Getting a Grip: How to Replace Tires Properly on an All-Wheel Drive Vehicle
Maintaining the tires on an all-wheel drive vehicle is an especially important task. All-wheel drive vehicles have unique drivetrain differentials that allow the wheels to rotate at different speeds relative to each other, which allows the car to maintain traction on slippery or snowy surfaces. In order to ensure the drivetrain lasts, all of the tires must match in terms of size, tread design, tread depth, manufacturer, and inflation pressure.
The most important way to maintain evenly-worn tires on an all-wheel drive car is to have these tires rotated at regular intervals. This helps to even out the wear and tear each tire experiences, resulting in longer lasting tires, and a less-stressed drivetrain. It is also a good idea to use the same brand of tires when replacing one or more. Different brands of tires differ in terms of tread design and depth, and even minor differences can lead to unnecessarily stressed drivetrain parts.
If tire replacement is unavoidable, it is not necessary to replace all four tires on an all-wheel drive car. Experts recommend replacing just the damaged tire, with the remaining three having life left in them. To ensure the new tire will complement the older tires, it is recommended to shave the tread off of the new tire. This is done using a special tire lathe in order to match the circumference of the new tire with that of the three older tires. While the new tire may lose some mileage life, the net effect of tire shaving is a stable drivetrain and evenly-worn tires.
Overall, proper tire maintenance is essential to get the best possible performance and life out of your all-wheel drive car. It can be costly to replace all four tires when only one is damaged, so consider the alternatives if possible. If a tire needs to be replaced, make sure to use the same brand or tread design, and have the tread shaved off of the new tire using a tire lathe. To keep everything working properly, rotate the tires on a regular basis. By performing these simple tasks, you can help ensure that your all-wheel drive car remains reliable for many years to come.