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I have an obvious alignment issue and I need to replace the front 2 tires because of the wear that it has caused. One of my rear tires is brand new (replaced a matter of weeks ago), but the other has maybe 40% tread on it. Do I need to replace that one before I have the vehicle realigned?

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Jun 20, 2018 at 18:09
  • IMO buy the fourth tire, you can either sell the 40% tire, keep it as a spare, or the shop may give you a credit if they sell used tires. Jun 21, 2018 at 20:45

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You can have an alignment done at any time - with or without replacing tires.

But it is worth getting an alignment done so the new tires last as they should.

Edit: even if the rear is a solid axle, an alignment will show if it is bent and needs replacing / repairing depending on its construction.

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  • Does that last old-ish tire make a difference in the alignment if I don't replace it? Jun 20, 2018 at 18:00
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    @ThisTooShallKickAss - It shouldn't make a difference in the alignment, but may have other implications for such things as the differential if on a drive axle, or a transfer case if the vehicle is all wheel drive. These factors depend on how much different the size is of the old tire (how much wear is there on it, which would make it physically smaller than the others). The alignment will take into account any differences due to the old tire, so is not an issue. Jun 20, 2018 at 18:09
  • Also, not all axles can be aligned, particularly the rear. Solid or live axles generally can't be adjusted for camber or toe, and they don't have caster, so what's left? Unless your car has independent suspension at all four corners, the rear doesn't have much/any adjust-ability.
    – Tim Nevins
    Jun 20, 2018 at 18:16
  • @TimNevins So if I'm in a 2-wheel drive sedan and I only replace the front 2 tires (assuming it's a front-wheel drive), they're essentially only going to perform alignment on the front axle? Jun 20, 2018 at 18:18

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