Are Mismatched Wheels and Tires Safe on the Road?

Many situations could arise in which you will need to replace your wheels and tires. It can happen naturally over time as your tires build up wear or you could encounter an instant flat, scratch a wheel on a curb or bend it from a pothole.

Whatever the case may be, you probably won’t want to spend hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars on a new set of tires and/or wheels. While we recommend always having the same tires and wheels throughout your entire vehicle, there are some cases where mismatched tires can work as a temporary fix.

Matching Wheels & Tires on Each Axle

If you decide to use mismatched tires or wheels, you need to ensure that each axle of your vehicle contains the same tires. On a 2-axle vehicle, the two front tires should match and the two rear tires should match. Rear tires do not necessarily have to match the pair of front tires. However, the replacement tire and wheel sets should be similar in size to the original.

Dodge Ram OEM WheelAll tires are different so we recommend this option as a temporary fix only. If you continually use mismatched tires and wheels they will wear out unevenly and can cause problems later down the road.

If you choose to drive your vehicle with mismatched wheels the same issues can result. Mismatched wheels will fit each tire differently causing uneven wear and tear. In addition, different sized wheels can lead to different sized tires which can be detrimental to your vehicle.

The best case scenario is to buy the same original equipment wheels that came on your vehicle. Blackburn has the widest breadth of inventory of Original Equipment Manufacturer wheels in the industry, available for purchase online or by phone. The Blackburn Wheelfinder can help you find the OEM wheel for your vehicle’s specific make, model and year.

Dangers of Mismatched Wheels & Tires

There are many potential dangers to driving with mismatched tires. When you purchase a new car or a new complete set of tires, you know the tires will wear evenly. However, if you replace a single worn tire with a brand new tire your set will have different tread depths.

Tire sets with various wear patterns can change the handling of your vehicle, especially if the weather conditions are hazardous. It can be particularly dangerous if you have replaced multiple tires & wheels with mismatched versions.

While you may be able to get away with using various brands and models, using different sized tires and wheels can lead to accidents and expensive maintenance issues. Mismatched tires and wheels put constant stress on your vehicle’s suspension and transmission, along with your brakes and ABS system. All of which poses a risk to driving the vehicle and a hazard to other traffic around you.

Value of Your Vehicle with Mismatched Tires

The value of your vehicle is another point to keep in mind. Mismatched wheels & tires not only damage your vehicle, but it will also diminish its value. Would you buy a used car that has mismatched tires? I think most of us would be cautious. If nothing else, the look of mismatched wheels and tires suggest a lack of vehicle maintenance.

When selling your vehicle it is worth the investment of purchasing a matching or new set of tires and wheels. You can purchase a set of used or reconditioned alloy wheels or steel wheels  fairly cheap. That investment alone would increase the value of your vehicle over mismatched wheels. Blackburn OEM Wheel Solutions offers a wide selection of new, used and reconditioned OEM alloy wheels and OEM steel wheels ready for purchase!

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