3 good tires / Buy a new tire or a whole set?

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Dec 9, 2003
I have 3 good kumho tires that have about 10,000 miles left on them before they become illegal. One was trashed which left me 3 tires. Should I get a whole new set or just purchase another new tire for $60? Keep in mind the other 3 will be out wore out past the legal limits in 10,000 miles. I can get a whole new set for $300 installed.
How about two new tires, and put the two brand new ones on one axle and the two worn ones on the other? Another way of looking at this. If we assume a tire life of 40K miles, then 160,000 "tire miles" costs $300.00. Your three "good tires" represent 30,000 "tire miles", or 3/16 the value of a new set. So the remaining value of your three good tires is 3/16 of $300, or a little over $50. Take into account that as those 3 tires continue to wear and will be used with a single tire with more tread, plus you will always be "out of sync" on tire replacements, perhaps it would be a lot less hassle to just change them all.
I think you'll get a vibration or separated belts before you reach min tread depth so it depends on how much you drive. I vote for 1 tire if you drive 15,000 miles per year. Or, a full set if you drive 25,000 miles. Joe
Buy one now and three later when you wear the kumhos out. Your slightly used tire can be kept in the rear/easier position more often in your rotation plan. Only problem is this could void the treadwear warranty on the 3 new tires which will require frequent, even rotation (read the fine print).
What you could do is track down a tire of the same size and the same approximate wear for a cheap price($20-30 here, could be about the same elsewhere) and get that 10,000 miles that you want. Otherwise replace two tires at once keeping the two that are in the best condition and rotate to even that wear out. If you don't want to do either of those, the only issue is money for four new ones.
I'd pretty much agree with MN Driver, I used to get used tires at a local fairgrounds/flea market for $15 ea..could be more now though- (made great spares). Used tire would hold for the time being, and then you could be watching the tire sales for any good sale that comes up. Some places may even give you one for the price of mnt/balance...it's worth asking. I got a whole truckbed load for free from a gas station once, I used them to make some steps in a steep slope at a mtn cabin... That's how it always seems to go huh...3 still good, one blows, hate to dump 3 good tires...
Having worked fitting many hundreds of tyres a long time in the past, I would buy 2 if you can not afford 4 at this time. BTW. How good are your remaining tyres with 10,000m on them? Some tyres are poor handlers once the tread gets down and the rubber starts to deteriate. Maybe something to consider.
Kumhos are so cheap that you can afford to throw them away 10k miles early. I would suggest get a new set. The ride quality, handling, and braking of the last 10k is not the same as the first 10k, so I think you are not really throwing away 1/6 of your $, but more like 1/12 or 1/18 of it.
The decision needs to be based on you use of the car and of the cars capabilities. Say you have a 400 HP Corvette:: In this situation I would replace all 4 tires. Why? Because it is basically impossible to match last years batch of tires with this years batch of tires -- even from the same tire brand and model numbers. If you lean on the tires and want predictable performance at the edge of traction, you only have one safe choice:: all 4. On the other hand, say you have a 150 HP Volvo. In this case, it is highly unlikely that you will ever explore the traction envelope. Still you should replace the tires in pairs with the new pair going to the drive wheels. Over the past 20 years, and considering the 9 cars I had during that period, I have only replaced tires in quads, except for one time where a tire hit a curb within the first 1000 miles of being new, and I replaced only that tire with a tire from the same batch that was only 2 weeks older than the original tire. (Yes, I did check the date codes on the sidewall).
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