Tyres in Brisbane – Is it safe to drive with mismatched tyres?

Tyres in Brisbane – Make sure your tyre change is made for safe driving

When your vehicle’s tyres in Brisbane are replaced, it pays to go to a tyre specialist. That’s what the following story shows – a nightmare that I wouldn’t have thought could be true. Unfortunately, it is, and it makes me wonder how many other cars are in a similar dangerous state.

Even car dealerships make mistakes with tyres in Brisbane

I was discussing tyres at a barbie a couple of weekends ago when a friend said that she was experiencing poor control. She had twice felt her back-end slip on the camber of a bend that morning before arriving at our place.

As soon as I examined her car, I knew the reason her driving was suffering. She’d had three new tyres recently. That’s three. Not two or four, but three. It turns out that she’d taken her car for a service, and the dealer had replaced the tyres that they said needed replacing. And it turns out that not all car dealerships know that you should never switch out an uneven number of tyres.

Not only had the dealership changed only three tyres, they’d also changed them for a different size! The three new tyres were P195/65/R15, and the one that they left was P195/60/R15. (For an explanation about tyre sizes, see our tyre blog “How to choose the best tyres for Queensland roads and save money”.)

Is it dangerous to drive on mismatched tyres?

As my friend had experienced, mismatched tyres can produce poor vehicle handling. If all your tyres are the same make, model and size, you’ll be able to maintain them for longer with a good tyre rotation policy. Uneven tyres equal uneven steering and uneven braking. By rotating regularly, wear should be evener.

What’s the best strategy for changing tyres?

Ideally, you should replace all four tyres at the same time. It’s also best to replace like with like – the same manufacturer and the same amount of wear. It creates an even balance to your vehicle and improves handling, especially when you most need it – on wet roads, around corners, and in heavy traffic.

For most people, changing all four tyres simultaneously is an expensive proposition. Especially if only one tyre ‘needs’ replacing – for example if you’ve had a blowout. It’s unreasonable to expect you to go to the expense of changing all four tyres for the sake of a single flat.

What if you can’t afford to replace all four tyres?

If you can’t afford to replace all four tyres at the same time, then you should replace in pairs – and on the same axle. Replace with the same style, size and make as your remaining tyres. If this is impossible, speak to us and we’ll suggest a suitable alternative as close to the dimensions and tread design as possible. Most importantly, we’ll match performance, speed and load ratings, and traction characteristics.

And if your remaining tyres have a little wear and tear?

If the remaining tyres haven’t had much wear on them, then you may get away with replacing only the flat. If you do this, then select a tyre that’s the same make, size and type as the tyre on the opposite end of the same axle.

Another solution may be to buy retread tyres – a suggestion that some tyre buyers might consider being preposterous (having been taught by their fathers and grandfathers that retreads are dangerous), but a solution that could save hundreds of dollars on a set of four new tyres.

Always change your tyres with a strategy of safety first. Contact us today on 07 3333 5510 and book an appointment to have your tyres checked in Brisbane.

Keeping your family and fleet safely on the road,

Kevin Wood

About the Author

Kevin has been at the forefront of the tyre industry for over 20 years. Kevin's speciality is in industrial and commercial tyres including the management and upkeep of fleets. Kevin has worked with vehicles his whole career from painting, mechanical, suspension and panel beating he has also spent time in the Australia Army as a driver. He has driven all size of vehicles throughout his career so understands the demands placed on drivers.