cause a much bigger problem. It can unnecessarily create wear and tear on systems such as your drivetrain, as well as your electronics. If one tire spins faster than the others, traction control will think that it is slipping and send more power to that tire.

What Happens if You Don’t Replace All 4 Tires on an AWD Vehicle?

As you drive on your tire, the circumference gets smaller and smaller. The rubber of the tire ends up wearing off, causing a decrease in the circumference of the tire. If you don’t replace all 4 tires of your AWD car, the one you do replace will actually be bigger than the others. Looking at your owner’s manual, you may even see a warning regarding mismatched tires on AWD vehicles. As mentioned previously, this may cause damage to your drivetrain and traction control system, thus costing you much more money in the future.

Tire AWD

Owner’s Manual and Expert Advice Is Important

Do you know when to change tires on your vehicle? Your owner’s manual has a lot of good information on tire safety and recommendations. If you’re thinking of replacing 1 tire on an AWD vehicle, take a moment to review your owner’s manual. The owner’s manual may recommend that you replace all four tires of your vehicle at the same time.

When reviewing your manual, be sure to look in both the tire section and the transmission section. Ignoring the owner’s manual recommendations when it comes to replacing your tires could end up costing you a lot of money in damages to systems of your AWD vehicle. A trustworthy tire dealer always refers to the owner’s manual recommendations. Dan The Tire Man can help you choose the best full set of tires for your AWD vehicle.

While you are looking at the owner’s manual for information regarding replacing your AWD tires, take note of their suggestions on tire rotation. Using the same brand, type, and size tires for your AWD vehicle is good for your vehicle, but so is regular tire rotation. Rotating your tires regularly helps even out the wear and tear of the tires and helps them last longer. If you happen to have a full-size spare tire, consider a 5 tire rotation to get the most out of your tires.

Why Replacing 1 Tire on AWD Vehicles May Not Be Best

Mismatched tires on AWD vehicles are one of the most common reasons for drivetrain damage. Saving money by only replacing 1 tire will cost you more money when the drivetrain needs to be fixed. There should be no tread difference between any of the tires on your vehicle. To ensure there are no variances in tread depth, be sure to replace all four tires at the same time with the same brand, same size, and same type.