Tire Shaving to Match Tires on All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

One question that my customers ask me from time to time about vehicles with all wheel drive is tire matching and tread depth.  The manufacturers of all wheel drive vehicles recommend using matching tires as well as maintaining the same tread depth on the matched tires. 

What happens if a tire blows out or is not repairable due to a road hazard?  Depending on vehicle manufacturer recommendations regarding tread depth or overall diameter measurements a new tire may need to be shaved.  Typically we see about 30% difference in tread depth as the starting point to shave tires for proper tread depth on replacement tires.

If you have tires that are about 30% worn it may benefit to buy just one matching tire and have it shaved to the correct tread depth by Tire Rack prior to shipping.  Give the Tire Rack an extra day to shave the tire and we'll ship it directly to you or your installer.  If the tire is more than half worn it may be beneficial to replace all four tires for your vehicle with new tires. 

Check out a Tire Tech article at Tire Rack offering some further details on Matching Tires.  Refer to the Matching Tires By Shaving Them to Maintain Equivalent Tire Tread Depths heading with-in the Matching Tires on Four-Wheel Drive and All-Wheel Drive Vehicles tire tech article.

Also a few Recommendations for some of the manufactures using all-wheel drive or four wheel drive systems.

Audi As published in their vehicle owner's manual, "rolling radius of all 4 tires must remain the same" or within 4/32-inch of each other in remaining tread depth.
Porsche Cayenne within 30% of the other tire on the same axle's remaining tread-wear.
Subaru Within 1/4-inch of tire circumference or about 2/32-inch of each other in remaining tread depth.









Thursday, July 1, 2010 by David Feinman

I used to race SCCA and we had a spec street tire which we all ran shaved to 3 or 4/32ds. I have been "tracking" a stock Porsche Carrera S for the last year or so, and simply eat up front tires. I am alrady running the max negative camber on the stock suspension. I am running Michelin PS2. Since I don't use anywhere near the entire 8 or 9/32s of original tread, but go through the outside edges of the tires in 4 to 6 track days, I was wondering if shaving my next set of new tires would be a good idea, to get more even wear, better handling, etc. I wouldn't be losing any "tread" life so to speak because I use up the front edges so fast anyhow. Any thoughts?
Friday, July 2, 2010 by Chad

I think you are correct, shaving will have little effect on wearing out the shoulders. It will improve response, but not really help once the car/tire is leaning over in the middle of the corner. A significant bias in wear to the front shoulders suggests there is a fair amount of understeer and/or extra steering angle being cranked in. I did check with one of the other TR guys that has more track time than I do who had some additional thoughts. If the negative camber can't be increased in the front any more, try some tricks to improve the front/rear balance. 1. Make sure front grip is maximized and tire roll over is minimized by tuning air pressure 2. Adjust rear air pressure to slightly reduce rear grip, allowing some additional yaw to help turn the car 3. Work on rear alignment to help adjust front/rear balance – a little less negative camber 4. Consider wider front tires the next time if that is an option 5. Consider aftermarket mods to get additional negative camber in the front
Thursday, November 11, 2010 by Brian Malicki

Who does tire shaving in Connecticut?
Thursday, November 11, 2010 by Chad

Brian, We only have the specialized machine required to shave tires in our Indiana and Nevada distribution centers. We can ship to any location from either. Shipping time from Indiana to Connecticut is only 3 to 4 business days after we shave the tires.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012 by Miche

I hit a big pot hole with my OZ racing rims. Serious damage,one is not drivable. Can these rims be repaired...
Friday, July 6, 2012 by Marshall @ Tire Rack

Please call our customer service team at 800-428-8355 ext 360. We would be happy to review your original order to check for replacement parts if applicable.
Saturday, February 16, 2013 by Chris

What does shaving a tire do to the mileage warranty
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by Marshall @ Tire Rack

Shaving the tire will void the manufacturers treadlife warranty.
Friday, April 26, 2013 by Hua


My 13 BMW X3 28i has rear right pirelli P7 all season damaged with a nail. Now I wonder if I should just buy one new tire and shave it to match the others or buy all four new. The tread depth on other three is around 6/32 with 8200 miles. any recommendation?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Marshall @ Tire Rack

Shaving would be the most cost effective solution. Give me a call @ ext 4792 if I can help. -Marshall@tirerack.com

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