It’s common to have a couple of tyres on your car that are newer than the other two.

Following on from our previous infographic on worn tyres, we now take a look at how different tyre treads can be dangerous. Some of the reasons aren’t obvious, so that what warrants of fitness would uncover — any tyre tread issues and whether it’s worth replacing your old tyres with some new ones.


Here are some key issues with uneven tyre treads.


Tyres are typically designed using a specific pattern or profile. This profile delivers a range of known performances. This is where the main problems start, when you mix different treads:

  • Reactions to stress: Different tyres, naturally, respond differently to stress. Their profiles respond to sudden high pressure differently, causing the tyres to behave differently. If you’re braking hard, you can expect the tyres to do different things. Not an encouraging thought, is it? Some people say different treads can actually cause spin and fishtailing.
  • Different traction: This is one of the more subtle, harder to spot problems. The different profiles grip the road differently, too. That means that you have two different pressures affecting your tyres, steering and of course your suspension.
  • Wheel alignment: Put it this way; aligning four of the same wheels is pretty easy. Aligning different wheels isn’t. An expert can do a good job of managing alignment and balancing your wheels, but with different wheels, it’s always going to be “best possible”, not “best”.
  • Performance: Even good tyres have clearly defined performance capabilities. Put different tyres together, and they’re going to be “competing” with each other on the road. If one tyre is a good solid ground-gripper, and the other is a nice suburban tyre, they obviously can’t react the same way at the same time. You would probably prefer not to be guessing what your tyres will do in a crisis, right?
  • Safety: The overall consensus is that you’re better off with all the same tyres, rather than mixing them. Using different tyres isn’t illegal, but when so many experts say “Don’t do it!” you’re better off following their advice.
  • The “Warrant of Fitness” factor: Another less obvious issue is that of course different tyres wear differently. You may have one great tyre and three you wouldn’t trust on a slot car, or three good ones and one candidate for the garbage. When your WOF is about a tyre problem, you can bet that your different tyres will definitely be costing you money. To add insult to injury, the excessive tyre wear is most likely being caused by the stresses from the different tyre. This is another strong point in favour of the argument that having different tyres really isn’t a good idea.

Any time you need new tyres in South Auckland, call Drury Tires. We have a huge range, so different tyres won’t be a problem with us. Call 09 294 8139 or contact us online 24/7. We’ll be happy to help.