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Old 02-10-2011, 07:39 PM
2 posts, read 24,950 times
Reputation: 15


I ran over something that destroyed the two tires on the left. The Sears guy told me that, since I have all wheel drive, the treads on all four tires must match and that I must buy four tires. He refused to sell and install only two tires.

My two remaining good tires have treads that are different from each other, and one or both have asymmetrical treads.

My car is a 2003 Subaru Legacy station wagon (not SUV).

Answers from people who know what they are talking about will be much appreciated.

Take care.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:44 PM
262 posts, read 753,525 times
Reputation: 155
Tire Tech Information - Matching Tires on Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive Vehicles
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:05 PM
10,035 posts, read 36,352,364 times
Reputation: 11848
Your Sears Tire guy is right, he'd be putting them in a situation of being liable for the possible damage to your car by putting on only two tires that didn't match the other two.

Subie is rather specific about keeping all of the tires matched within a fairly small tolerance.

Check your owner's manual and you'll see the spec for yourself.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:17 PM
8,406 posts, read 17,338,562 times
Reputation: 6715
A friend had an Audi A4 AWD and blew a tire. The dealer wouldn't replace only one tire and made him buy (only) two, because this brought the 4 tires into spec. They cited the "Haldex coupling" which is apparently the AWD differential, for the reasons given above.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:20 PM
Location: Dallas, TX
4,464 posts, read 8,641,507 times
Reputation: 2794
Like others have stated, you're gonna need a full new set to avoid damage to the AWD system, just sell the two good ones used, and it won't be as bad of a loss.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:23 PM
Location: U.S.A.
3,174 posts, read 7,811,964 times
Reputation: 2648
You may fall within the tolerances. Use a tailor's measuring tape to determine the circumference of your old tires and compare to that of new ones. You will never know until you check and no point in wasting money. Make sure they are properly inflated before you measure.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:56 PM
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
15,307 posts, read 24,069,857 times
Reputation: 10736
Not only the four tires must match all the way around, but the 4 Nokian tires on the Suzuki Sidekick I drive have an arrow each that points the correct tire rotation. In this case, the arrow indicates that these snow tires should be installed on the vehicle so that the arrow points forward. Not all tires are marked like that, however. Some treads are quite aggressive and interfere with the steering and traction if installed improperly.
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Old 02-11-2011, 06:31 AM
29 posts, read 90,325 times
Reputation: 17
yes your tires do have to match.
my drive tran is damaged a bit because i ran mismatched tires for 2 years

i now have 4 matching BFG Tires on it.

not just the Size of the tire, the tread depth as well.
that's the only down fall to the AWD vehicles.

i have to have AWD so this down fall I'm willing to take.

so when your tire goes flat or gets a hole you either.

repair the tire
Replace all 4 (blow out..then this is your option)
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:37 PM
Location: Johns Creek, GA
10,205 posts, read 39,280,981 times
Reputation: 10389
If there is ever a time or reason to buy "Road Hazard Insurance", having an all-wheel drive vehicle would be it.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:52 PM
25,328 posts, read 18,774,828 times
Reputation: 14065
size wise all four tires have to match with four wheel, or all wheel drive. best o have the tread patterns match also. do yourself a big favor and buy four tires the same size as your spare tire(if you have one and it is a normal size spare, not the doughnut style spare tire.)
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