Why We Recommend Fitting Tyres In Pairs
Follow these Steps for the Best Tyre Performance and Safety:
Kwik Fit has teamed up with premium tyre manufacturers, like Michelin, to suggest the best ways to increase tyre performance and safety. These recommendations are made in the interests of attaining the best vehicle performance and customer safety. We will always offer guidance based on our expertise and the latest information from our suppliers to help customers make informed decisions when it comes to their cars. Read on to find out more
Tyres on the same axle should be same type and tread depth
We recommended that tyres of comparable wear and type are fitted on the same axle.
If you need to replace one tyre you will need to decide whether to replace one or both tyres to ensure the tread depth and performance characteristics of both tyres are compatible across the axle. If the remaining tyre on the axle has 3mm of tread or less, it is best to replace both tyres to ensure braking and handling are optimised.
Three key reasons why we recommend replacing both tyres on the same axle in this situation are as follows:
- Tyres of different tread depths on the same axle can cause an imbalance of grip which may cause your car to veer to one side rather than stopping in a straight line when the brakes are applied.
- Tyre construction can vary significantly, even between patterns made by the same manufacturer. Fitting different brands and patterns across a single axle can lead to under or over steering when cornering.
- All tyres on a vehicle should always be the same seasonal type, be it summer, winter and all season. Having two different seasonal type tyres can lead to the vehicle being unstable.
Michelin have carried out extensive research into the effects of mixing tyres with different tread depths on the same wheel axle. Check out the below video to see how it can effect grip and handling:
Newest tyres should be fitted to the rear axle
If only two tyres are being replaced on a vehicle, then the new tyres should be fitted on the rear axle and tyres of similar type and comparable tread depth fitted to the front. Having the newer tyres with more tread on the rear axle will provide better handling, wet grip, and water clearance to avoid oversteer and aquaplaning on wet surfaces. This is the case regardless of whether the vehicle is front or rear wheel drive.
Fitting the newest tyres to the rear of the vehicle will also ensure the vehicle handles in a similar fashion to that which the driver has become familiar with before the tyre change as the optimum grip remains on the tyres at the rear of the vehicle. This rule applies for all tyres regardless of their seasonal use – so whether you’re in the market for Summer, Winter or All Season tyres it is best to fit the new ones to the rear axle.
There are exceptions:
- Where front and rear tyre sizes are designed to be different or have different size specifications
- Where a vehicle is designed to have directional tyres at the front and asymmetric at the rear
The below test carried out by Michelin at the MIRA testing facility show the impact of fitting new tyres to both the front and rear axles:
New Tyres to Front
New Tyres to Rear