Can I replace just 2 tires? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 11:42 AM
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Can I replace just 2 tires?

2007 limited V6 4x4, can I safely replace just 2 tires?
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 12:05 PM
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short answer: no

long answer: you can get away with it, if the new tires have the same circumference as the used one that are staying on the car, because if there is a difference between the front and rear, you will put strain the the rear dif.

I would not take that chance!
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#3 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 12:34 PM
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I think you can safely replace 2 tires on an axle if you have safe tread on the other axle. I am not an expert on tires, and I know it. I believe that if a difference quarter of an inch in tread was damaging to our cars, the Owner's manual would say so.

Some cars are more sensitive to tire size differences. The manufacturers of those cars say so.

2009 V6 4wd Base
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 02:32 PM
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Is it safe? Yes. Will it harm your vehicle immediately? Probably. Will it harm your vehicle in the long run? Probably.

You are probably replacing 2 because you wore them down and didn't rotate often (just a guess so don't kill me). If you get 2 new ones, the diameter will be off. between the front and the rear (assuming you are changing either 2 fronts or 2 rears). If the diameters are off, you are risking vehicle predictability in handling and emergency maneuvers. Also two sets of tires (assuming you aren't buying the same brand) will wear differently and have different handling characteristics.

So the moral is:
1) Rotate your tires to wear evenly and then replace all 4 at the same time
2) Replacing 2 is not the safest of safe but it will not kill you

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#5 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 08:50 PM
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I think you can do it with no problems. If you are comparing full treads on new tires to practically bald on the others, then that would be a BAD idea. On the other hand if you want to compare two new tires to some slightly used, say half or more tread still remaining, then I see no problem. The key with most all suspension things is to just keep the axles even. As long as you replace two on the same axle you should be OK. Think about it this way. Lets say you have some halfway used tires and some chunk of metal cuts your sidewall. The tire is toast so you need a new one. So now what? Do you replace all 1, 2, or 4 tires to keep even wear? That would make no sense. The diameter differential is so small I don't think the differential will feel it. It's your call, and you can ask the tire shop. I would call a few tires shops and see what they say. I say call a few to try and get an honest answer instead of a knee jerk reaction of "Yea, replace them all!" Of coarse they have a profit to think about.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 11:59 PM
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Hello there. Im no expert but i did work at a tire shop for 6 years. when buying two tires it is important that the other tires be inspected. there can not be more than 2 32nds of difference in the old tires from the new. In the short run you might not notice any difference. But i have put a tire on that was not the same overall diameter due to wear and started to hear a growl instantly. in the long run internal damage to transfer case and rear diff can be a result of the difference in diameter. I once saw a audi tt quattro just drive 1500 miles and blew the transfer case. $4k later he now knows to buy all 4 tires at the same time.
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 11:39 PM
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does this only apply to 4x4, so if 1 tire blew you replace all 4 if they're half worn? i just replaced 2 on my 4WD and no issues 5K later although i'm planning to replace the other 2 soon.
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leod View Post
does this only apply to 4x4, so if 1 tire blew you replace all 4 if they're half worn? i just replaced 2 on my 4WD and no issues 5K later although i'm planning to replace the other 2 soon.
It applies to AWD, 4x4, etc. "tirerack.com" has a lot of information about tires, rotation, proper tires to use, etc.
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 02:42 AM
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leod, our cars do not have a drive system like an Audi Quattro. The Audi Quattro is much more sensitive to mismatches, and its owner's manual has specifications as to how closely the tires should match. Our cars are more tolerant.

2009 V6 4wd Base
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbon View Post
leod, our cars do not have a drive system like an Audi Quattro. The Audi Quattro is much more sensitive to mismatches, and its owner's manual has specifications as to how closely the tires should match. Our cars are more tolerant.
I don't think so. All AWD automobiles have instructions on the manual about proper tires to use. Even some ATV's require the right set of tires for the front and for the back. The tires for AWD vehicles should match each other in accordance to the automobile manufacturer's instructions in the manual, since the vehicle's traction control responds to what is happening to each tire in relation to traction.

There is a lot of information in here:
Tire Tech at Tire Rack


Now, for FWD vehicles pairs of tires can be replaced. In this case, the new set of tires should be installed on the rear, and the partially worn tires in the front.

Last edited by RayinAlaska; 03-23-2011 at 03:00 AM.
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