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April 17, 2014

Mismatched tires mean trouble
I'm looking at a used car that needs two expensive tires. I can get a buy on two different ones that don't match. Can this pose a problem?

With mismatched tires, you and the car are just looking for --and finding -- trouble.

Every year, up to 100,000,000 vehicles are sold in the United States; roughly 13-15,000,000 new, and the rest are used. Of those used cars, more than 60% of the older ones have the wrong size, construction, speed rating or aspect ratio tires for the vehicle they're on.

How bad can it get? Pretty bad. It isn't that unusual to find a used car on the auction block with four different brands, four different sizes, four different tread designs and four different air pressures all on one vehicle. The only block that vehicle should be on is four of the cinder kind, far off the road.

Tires of different size, tread and construction can badly effect such critical vehicle operations as steering, handling and braking, setting up certain disaster somewhere down the road.

To protect yourself and your passengers, always make sure:
  • The tires on your used car match the specs listed on the carís placard, which you'll find in the glove box, on the gas filler door, on a car door edge, or on a visor.
  • All four tires are the same size, and have the same construction (radial or non-radial) and speed rating.
  • All four tires are balanced and the wheels are aligned.
  • All tires are mounted on the right wheel.

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