Is it OK to use tires from 2 different brands?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jds2006, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. jds2006

    jds2006 Golden Member

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    I replaced my front left tire about 3 months ago and then the rest of the tires last month. The newest ones are all from the same company, but the one that I replaced 3 months ago is from a different company. I'm not sure if the two different tires are the same size, but they probably are since the mechanic chose the tire sizes for my car. My dad says that I should've matched all the tires though. Is this true? Should I go back and replace the unmatching tire so it'll match with the other three or does it not make that much of a difference?

    Also, everytime I turn on my car a warning symbol that looks like a circle divided into thirds with an exclamation point right next to it shows up on my dashboard and then disappears after a couple seconds. Occasionally it'll stay on for the entire time my car is on, and then disappear the next time I turn on and drive the car. Does anyone know what that warning symbol stands for? I looked in my car manual but I couldn't find any warning symbols that look like the one that shows up on my dashboard..

    Another problem is that when I drive on the freeway, my car will occasionally feel like as if it's squirrelling around a little bit even when I'm holding my steering wheel steady. Not enough that it actually swerves into another lane automatically, but I can still feel it. Could this be due to the unmatching tires? Or could it be do the problem the warning symbol is trying to warn me about?

    Edit: My car is a 2005 suzuki forenza. Here's a pic of what the warning symbol looks like.
     
  2. thedarkwolf

    thedarkwolf Diamond Member

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    When I bought my beater van it had 4 different tires :) I never noticed anything but you should at least keep the unmatched pair on the non-drive axle, put it on the rear if your car is FWD. They do need to be the same size especially if they are on the front of a fwd car. Having different sized tires up front can make steering funky and it won't make the differential very happy either.
     
  3. alkemyst

    alkemyst No Lifer

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    mixing tires is not recommended, but if you have too you can get by with the same tire class and treadpattern type.

    It's usually done in pairs per axle though...
     
  4. bruceb

    bruceb Diamond Member

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    Agree. On the front wheels, you want the same Brand & Size
    on both and run the same air pressure in both. If you must
    mix brands put them on the Rear of the car where it will not
    affect the handling as much (if at all)
     
  5. Raduque

    Raduque Lifer

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    Also, to figure out what the dash light is about, we need to know what make, model and trim your car is.
     
  6. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member
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    Sorry, but that's bad advice for at least two reasons.

    1) If you must mix brands, you do it on the non-drive axle. If the car is rear-drive, you mix the brands on the front axle. If the car is front-drive, then your advice holds. If the car is AWD or 4WD, then you should never mix tire brands at all. Mixing brands on a drive axle is a good way to wear out a differential, even if the tires are supposedly the same size.

    2) It is far better to have suspect tires on the front axle than on the rear axle. If there are negative effects on grip, you want those to happen on the front axle where they will provide much more warning to the driver that limits are being approached and will result in relatively benign understeer if something pushes them past the limit. You do NOT want that on the rear axle because it will not as clearly communicate impending limits and if those limits are passed it will result in oversteer making it vastly more likely that the car will spin out of control.

    ZV
     
  7. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member
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    Missed this before. Your car is probably tramlining. That's what it is called when a car tends to follow ruts in the road even without steering input. This is affected by numerous things, but tends to be mostly due to the type/width of tire and how stiff the suspension is. My 951 does this very badly, but it has wide summer tires on it and a fairly stiff suspension, so I expect this behaviour. Many times it can be cured simply by choosing a different brand of tire.

    As for the warning light, as someone else mentioned we need to know the make, model, and year of your car. A photo of the warning light when it's on would also help.

    ZV
     
  8. bruceb

    bruceb Diamond Member

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    Read this link at Tirerack

    http://www.tirerack.com/tires/...echpage.jsp?techid=136

    They do not say if mixed tires should or should not be on the drive axle,
    as for the most part, they suggest not mixing at all. My suggestion to use
    the rear wheels for mixing is based on the facts, that when a tire does fail,
    such as a flat or blowout, it is easier to control the car when it happens in
    the rear and not on the steering axle.
     
  9. M2008S

    M2008S Senior member

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    if its some 4wd anything (car truck suv) youll ruin the transfer case.

    you can mix though as some have said.. pairs by the axel. etc. no biggie. i have 2x 30" goodyears and 2x31" mesa's on my pickup
     
  10. spidey07

    spidey07 No Lifer

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    I'd guess that the light is your traction control telling you that there is wheel slippage. I hope you have the same size tires and the oddball isn't a different size. You can read the size on the sidewall of the tire - like 235/45/17.
     
  11. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member
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    No, it is not easier to control when there is a blowout on the rear axle. A blowout on the rear axle is much more likely to induce a spin. A blowout on the front axle is benign. I had one happen to me in the middle of a hard corner and it was barely noticeable.

    It is alway more difficult to control a vehicle when the rear axle is upset. If you think otherwise, you're mistaken.

    Some of us who track regularly may prefer the feel of a slightly squirrely rear axle over the understeer that results from a problem on the front axle, but the absolute fact is that in normal street driving it is far better to upset the front axle than it is to upset the rear axle.

    ZV
     
  12. JulesMaximus

    JulesMaximus No Lifer

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    I wouldn't do it personally. I usually replace all my tires at once though.
     
  13. sniperruff

    sniperruff Lifer

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    its absolutely ok. i had tires with 3 different levels of treadwear and 2 different brands. it tends to go in one direction... kind of like a bad alignment.
     
  14. jds2006

    jds2006 Golden Member

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    My car is a 2005 suzuki forenza. Here's a pic of what the warning symbol looks like.
     
  15. bruceb

    bruceb Diamond Member

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    That light indicates a problem with the Speed Sensitive Power Steering System.
    It may be caused by different tire sizes on the front of the car or if may be an actual
    issue with the sensors or computer that adjust the amount of steering assist.