Salesman Said I Should Get All 4 of My Tyres Changed. Am I Being Scammed?

Hi gang.

Front left tyre got punctured while driving today. There was audible air leaking at rest. Went to a tyre shop and the salesman said I should have all four tyres replaced.

My first car - Mazda 3 bought brand new with factory tyres in Jan 2020. Driven 20K km so far. There's still a decent amount of tread left. From my limited knowledge, I thought only the punctured tyre needed to be replaced seeing as the other 3 still have a decent amount of life left in them. I do notice some minor skidding when wet or around sharp corners but otherwise no issues.

Do I need to have all 4 of my tyres replaced? - If I only have one replaced now, does that mean when the other 3 eventually wear out I need to replace all 4 then or just those 3.

Cheers lads



  • Maybe, what car is it?

    An AWD may need all 4.

    • Mazda 3 - I'll update post

  • Changing all tyres after 1 year? Unless you drive it all day long, like Uber or a delivery work, then it's a rip-off. Haven't changed tyres for five years and they're still good.

    • Miss Daisy over here. How many k's are you doing

  • +1

    Would a photo of the tread be too much to ask?

    • +1

      Pic uploaded

      • +12

        Heaps of tread, as one would expect from a 18 month old car with 20k on it.

        Take it elsewhere and get a second opinion. It depends on the damage to the tyre if it needs to be replaced or not. At worst it would only be a pair on a Mazda 3, not a whole set if they are all in the same condition as the one in the photo.

  • +7

    Usually tyres are repaired with a plug if the hole is in the tread (where it usually is). The nail or screw is pulled out with a pair of pliers. The hole is reamed with a reaming tool, a plug is inserted with an awl, the tyre is reinflated and balanced and away you go.

    A hole in the sidewall needs to have the tyre replaced.

    This is assuming the tyre wasn't driven on and damaged while flat.

    If a tyre needs replacement it is desirable to replace it with the same type and model. The new tyre will not perfectly match the old set. If the spare is still new pair the new tyre with it and use it on the front. Otherwise, put the new tyre on a rear wheel so that the difference in tread height doesn't affect steering or braking.

    In short go to a different tyre dealer. Sounds like cr.p to me.

  • Nobody can say for sure without seeing your tyres. The minor skidding thing you mentioned will just be a combination of cheap-mid range tyres and good-old-physics (will get better with really good tyres like Michelin Pilot Sport 4, but will never go away).

    The reason why his answer could be valid is when it comes to value. At 20k kms, you will have worn at least half, maybe more, of the other original tyres. Often they do deals when you buy 4 tyres, so you may be getting 4 for the price of three etc. When your other tyres need replacing, you wouldn't buy three and keep the one you replace now. You would replace all of them. So there is wastage there anyway.

    Technically it is possible to just replace the one. But not all that advisable (very cheap people will even put a single tyre on of a different brand and model etc but I strongly recommend against that).

    It is better (safer, sometimes better for the car too) to have tyres matched on each axle. So have a matching set on the front, and a matching set on the back. So I would say your choice is realistically going to be buy two or buy four. Both ways are reasonable. If you put the new ones on the front, they will wear slightly faster than the original ones on the rear, and you may end up with the best value.

    Just remember that four patches of rubber about the size of one of your hands controls all of the acceleration, emergency braking and steering of your car. Don't be afraid of getting a second opinion, but don't cheap out either.

  • Simple - check the tyre condition yourself. Check the wear marker and depth.
    It's easy, just look and feel!

    If in doubt, ask another store for a quote and guide also. Just don't tell them someone else told u to get them all replaced. Wait to see what they say. Tell them you are thinking you need 2, not 4 and see what they say.


  • If the tyre is unrepairable then only 2 need to be replaced.
    They are desperate for money.

  • +2

    If its a nail puncture should only cost $20 to fix.. if not just replace the one tyre

  • +6

    9/10 chance your being scammed, unless you have a good habit of hitting potholes and riding curbs.
    9/10 chance a plug of the tyre should do to fix the issue but if the impact is near or on a sidewall this may not be possible
    9/10 chance if you need replace the tyre only one should suffice, with only 20k km your tyres are only about max 40% worn and the replacement can be used as is or skimmed down to match the others. Being a Mazda 3 and thus not AWD, its not going to have any complex/funny diff to worry about.

