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Will the transfer case blow if all four wheels aren't matching treads?

On an all wheel drive element, do all the tires need matching tread?

I hear you blow the transfer case of the transmission. I guess this is a suspension question of sorts.

I don't know what tires I have on now, but I just bought a used element (soo psyched!) and it doesn't have all matching tires. I know a guy- he can get me maybe a set here-a set there... I'd like to know if this messes up my lovelies equilibrium.

Any thoughts/experiences would help!
 

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I would have all 4 tires the same. And if you absolutely can not, get at least 2 front matching, and 2 rear matching. Both exact same tires and same treads. Even if tires are same specs, tires from different companies can still be different sizes.
 

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Welcome.

Jack up one of the fronts and run a cloth tape measure around the center of the tread. Then do the same for the rear. Somewhere floating around this place is a spec that mentions the acceptable percentage difference between fronts and rears, but I don't recall. You want it to be pretty close because a mismatch will ruin the rear differential.

If it is out of spec, you will want to get some tires that "match", at least in diameter. Then be sure to change out the rear differential fluid. It is really easy to do (30 min.). That will give you the best shot at not doing any further damage to the 4WD.

The first Element I bought had mismatched tires and I later developed a problem with the 4WD. Not sure it was the cause, but it surely didn't help. After three years it got to the point where it would spin the fronts in the snow, but the rears would lurch but not kick in.

Good luck.
 

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Tread style won't affect the dual-pump 4WD system. What matters is tire diameter: Having tires of different diameters front and back could cause damage (though it won't make anything explode).

One method for measuring a tire: Draw a chalk line on the bottom, down the sidewall and onto the asphalt. Roll the tire in a straight line until the chalk line meets the ground again, and mark the asphalt there. Measure the distance between the two lines. Repeat on the other three tires. (This literally measures the circumference, not the diameter, but it will tell you whether all four tires are the same.)
 
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