Replacing a Single Tire on AWD Vehicle

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Jan 2, 2004
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Tires are one thing the sales department looks at on a lease return - and they’ll ding you for mismatched or worn tires.

While the service department will throw on cheap set of tires if they are going to sell the car(if the car is nice enough at turn-in, it will more than likely become a CPO rather than getting shipped off to Manheim or ADESA/Carvana) a new set of a moderately-priced tires; not Chinese stuff like LingLong but not Michelin either but something like General, Sumitomo/Falken, Toyo or Firestone won’t hurt and makes it more likely you’ll walk away from the lease without penalties.
 
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Apr 24, 2018
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Coming from the horses mouth

Tire shaving is both unnecessary and pointless.

The traction and wear of a shaved tire even if identical in brand and size will be very different than an identical but naturally worn tire.

Best to rotate frequently and selectively until the odd tire wears in and not sweat it.
 
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Belle Tire performs tire plugs for free. If there’s one by you I’d give them a try. They’ve plugged a handful of tires for me.

As one poster mentioned, I believe they do it for free for two reasons: 1. No charge, no record of them touching the tire, no liability. 2. They’re hoping their free services will get you back to buy tires, where they’ll charge you $100 to mount and balance 4 tires.
 
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..........

The traction and wear of a shaved tire even if identical in brand and size will be very different than an identical but naturally worn tire.

Best to rotate frequently and selectively until the odd tire wears in and not sweat it.
Neither of those make sense. If you had said that there some minor difference between a shaved tire and a worn tire, I would agree, but in that case, the difference isn't enough to worry about. Besides, we are trying to prevent a AWD system failure.

I also don't believe that a new tire would wear more rapidly and catch up with the other tires. How does that even happen?

Some AWD systems are sensitive to difference in tire diameter - hence the shaved tire recommendation. Subaru comes to mind. (Is this still true? I don't think I want to be the guy to find out - too expensive!)
 
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Neither of those make sense. If you had said that there some minor difference between a shaved tire and a worn tire, I would agree, but in that case, the difference isn't enough to worry about. Besides, we are trying to prevent a AWD system failure.

I also don't believe that a new tire would wear more rapidly and catch up with the other tires. How does that even happen?

Some AWD systems are sensitive to difference in tire diameter - hence the shaved tire recommendation. Subaru comes to mind. (Is this still true? I don't think I want to be the guy to find out - too expensive!)

I don’t have AWD, I’ve had “shaved” tires that constantly activate traction control, turn it off and the same tire spins and I pivot about the shaved tire
and the shaved wore down prematurely and irregularly.

My experience is that it’s just a waste of money, might prevent an AWD error when you first mount but in 5000 miles it won’t matter
 
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If by 'error' you mean destroyed center differential we are on the same page.
If one's AWD system has no center diff then it does not apply.

Krzyś
 

Astro14

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I don’t have AWD, I’ve had “shaved” tires that constantly activate traction control, turn it off and the same tire spins and I pivot about the shaved tire
and the shaved wore down prematurely and irregularly.

My experience is that it’s just a waste of money, might prevent an AWD error when you first mount but in 5000 miles it won’t matter
It depends on the AWD system.

Some systems use electronic clutches that are more tolerant of size variation. If the clutch is engaging and locking up when it doesn’t need to, you may get an error.

You will certainly get excessive clutch wear.

Some systems use a viscous coupling- and on those systems, which are always engaged, you won‘t get an error, but the constant slippage inside the coupling will wear it out, leading to an AWD system failure and very expensive repair.

You say that you don’t have an AWD system, but then tell us what you’ve experienced. Since you don’t own the car, you have no idea what damage was done, in the long run, by different size tires. The damage may not show up as an error, and the owner of the AWD may not see it, until the next low traction situation, when it no longer functions.
 
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Mar 8, 2012
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It depends on the AWD system.

Some systems use electronic clutches that are more tolerant of size variation. If the clutch is engaging and locking up when it doesn’t need to, you may get an error.

You will certainly get excessive clutch wear.

Some systems use a viscous coupling- and on those systems, which are always engaged, you won‘t get an error, but the constant slippage inside the coupling will wear it out, leading to an AWD system failure and very expensive repair.

You say that you don’t have an AWD system, but then tell us what you’ve experienced. Since you don’t own the car, you have no idea what damage was done, in the long run, by different size tires. The damage may not show up as an error, and the owner of the AWD may not see it, until the next low traction situation, when it no longer functions.
“I don’t want to get new tires. One will do it. It is not like I am racing.”

“My transfer case is shot! Garbage of a vehicle.”
 
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Mar 4, 2017
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...
This is funny. The OP got the tire and had it installed over a year ago and yet this thread gets resurrected .

“OP Update... I purchased that tire on eBay. Great seller (unitedtires)... it arrived on my doorstep in less than 48 hours. Had a local shop install it today and it's a perfect match. Total cost was for tire and installation was $78.”
 
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