Replacing Tires and AWD

Oct 08 2006

If you have all-wheel drive – should you replace tires in pairs? All four? Just one?

I have an all-wheel drive truck and was told that all four need to be replaced so I don’t damage the drive train.

Turns out on my particular truck, that’s not true.

The system used on my vehicle uses the traction-control system to control wheel spin and transfer power to the appropriate wheels. And in such a system, mis-matched wheel sizes are not really an issue and will cause no problems for the drive-train.

Furthermore, you have to have a significant tread wear difference to matter anyways even it if did actually matter. I’ve found numbers as large as 70% – at which point you should be thinking about replacing the tires anyways.

You can read more about the differences in the GM 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive systems below:

GM TechLink write up with AWD info and more

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