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Last year when we switched from snow back to summer tires, at a Toyota dealer as it happens, they said two of them needed to be replaced and so we installed just two new tires and kept the ok old ones. I believe the new ones were installed on the front.

This year I went somewhere else to switch from snows, and on coming home discovered they had put one set on the left and the other set on the right. That feels ... wrong to me. Is it? I found a handful of articles (mostly written in an amateur style so I'm not linking to them, they might just be places to put ads with ai-generated text) that said you should never have two different brands of tires on your car at all, but if that was so why wouldn't the dealer have taken the opportunity to insist on selling me 4 new tires?

Should I switch these around so each brand is on the front or the back, or does it not matter? The car is a Toyota Venza: at speeds under 30 km/hr it's all wheel drive, above that it's front wheel unless it decides it needs all wheel.

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There is no problem with mixing brands of tires as long as they are comparable in makeup and size. Make up meaning they have the same amount of plies, same ply material, etc.

On a separate note, I'm going to assume when you had these two tires replaced, they went on the same axle (front or back of the car). If so, you should really keep them together with matched tires on a single axle. That way there's no difference left to right with wear on the tires nor how they might behave.

The other thing I note is, keeping the tires rotating in the same direction as when they first hit the ground is the best way to go. While it won't happen every time, tires can have their plies separate, which can cause bulges in the tire and a very rough ride. Tires tend to get broke-in in the direction they first turn. If not kept moving in the same direction, the separation can occur. It used to be a lot worse with bias ply tires, but it can happen even with radials. When taken off of the car to exchange for winter tires, each tire should either be marked with direction of travel or location where they came off the vehicle.

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  • I would be happier if the newer ones were on the front and the older on the back, as they were last year, but the crux of the matter is: how much of a deal is it that they are not? Should I go somewhere and get them rotated into that configuration? Apr 26, 2023 at 21:13
  • @KateGregory - That is what I'd suggest if you're not able to do it yourself. I would have them matching front or rear. That's about the only safety concern I'd have with mixing tires. I mean, if you have to, you can put a different brand on one corner, but I personally prefer matching them left to right on the same axle. Apr 26, 2023 at 21:22
  • "keeping the tires rotating in the same direction as when they first hit the ground is the best way to go" is counter to how most manufacturers recommend tire rotation.
    – Tiger Guy
    May 2, 2023 at 17:19
  • @TigerGuy - While I'd agree that's generally what they show, I guess what I wrote was more opinion with the reason why I believe this way. Keeping the tires rotating in the same direction will help prevent this particular failure. As I stated, it doesn't always happen when you run them opposite, the propensity for it to happen is higher. May 2, 2023 at 17:28

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