Whether travelling on-road or off-road, the capabilities of 4WD’s and SUV’s is one of the reasons they’re amongst the top selling cars in Australia. From transporting your family to traversing trails, you need 4WD tyres that are durable, tough, safe and perform. As 4x4s and 4WDs are larger than your average family hatchback or sedan, 4WD tyres need to meet these increased demands. JAX tyres stocks a range of class-leading 4WD and SUV tyres, from brands including Bridgestone, Hankook, BF Goodrich and more. Enter your car registration below to find the right 4WD tyres to suit your 4x4, or if you know the size you’re after, click here to search by size. If you have questions or would like assistance, you can also call us on 1300 367 897 and we’ll help you out.
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On 4WD vehicles, you will likely need to change all four tyres, even if only one tyre needs changing.
With 4WDs, failing to replace all four tyres simultaneously can be harmful to your vehicle’s drive-train. Your car will have a specialised drive-train with technical gear, drive shafts and differentials that manufacturers meticulously put together. These components allow each of your tyres to move at different speeds individually. This feature is a necessity when getting out of muddy or slippery environments.
For this system to work correctly, all tyres must have the same tread pattern, depth, and tyre manufacturer. If these differ, the differentials will work all the time, which will cause unnecessary wear on the drive live components.
Ideally, you should always fit four new tyres simultaneously. With 4WDs, failing to replace all four tyres simultaneously can be harmful to your vehicle’s drive-train. The specialised drive-train allows your 4WD to escape sticky situations that a standard 2WD would not be able to. For this system to work correctly, all the tyres need to have the same tread pattern, depth and tyre manufacturer.
That said, if you need to use the smaller spare to get to the nearest repair shop in an emergency, the short distance isn’t likely to do any severe damage.
Whether you are an avid off-roader or not, they are vital to providing the traction you need for braking and steering, and your tyres will inevitably receive much wear. How long a tyre lasts depends on various factors, including:
- The design of the tyre
- Driver habits such as sudden braking and hard cornering
- Climate: the more extreme the temperature, the quicker they will wear down
- Road conditions
That said, Most 4WD tyres should do somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000km, or 5-7 years, whichever comes first. The easiest way to check how much life your tyres have is to check the tread depth - the less tread depth you have, the more the tyre’s performance is compromised. It would be best if you aimed to change your tyres around 3mm, but the legal limit is 1.6mm.
How quickly they wear will vary wildly depending on what terrain you are using them on, how you drive, how much your vehicle weighs and the climate you’re in. If you are regularly off-road and get more than 50 – 60 thousand kilometres from your tyres, you’ve probably done pretty well.
Usually, with the right tools, you can change your lifted 4WD tyres by yourself safely and without any problems, but it does involve getting your car up in the air. However, there are instances where you should seek help.
To replace a tyre by yourself, you will need:
- A matching spare tyre. Make sure that your spare on hand matches the size of your new set of tyres and not your original.
- A car jack. This allows you to lift the car off the ground to change the tyre. You’ll have to jack it up higher than the factory tyre because the gap between the floor and your axle is now further apart than it was initially. They come in various sizes, with different loading capacities and different features.
- A jacking plate or block. A standard car jack at its fully extended height often isn’t quite high enough to remove the flat tyre or fit a fully inflated tyre. A jacking plate will help make up for this difference.
- A cross wrench, also known as a 4-way wheel brace. Use this to loosen the wheel nuts and tighten them up again. You should always check that the cross wrench fits your specific tyre size.
- Torque wrench. With a torque wrench, you can ensure that you tighten the wheel nuts correctly. This is extremely important for the seating and the wheel grip.
- Wire brush. To remove loose rust and dirt for the wheel hub.
Grease pencil. Use this to mark the original positions of your tyres.
One of the most common modifications to a 4WD is fitting larger tyres. So why fit bigger tyres on your 4WD?
- Greater clearance: By elevating it several inches off the ground, you increase the distance between the road surface and the lowermost part of the vehicle. This prevents you from getting stuck in ramps, potholes and muddy terrain.
- Better traction: the bigger the tyre, the more rubber is in contact with the ground. This results in improved traction allowing your vehicle to perform better on more unpredictable terrain like beaches, wet conditions and steep inclines. The tread will sit more squarely on the round, and your car will be more responsive when you brake or accelerate.
- Increased handling: It’s not just the wider tyres that improve your vehicle’s performance. When you increase the wheel size, you have to reduce the tyre’s aspect ratio, creating a shorter sidewall. A shorter sidewall will produce crisper handling and better steering.
- Aesthetics: People often choose plus-size wheels to give their vehicle a more sporty or extreme look. We don’t recommend changing your tyres purely for cosmetic reasons, but we can’t deny that bigger tyres look better on 4WDs.
Four-wheel drives vehicles should have the exact tire size on all four wheels. Different sizes on some four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles can damage the car. Since tyres vary from brand to brand and even from model to model, damage can occur with tyres of the same size if they have a significant enough difference in circumference.