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Old 12-22-2015, 01:26 AM   #1
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A tire sidewall cut (not SMB-related at all)

This is not at all an SMB question, but I'm asking it here because this is a site I implicitly trust to give me a "No B.S." opinion. It also may be of marginal interest to other members, too, as it is a tire question.

My wife was driving her BMW 3-series the other day and hit something sharp and pointy with the left rear tire. She was on her winter tires, with about 17.5K miles on them. I had to rescue her by bringing a 4-way wrench and one of her summer tire/wheels.

Got her home safely, and then tested the damaged tire. It has a cut just outside the tread area that lets out air almost as fast as my compressor could put air in it. I figure it's wasted, as I would assess it as a sidewall cut.

So here's the question: Do I have to buy 2 new tires to fix the one damaged tire, or can I just buy 1 replacement?

I figure the other three good tires have about 50% of their tread left. If I get just 1 new tire, is there going to excessive wear on the rear differential by having tires with a difference in circumference if I mount the mis-matched tires on the rear?

I was thinking of getting one new tire, and putting the new tire and one old tire on the front, I would keep the equally worn tires on the rear because the car is rear-wheel-drive.
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Old 12-22-2015, 05:56 AM   #2
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You can purchase just 1 tire. If you drive enough on the winter tires to rotate them you will end up with 1 new and 1 50% tire on the front which could make the car pull. I would purchase 2 and install them on the front.
If the tires rot before tread life expires then I would only purchase 1 and install it on the rear.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:54 AM   #3
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Another thought if snow tires may be to get 2 new tires on the drive wheels if not X-drive and spare is new. I personally don't favor a situation where 1 tire is new and others are worn.
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Old 12-22-2015, 06:59 PM   #4
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My suggestion is two new tires on the drive wheels. They will give you equal depth of traction in the snow.
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:21 AM   #5
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Is it AWD?
Then replace as many as you can afford because the transfer case will thank you (long term).
If its either RWD OR 2WD then replace in pairs.
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