It's never a good idea to mix tires of different types!
Different tires have different personalities and will perform differently in similar situations. Certain all-season tires are more adapt to driving in dry conditions, others excel in wet. Even the old adage that a tire that performs well in the rain will more than likely perform well in snow is being proven to be incorrect. That's why it's so important to not only pick the correct tire for your driving habits and application, but to (whenever possible) have the same exact tire on all four corners of the vehicle. Think of it this way: you would never play basketball wearing a tennis shoe on one foot and a golf shoe on the other. The same applies here.
Here are some of the disadvantages of mixing up tires:
- Tread noise - Tires have different tread designs, and as such, will hit the pavement at different times and rates, which reverberates in the rubber and produces tread noise.
- Braking capabilities - Tires may grip differently depending on the road conditions. The capabilities are different, especially in the rain.
- Understeering and oversteering - Depending on which tires grip more or less in certain situations, you may experience temporary loss of control of your vehicle.
- Snow and ice traction - Driving in the winter is all about confidence. Mismatched tires may give you a false impression of the car's true ability in snow and on ice.
What if your tires have been discontinued, or you find yourself in an emergency and need a tire ASAP? Match your tires as close as possible. Always opt for a tire made by the same manufacturer as the existing ones, and within the same category. It's important to note that you should never mix all-season and summer tires.