Replacing Tires

Size, speed rating, load index—there’s a lot to consider when replacing your tires. USTMA shows you how to make the right decision for optimum safety, performance, comfort and fuel efficiency.

Replacing Tires

When it’s time to replace the tires on your vehicle, don’t guess. Consult the proper sources to determine exactly what you need. 

Fortunately, your tire specifications travel with you—usually on a label inside the driver’s door, in the glove box or in the fuel door. Your owner’s manual should also have the right information. If you still have questions, just ask your local tire professional.

In the meantime, keep these basic tire replacement requirements in mind: 

Your replacement tires should: 

  • Be the same size, load index and speed rating designation as recommended by the vehicle or tire manufacturer.
  • Not be of a smaller size or load-carrying capacity than what was originally specified. That could be dangerous.

Replacing Fewer than Four Tires

USTMA recommends replacing all four tires at the same time for optimal performance. If this is not feasible, you should follow these guidelines for replacing fewer than four tires:

  • Whether your replace only one or two tires, be sure that they are the same size, load index and speed rating recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • If replacing only two, install them on the rear axle. The newer tires will have better grip, particularly on wet roads, which is important to avoid hydroplaning situations. The greater traction capability on the rear axle can better prevent a possible oversteer condition and loss of vehicle stability.
  • Replacing a single tire can negatively affect vehicle suspension, transmission and tire treadwear. If unavoidable, pair the single replacement tire with the tire that has the deepest tread depth and install both on the rear axle.
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