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1. You do not have to purchase all 4 new tires, regardless whether it is AWD or FWD.
2. But if you really want to have all identical tires - just buy the same model used tire on ebay. You will also save $$$ in the process.
 

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AWD has a lot of disadvantages. One being tires. If you have 40,000 miles on your tires and a back tire becomes unrepairable, you must buy 4 tires even though you still have 20,000 miles of tread left on the other 3.

I have had FWD on the last 5 cars and never had an issue with snow in NH. But then I drove a Ford Pinto (rear wheel drive with bad weight distribution for those who do not know this infamous car - oh ya, exploding gas tanks also) up and over a mountain road when 4WD jeeps were off the road. Knowing how to handle this is obviously important.
 

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Agree... I hate AWD. I rarely really need it and it does make you by 4 replacement tires if you ruin one. I had a situation where I had recently bought new tires. I had a flat on the interstate and the tire could not be repaired. The dealer made me buy 4 new tires, even with 3 perfectly good ones. I live in central Illinois and am much more likely to experience a flat tire than a true need for AWD. AWD is a good idea, but the cost and issues with tires are not worth it. IMO.
Nobody ever suggested that you buy a single new tire of the same make/model and have it shaved to the tread depth of the other 3? It's a pretty common practice for those of us that run AWD in snow country.
 

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Nobody ever suggested that you buy a single new tire of the same make/model and have it shaved to the tread depth of the other 3? It's a pretty common practice for those of us that run AWD in snow country.
Now why would a tire dealer suggest that? I have read it, but I have not found anybody in the south who does it. Although, I have not looked hard.
 

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Now why would a tire dealer suggest that? I have read it, but I have not found anybody in the south who does it. Although, I have not looked hard.
Well, now you know! You can stop knocking AWD on the basis of single tire loss, as it's simply NOT a real problem. Try googling "tire shaving near me". I get dozens of hits. Any speed / competition shop, most tire dealers, heck, several of the on-line sellers will deliver a new tire to you or a nearby shop for mounting shaved to any depth you request for a nominal fee.

 

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A former Ohioan here that used to drive from Cincinnati to Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo in all sorts of weather throughout the year. Having had 4WD, AWD, & FWD through the years I think your best bet is .... get a good 2nd set of snow tires. Granted, those from the North grow up learning about snow and ice, which is a very definite advantage and 4WD on great tires can't be beat, but if you're a careful driver with snow tires and FWD you'll do fine. Of course, if you're like those darn fools with a big P/U truck that think 4WD and big tires is going to save 'em, we'll be seeing you down the road in the ditch for sure!

Seriously, a good set of snow tires is the key and driving responsibly is the iceing on the cake .... as for me, I retired and moved to Tennessee and that solved the problem for me in a big, big way! :)
 

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I currently have 12 winter tires (on rims with TPMS sensors) up in my loft, and will add 4 more in the next month or two for the kid's RAV4. We consider it just a part of the kit when you live in snow country, way out on semi-rural roads, and your own 500 ft long uphill driveway to contend with.

Good treads are essential for steering and braking, as well as for getting moving.
 
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