If you have a car with different brands of tyres on the front and back axle, it is not recommended to use them together. The difference in tyre pressure can cause serious damage to your car's suspension system. However, if you find that one or more of your tyres are damaged beyond repair, a good option would be to use a temporary spare wheel as long as the other tyre has enough tread for safe driving.
CAN I HAVE 4 DIFFERENT TYRES ON MY CAR?
Weather conditions, surfaces and distances can all affect tyre quality. Eventually, your tyres will wear out, be damaged and require replacement. A common question that clients have on tyre replacement is: “Should all 4 tyres be the same brand?” Related to this question is whether the performance of one's car will be affected by using tyres from different brands. So is it a good or bad idea to do it?
It is highly recommended that drivers equip their vehicle with the same type of tyre on all 4 wheel positions. If possible, using tyres from different brands for your car should be avoided. This is to ensure safety and help you achieve the best driving performance possible.
Essentially, you have to ensure that all your tyres are from the same brand. The size, load index, speed rate and tread pattern—should all be the same. It is important to note that every manufacturer makes tyres differently. So it is advisable to make sure the tyre characteristics all adhere to the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications. Using a combination of tyre sizes, load indexes and speed ratings not recommended for your vehicle can pose serious safety risks.
DOES IT MATTER IF ONE TYRE IS DIFFERENT?
Generally speaking, replacing all four tyres at once is recommended. Having different tyres on a vehicle can negatively affect performance and stability and may cause excessive wear and tear which reduces the lifespan of your tyres. Manufacturers of some vehicles may also not recommend the replacement of fewer than four tyres. Thus, it’s essential to check the manufacturer's instructions in the owner's manual.
But what if you need to replace only one tyre, and your vehicle manufacturer permits this? Then, the replacement tyre should have similar characteristics to the original, such as its type (such as radial or terrain type for example), tread pattern and size. A tyre from a different brand can be completely dissimilar from your other tyres in terms of traction and revolutions per mile.
In a pinch, for very short distances a different tyre can be used to get you to a repair or safety (your garage). This depends on the vehicle and the tyre and should only be under the guidance or recommendation of a qualified tyre specialist or technician. Or call a mobile tyre-fitting service to save the risk.
IS IT OKAY TO REPLACE ONLY TWO TYRES?
What if you need to replace not one but two tyres? The general recommendation is that you place the new tyres on the rear axle (under the assumption your vehicle is front-wheel drive). Mounting new tyres on the rear axle will enhance your vehicle's stability and help you avoid oversteering.
Mixing brand tyres for your vehicle is not a best practice. However, this can be unavoidable in some cases, such as due to a lack of tyre availability or budget constraints.
In this case, you can use different brand tyres–on the same axle, which means you’ll have different brand tyres on the front and back. If your front and rear axles come from different brands, this is okay as long as the tyres on the rear axle are identical to each other.
MIXING TYRES WITH DIFFERENT TREAD PATTERNS
It’s not advisable to mix tread patterns. Using the same tyres for all of your vehicle’s wheel positions helps provide you with a smoother and more comfortable driving experience. Mixing tyres, as mentioned, can lead to a reduction in vehicle performance.
However, it’s possible to install tyres with a different tread pattern from your original tyres–so long as they’re on the same axle. This means that your tyres on the front axle should have matching tread patterns and that your tyres on the rear axle should also have identical tread patterns.
USING TYRES WITH MISMATCHED TREAD DEPTHS
Suppose your vehicle only needs two new tyres. The tread depth of these tyres will likely be deeper than the tread depth of the older tyres.
In general, mixing tyres with different tread depths is permissible, but only if you place the new tyres on the rear axle. However, there can be some exceptions. The axle where you mount your new tyres would also be up to your vehicle manufacturer. So to make sure that you’re adhering to the manufacturer’s specifications, it would be best to consult your manual or get in touch with tyre experts.
WHY IT’S NOT RECOMMENDED TO MIX BRAND TYRES
So why is it not generally recommended to use different brand tyres on a vehicle? This section will expand more on how having mismatched tyres can impact your driving.
First, a car's performance is affected by various factors, including its tyres. Using tyres from the same brand offers optimum performance.
When you mix your car's tyres, this compromises the car's ability to perform what's expected of it. If you mix the tyres on your car, you can also adversely affect your and others’ safety while on the road. This is why you must use the most suitable tyre brand for your vehicle.
The problem with mixing car tyres is that you may end up with mismatched features. Let’s say the load indexes between your tyres are severely different. The load index indicates the amount of load a tire can carry. With mismatched load indexes, you may end up with unevenly worn tyres.
Meanwhile, having different tyre sizes can cause your car to behave differently in terms of acceleration, steering and general handling. Instability can also occur if you have mismatched tyre sizes.