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I got 4 new Michelin Energy Saver A/S tires for my 2012 Camry a few months ago. One tire blew out over the weekend, it got a screw in the center of the tread and apparently lost air fast causing the sidewall to blow out. The set of tires has about 15K miles on them, they are warrantied thru 65K.

Am I fine with getting just one new tire or should I get a pair? I will be getting the exact same model tire.


So I ended up getting just the one tire. Don't notice any difference in handling. The Discount Tire rep said it may screw things up with the car long term but I doubt it. They do not offer tire shaving. I initially ordered two tires so I had to pay a $25 restocking fee for the second tire, but that's a lot better than paying $125 for the tire. Also since I bought the four tires from them initially they prorated the cost of the replacement tire, so I only had to pay $35 or so for the new tire which was a pleasant surprise! :)

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Considering that the tires are quite new, I would get just one new tire, if you can find a completely identical one. Of course whether this is a good idea depends on how hard you drive. So see the tread pattern depth on a new tire and on one of your old tires and see if there's much difference. For hard driving, replacing two might be a good idea.

Some all-wheel drive vehicles however may have troubles with replacing just one tire.

If you cannot find a completely identical tire, replace two tires (left+right on the same axle) and from this point on, use a tire rotation pattern that maintains the property that both new tires are on the same axle. So, alternatively on rear axle and front axle. Usually the recommended pattern is to swap front and rear, and on one of those swaps, swap also left and right. Pattern a and c here are such ones:

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However, if you have an all-wheel drive vehicle, do read your user's manual. If it says you must not mix new and old tires, don't do so! It may mean you need to replace all 4.

  • Thanks for the reply! As stated in the OP it's a Camry, not all-wheel drive. I updated the OP to note that I plan to get the exact same model. Also I plan to let Discount Tire worry about the rotation schedule :) – dhopper Nov 6 '17 at 18:50
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There is a process for this already -- it's called grinding (or shaving). The tire shop will actually shave tread off the brand-new tire to match the wear on your other tires. It feels wasteful, but it is the best way to keep drivetrain wear to a minimum.

  • Thanks! This sounds like it would be ideal. From my research it seems like not many tire shops have a shaving tool anymore. I'll ask about it at the tire shop tomorrow though. If they don't have one I will just get the one new tire and maybe search around town for a place that can shave the tire later. Though if I got the tire shaved elsewhere that would probably void whatever warranty I get :( – dhopper Nov 7 '17 at 2:48
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    Sounds like a case for a one-wheel-peel in a puddle with a handbrake then. – Bryan Boettcher Nov 7 '17 at 14:56
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You could also just get a used tire with a similar but preferably identical tread wear rating (100, 300, 400, etc) and also similar but preferably identical performance level (summer, all season, high performance summer, etc) and run that along with your 3 other used tires so they'll all need to be replaced around the same time.

Of note however is that tread wear ratings are usually only consistent across manufacturer so going with another michelin would be preferred in this case.

Long story short don't forget that people sell used tires. It's an easy and budget-conscious option for this problem until a pair or set of tires are ready to be replaced.

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    Thanks for the reply! I understand that it's an option, but a couple things steer me away from trying to get a used tire: 1) I read that used tires are sketchy since you don't know their history, they could have some internal damage that is difficult to detect 2) I don't know a good way to search for used tires :) – dhopper Nov 6 '17 at 19:57
  • Fair points. Regarding 1 you can perform a visual inspection and also take a tread depth measurement yourself to verify the life left on the tire. You can also purchase from a reputable shop so you don't have to worry about the tire holding air. If it doesn't they should take it back. Regarding 2, you can usually find shops near car repair areas of your city or more industrialized areas. Note that most affluent people buy all their tires new so used tire shops are not frequently found in higher income areas. At least in my experience. And you can't search for them you just show up. – anon58192932 Nov 6 '17 at 19:59
  • Got it. The article I read said the tire could have some internal damage that such an inspection could not detect. I am clueless about cars so no idea if that is accurate :) – dhopper Nov 6 '17 at 20:01
  • It's certainly a possibility but like almost all repairs to a car there's going to be at least one opportunity for a shady shop to take advantage of you if you don't know all there is to know about cars. Sadly, with today's car climate, the only good way to not get ripped off is through trial and error of trying to find reputable shops and use a bit of yelp / google maps reviews so you're not going in blind. – anon58192932 Nov 6 '17 at 20:02
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    There is also debate as to whether or not a used radial tire can be driving in the reverse direction from which it was worn in, see a recent thread on this stack. – dotancohen Nov 7 '17 at 11:32
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May I know your car is it AWD/ FWD/ RWD ? According to this article,http://foreveruncarparts.blogspot.com/2017/11/do-you-need-to-replace-all-4-tires-at.html For FWD/RWD,Usually two at a time is sufficient for FWD/RWD. If you decide to replace only one tire, it should be the same model, size and tread pattern as the others. Hope that helps.

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