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Viewer Question: Tires and AWD Vehicles

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Paul and John Hutchinson from Red Rocket Auto Tech are in the studio with some answers to a viewer question.

Is it really necessary to replace all four tires on my all-wheel drive (AWD) car at the same time? -- Anna

AWD vehicles expect things to be just right. If you deviate from what is expected, serious damage can occur to very expensive drivetrain components (transfer case, differentials, etc.)

Some important items that consumers should consider before buying an AWD vehicle.

o AWD vehicles are heavier, so expect less fuel economy

o AWD traction enhancements are helpful when going straight, but provide no benefit when cornering or braking.


  • Always buy a set of four (4) new tires
  • Ensure equal tire pressure at all times
  • Never mix & match tire brand, size, or tread pattern
  • If a spare is required, patch and replace the original tire immediately


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