January 18

Should I Change One Tire Or All Tires?


A common question car owners have is whether they should replace all their tires when only one seems to be having an issue. At Huffines Chevrolet in Lewisville, Texas, we want to help answer all your tire maintenance questions to allow you to make the best choice.

When Do I Need To Get New Tires?

Knowing when to get new car tires is essential for both safety and performance. Here are some signs you might need to replace one or more tires.

Flat Tire

One common scenario is a flat tire. If you experience a flat, a repair may be possible depending on the extent of the damage. However, if the damage is in the sidewall or if the puncture is too large, a replacement is often necessary. In the event of a flat tire, depending on the cause, you may only need to replace that specific tire rather than all four.

Tire Leak

Tires can also develop leaks over time. These may be small at first, to the point where you don’t really notice them. This is why it’s important to regularly check the air pressure of your tires so that you can see if the pressure is going down. Many modern vehicles now do this for you, but if you have an older model, be sure to manually check your air pressure. If you notice a gradual loss of pressure, it’s crucial to have the tire inspected promptly. 

Worn-Down Tires

Worn-down tires pose a significant safety risk. The tread depth is a key indicator of tire condition. The U.S. Department of Transportation suggests replacing tires when the tread depth reaches 2/32 of an inch. An easy way to check this is by using the penny test — insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down; if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. Worn-out tires compromise traction, leading to reduced grip on the road, especially in wet or snowy conditions.


Finally, age is a factor in tire replacement. Even if the tread appears sufficient, tires deteriorate over time. It’s recommended that you replace tires that are 6 years old or more, regardless of tread depth. This is due to the gradual breakdown of rubber compounds, making older tires more susceptible to blowouts and other failures.

If Only a Single Tire Is Having Issues, Should I Change Them All?

While it might be tempting to replace only the problematic tire, it’s generally advisable to change all four tires simultaneously, especially if they’ve been in use for a considerable period. Here’s why:

  • Uniformity: New tires have full tread depth, and using them with older tires can lead to uneven tread wear. This imbalance affects the car’s handling, braking, and overall performance, while matching tires help maintain a consistent level of traction on all four wheels.
  • Safety: Tires with different levels of wear can compromise safety, particularly in adverse weather conditions. Matching tires provide better stability, grip, and control, reducing the risk of accidents.
  • All-wheel-drive (AWD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) systems: For vehicles with AWD or 4WD, having unevenly worn tires can cause strain on the drivetrain, potentially leading to more significant issues over time. Keeping all tires at a similar level of wear helps maintain the system’s integrity.
  • Long-term savings: While replacing only one tire might seem cost-effective in the short term, it can lead to more frequent tire replacements due to uneven wear. Changing all four tires at once ensures a consistent life span, optimizing your long-term investment.

However, it all depends on your circumstances. For example, if your other tires are all relatively new, and you’re only replacing one tire because of a puncture, you may not need to replace them all. When in doubt, consult with a knowledgeable professional who can provide you with a recommendation based on the condition of your other tires.

Benefits of Changing All 4 Tires

Changing all four car tires simultaneously offers several benefits for both performance and safety. First and foremost, it ensures uniformity in the tire tread, promoting balanced handling and stability. Mixing old and new tires can result in uneven wear and affect the vehicle’s overall performance, compromising traction and braking efficiency.

Replacing all four tires together also enhances safety, especially in adverse weather conditions. Tires with consistent tread depth provide a better grip on wet or slippery roads, reducing the risk of hydroplaning and enhancing overall control. This is particularly crucial for maintaining stability during emergency maneuvers.

Finally, changing all four tires simultaneously simplifies tire maintenance and rotation schedules. With a complete set of new tires, you can establish a consistent rotation pattern, extending the life span of the tires and optimizing fuel efficiency. So, while there are situations where you may only need to replace one tire, it’s often best to replace all four if you can afford it.

How To Save Money on Tire Replacements

Saving money on tire replacements involves a combination of smart practices and proactive maintenance. Here are some tips:

  • Regular maintenance: Regularly rotating your tires and ensuring proper wheel alignment helps with even wear and extends the life span of your tires, saving you from premature replacements. Underinflated tires wear out faster and reduce fuel efficiency, so check tire pressure regularly, and adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Buy quality tires: Invest in high-quality tires that are known for durability. While they may have a higher upfront cost, they often provide better performance and a longer life span, saving you money in the long run.
  • Buy in sets: When replacing tires, it’s often more cost-effective to buy a complete set. This ensures uniformity and avoids potential issues with mismatched tires.
  • Find discounts: Tires are often on sale. Check out the latest specials here at Huffines Chevrolet of Lewisville to see if we’re currently running any tire specials.

Schedule Your Tire Replacement in Lewisville

If your vehicle is in need of a new tire in the Lewisville, Texas, area, head on over to Huffines Chevrolet Lewisville. We can quickly install a new tire for you or let you know if you’re better off replacing all four. With our expert assistance, you can be sure that you’re taking proper care of your vehicle and making the best financial decision. To get started, please contact us, or schedule a service appointment online.


You may also like