Two Different Size Tires On Front And Rear – Is It Possible?

Sometimes, it’s unavoidable to have two different size tires on front and rear, such as when your tire wears out, or you get a puncture while driving.

Then, you need to use your spare one even if it’s not a perfect choice.

However, can you drive with different size tires, and what will you face when doing so? Our article will give you the answer and provide you with more useful information about the topic. Let’s follow along! 

How Does A Tire’s Size Differ?

two different size tires on front and rear
A Tire’s Size

There are some simple elements written on the tire’s sidewall that differentiate one from another. Let’s analyze this example: 225/45R17.


The first measurement means the tire’s width in mm. (It’s 225mm in the example.)

Running different tires front and rear is not something unusual.

Many automobiles, especially rear-wheel-drive sports cars, have wider rear wheels and narrower front ones, giving them a sporty look and better traction.

Sidewall Aspect Ratio

The second measurement is the sidewall height, represented as a percentage of the width. In this case, it’s 45% of 225mm.

This sidewall aspect ratio affects the wheel’s overall diameter; thus, matching them from side to side is required.

Rim Diameter

The third measurement is the internal diameter or diameter of the wheel rim, measured in inches (17 inches).

Cars usually come with the same rim diameter, but some exceptions exist. You can find different size wheels on the front and back in small rigid trucks, lowboy trailers, and tractors.

Can You Put Two Different Size Tires On Front And Rear?

driving with different size tires
Can I Have Different Tires On The Front And Back

Yes, but not on the same axle. There are factory-fitted vehicles with two different size tires on the front and rear.

If you want to replicate this mixture or whatever reason requires you to do so for your front or rear-wheel drive automobile, you can do it.

However, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully or seek help from customer service.

Mismatching Sizes On The Same Axle

Can I put different tires on my car? If you want to do it on the same axle, then the answer is definitely No.

It doesn’t matter if your rear or front wheel sizes are mismatched; it will influence your handling and controllability, posing a great danger.

Even in some countries, such as the UK, the government forbids mixing radial-ply or cross-ply versions.

So, you should never think of running different size tires on the rear axle.

It’s strongly recommended to have identical wheels mounted on one axle, including criteria on size, brand, style, tread pattern, tread depth, etc.

For example, you should choose the components with the same main tread pattern. Plus, avoid rough tire treads if you don’t want to have womp womp tire noise.

Different Size Tires On Front And Back 

Can I have different tires on the front and back? The answer is it depends on the wheel drive of your car.

If you have a four-wheel drive vehicle, all should match. It’s because all four wheels receive the same driving force and play an equal role in moving the car.

Thus, two different size tires on the front and rear 4×4 are not acceptable.

However, it’s not the same with two different size tires on the front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.

Since the driving force will focus on one of the two tire pairs, you just need to have identical tires across one axle.

Make sure you can find an equivalent version to make the match as close as possible. For instance, when you mix brands, the more similar features, the better.

So, generally speaking, for a 4×2, driving with different size tires on the front and back is possible as long as you follow some rules, such as even tread wear.

Effects Of Mismatching

can you drive with different size tires
Influence Of Mismatching

Can I put different size tires on my car? As mentioned above, it depends on the type of wheel drive.

Though mismatching can be a temporary solution when your wheel encounters instant flat or scratch, it may have certain influences.

In the long run, your vehicle may potentially suffer from detrimental effects.

Driving with one different size tire is equal to having uneven tread wear.

These tread depth differences can cause handling difficulty, especially in hazardous weather conditions, leading to a collision and requiring expensive maintenance.

Also, the tire mixtures mean your transmission and suspension are under constant stress, harming the brake and ABS and causing driving risks.

There’s no straightforward answer to whether you can put different size tires on a car, but if you insist on doing so, keep in mind that it can diminish the value of your car.

Especially if you want to sell your vehicle, the same wheels are criteria to determine whether you care or maintain it well. Thus, you can resell your car for a higher price.


Can You Mix Tires With Various Tread Depths?


Sometimes, your front tire wears faster than the rear one, and you want to change those on the front axle. It’s okay to do so.

The difference between tread depth should not exceed 2/32″; otherwise, it will harm your handling. Consider used tires of at least 7/32″ tread if you need it.

Remember that frequent tire rotation kicks them out of the usual wheel positions and alters the wear patterns. It’s better to proceed every 5000 miles to equalize the tread wear and improve the tread life.

Is It Okay To Mix Winter And Summer Tires?

No, mixing winter, summer, and all-season versions is a bad idea, as each is designed to work differently in various weather conditions.

When combining them, you’ll find them perform against each other, leading to imbalance, control loss, and affecting your safety.


Generally, operating a car with two different size tires on front and rear is acceptable and considered a temporary fix in some situations.

However, whenever you have a chance, we highly recommend you go to experienced tire professionals and get all wheels the same size to ensure the vehicle’s performance and safety.

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