New tires in matched set or one tire at a time

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  #1  
Old 12-03-12, 04:54 AM
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New tires in matched set or one tire at a time

I have a 2000 Acura Integra GS (non-VTEC) that needs a new tire for the winter, so I need to decide whether to buy one replacement tire or a matched set. There is a widely held belief that tires should always be added in matched sets, two tires at a time. But this seems to assume that everyone is a performance driver taking turns as fast as possible.
All four of my tires are the model recommended as OE equipment (Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S). I would prefer to replace just one (vs a matched set), which my mechanic says is OK for a tame driving style - me! Also, my wife is a new driver and we need to consider best traction for her.
What do you think? One new tire or a matched set?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-03-12, 04:58 AM
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How many miles on the tire(s)? That may have a significant impact on the decision.
 
  #3  
Old 12-03-12, 05:01 AM
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New tires - I forgot to say I live in New York state about an hour north of NYC. Winters are usually relatively mild here. We only drive about 2,000 miles a year.
 
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Old 12-03-12, 05:17 AM
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Why is the one tire needing replacing as opposed to 2 or 4? How many miles are on the other tires?
 
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Old 12-03-12, 05:31 AM
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The most recent tire has 5,786 miles on it, so that's the one that would be matched with the new tire.
I don't know the mileage for the other tires, but I just measured more than 6/32" tread on them.
 
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Old 12-03-12, 05:37 AM
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Ok, I'd just buy the one tire. If it isn't the same brand/style of tire hopefully the tread design is about the same. Put the new tire on the rear, that way there won't be any difference noticed in the steering wheel.
 
  #7  
Old 12-03-12, 07:04 AM
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I have mixed feelings about putting the new tires on the back. I've seen the Michelin video with the cars skidding out because the back end had less wet traction, but since the front wheels on most passenger cars do the bulk of the braking and and accelerating, plus carry the most weight, the fronts will wear faster. If the differences between the two sets (when one replaces two at a time) aren't too extreme, I'd put the new ones on the front so that maybe the whole set actually wears out at the same time for a change.

If one set is obviously close to gone, then sure, it makes sense for it to go on the front, so that the back end doesn't come around, but I just don't like getting into a cycle of perpetually replacing only two tires and doing it often.

I wish that I could remember the tire brand that we put on my wife's '01 Integra LS. They weren't too expensive, and they handle nice and give a good ride.
 
  #8  
Old 12-03-12, 01:52 PM
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IMO when you are replacing just one tire, especially if it's a different brand than the other 3, it's better to have the mis matched tires on the back instead of on the front where the difference might show up in the steering wheel.
 
  #9  
Old 12-03-12, 05:15 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions and advice. The new tire would be exactly the same as the other three (and OE) - Michelin Pilot Exalto. Since the one that needs to be replaced is on the back already, I can follow your advice and just replace it, leaving the front unchanged.
 
  #10  
Old 12-03-12, 06:54 PM
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as far as you do not have 4x4 car - it'll be just minor difference.
Not really sure why you need all season tire FOR THE WINTER IN NY, but that's a rhetorical question.
 
  #11  
Old 12-06-12, 07:37 AM
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The reason for replacing tires in sets is not so much for handling but to not upset "traction controls, stability systems, and anti lock braking" it dont take much to upset these systems.
 
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Old 12-06-12, 11:17 AM
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I forgot about all the new fangled hi tech stuff on today's cars. Most of it I don't much care for but I really do like the traction control on my jeep. With the factory street tires it goes better in the snow than my old jeep ever did with snow tires.
 
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Old 12-13-12, 06:49 PM
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IMO The most worn tires should always go on the front,, If you have a failure on a front tire, you can steer it where you need to go, but if you have a flat in a rear tire, & it starts to go snakey, you have no controll over where the car will go & you'll actually find yourself "following" the failed rear tire..
 
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Old 12-13-12, 08:47 PM
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IMO The most worn tires should always go on the front,, If you have a failure on a front tire, you can steer it where you need to go, but if you have a flat in a rear tire, & it starts to go snakey, you have no controll over where the car will go & you'll actually find yourself "following" the failed rear tire..
Also all tire manufactures call for the same application as you stated.
 
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Old 12-14-12, 07:14 AM
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I was a backseat passenger in an '01 or so Pontiac Grand Am that had a tire failure on a city street at about 50mph. The driver didn't notice the failure, I had to point it out to her. The car didn't pull or drift funny.

My logic behind having better tires on the front is that when front tire fails, stopping, which is mostly a function of the front tires, and steering, which is also mostly a function of the front tires, becomes much more difficult. I've had both front and rear tire failures at freeway speeds, and the front tire failure was much, much more scary and harder to control. I had to fight that truck when it wanted to turn hard enough that it probably could have rolled over.
 
  #16  
Old 12-14-12, 09:27 AM
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I think the only tire failure I've ever had while going down the road [about 45 mph] was when I ran over a 1/4" drill bit with a back tire. Boy did that air come out fast. I didn't have any problems steering into a parking lot.
 
  #17  
Old 12-23-12, 01:51 PM
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Appearance

The main difference is obvious: appearance. This does not mean that each tire will not perform to it's own potential, but they each may perform differently and wear quicker or slower than the next. Does that mean a safety issue, who's to say. My advice would be, become more intolerable of things that are supposed to be the same, but are not. This will help you to make decisions of this nature, despite the expense. If to expensive all at once, it should make no difference to do them 1 at a time so long as the time in between doesn't exceed say 2-3 months. In your case, maybe 4-5. Good luck, and the belief in pairs rather than one at a time is a real good and reliable rule of thumb, not only in tires, but brakes and other mechanical items as well. Excluded from this would of course be lights, and turn signals. Just let them go 1 at a time.
 
  #18  
Old 01-04-13, 07:55 PM
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in a set

I spent seven years in the tire business and here are my thoughts.....
the best scenario is to replace all four and then stay up on your rotations so you don't have to replace them one at a time. I know that tires are not the cheapest thing to buy so that may not be an option. with only 6/32 of tread on the other tire I would recommend replacing both. I know that the legal limit is 2/32 but in my opinion no tire is safe for the winter under 5/32. even under summer driving I replace all my tires at 5/32 because there is not enough tread after that to deal with wet conditions safely. The second thing is if you are just replacing the two the safest place to put them is on the rear. I know that others on here have stated to put them on front for traction but the safest place really is the rear.
 
  #19  
Old 01-05-13, 07:26 AM
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Also be aware that the same make/model of tire (eg: Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S) may very well vary from one car manufacturer to another. Ford may specify a different tire than GM from Michelin yet they are called the same. Barry has some great info on his website Barry's Tire Tech and in the "Tires and Wheels" section at BITOG ( Bob Is The Oil Guy - Forums powered by UBB.threads™ ) where Barry posts as CapriRacer.

All tires, even those with the same name, are often not created equal.

There's lots to learn out there.

All the best.
 
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