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I recently took my car to discount tires to have a slow leak repaired. My tires had 17,000 miles on them. I was told the tire could not be repaired and I could not replace only the one tire. I needed all new tires because with the amount of tread I had left on the others if they put on only one new tire it would damage my 4 wheel drive. I have never heard of this and neither has anyone I ask. I bought the new tires, were they right in telling me I needed all new tires?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Patty Streeter,  at Marlene, Depending on what type of 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle and how much tread was remaining on the three tires this could be true. When tires roll, the tire diameter is changed as they wear, and a new tire will roll slower than a worn tire as it has a larger diameter. Some all-wheel drive vehicles can be damaged if the tires are not within a 20% diameter of each other. The damage is caused in the differential and the transfer case as one wheel turns faster than the other. f you are unsure of what you were told get a second opinion from an ASE certified technician in your area, and you can search for one near you by giong here: Good Luck!

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