    10/10 chance that replacing both tyres on the same axle is all you will need at this stage. If by an off chance they can't skim tyres or theres uneven wear on the other sides tyre (due to poor wheel alignment), the worst case scenario is a replacement of both tyres on the same axle. This with a wheel alignment will sort out all your issues until about 50K, at which point the remaining 2 tyres would be due for replacement, and I'd then recommend replacing all 4.

    Being FWD, the rear wheels are trailing wheels and dont experience anywhere near as much wear. With only 20K and yearish old I'd expect your tyres to be rotated only once so far so the rear's should be near new (i.e. 70+ % life remaining). Wheel alignment for the rea wheels for a car like that are no where near as impactful and uneven wear is much less likely. There is absolutely no reason that the rear's should need replacing from a maintenance/wear perspective so the sales rep is playing games with your naivety.

    Like others said (use google reviews) find a trusty local shop and get them to inspect and advice (dont tell them what happened elsewhere). The recommendation should be a plug but use the logic above if they indicate otherwise.

    I don't believe that Mazda's come OEM with Bridgestones but if they perhaps do, try a Bridgestone Tyre centre.
    I went to mine after my regular local tyre shop couldn't find a leak/nail (I believed I had hit a pothole), and recommended a replacement.
    The Bridgestone guy was adamant that he'd find it after quoting that "Japanese OEM wouldn't fail like that".
    Turned out to be a pin screw, pulled it out right in front of me and I used the tyre for another 2/3 years. Only charged me $20 too.

  • +1

    1.5 year old car with only 20,000kms

    It it highly unlikely all tyres need to be changed and you are being taken for granted.

    Ask the tyre shop to explain why the 3 tyres need to be replaced, and see what dodgy reason they come up with

    You can still drive 3 worn tyres and 1 new tyre.

  • +2

    Option 0-
    Car is not that old at all, If the tyre is good enough get the puncture patched up going to be a lot cheaper and easier on budget.

    Option 1-
    If not Just bring a new tyre there to replace that tyre and do a tyre rotation, (Make sure front tyres are same), e.g. if the bad tyre was Front-left, Bring the front tyres at Rear straight down, and Rear ones straight up. (So the ex-bad front left wheel with Now good tyre is now at Rear left).

    Option 2-
    Buy 2 new tyres, so change in pair.

    Option 3-
    Go with the money pithole recommendation of the tyre shop (who honestly dont care about you at all, all he seems to care is about him making more money)

  • No you don't.

    I had a puncture on the sidewall of my front right tyre. Only replaced the two at the front.

  • +3


    Given he was trying to scam you, it's possible the puncture could have been repaired too.

  • NO NO NO

    Ford Focus 2012 1.5 tonne. Driven for about 55-60k km only needed a all 4 change. Albeit being on Michelin tyres. Unless he has evidence of the remaining tyres being unroadworthy

  • +1

    Worst case scenario is that you will need to replace two tyres. FWD cars like the Mazda 3 wear out their rear tyres more slowly than the fronts and even if the tyres have been rotated at services, the rears should have plenty of life left, unless you drive like Jamie Whincup.
    Take your car somewhere else and tell them you want the leaking tyre repaired or, in an extreme case, replaced. A proper retailer will have the same brand tyre as came with the car new and if they don't they should be able to order it in.

    • A proper retailer will have the same brand tyre as came with the car new and if they don't they should be able to order it in.

      Worst case scenario. Buy one new tyre, spare goes on other side (should be the same unless it's a compact emergency use tyre), worn tyre as spare.

  • +1

    Had a look at the pic. That tread is still good. you can see from the "indicator markings" inside the treads

    FYI, in NSW front 2 tyres (axles) must be the same tread pattern and be greater than 1.5mm tread depth.
    The rear can have different tread pattern. So buy the same tyre or you only need 2.

    Puntures can be repaired (plugged) depending on where the punture is. as long as its not sidewall related you are good, just get it rebalanced if you are paranoid.

    Ask for the reason of replacement, laws/rules, and if in doubt buy yourself a vernier and measure it yourself.
    Had this happen to me, went into toyota for a recall of seatbelt. told to buy 4 new tyres, told them i just measured it, 3.4mm which is more than enough for the required 1.5mm legal limit. bloke said just saying "u will need tyres within the next six months"

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