Many people when they get a worn tyre will pop along to their local tyre fitters and replace maybe just the one tyre, or often at best two of them. With the Land Rover Freelander you need to BEWARE!
The Land Rover Freelanders are permanent four wheel drive. Drive is taken to the back wheels through the IRD unit (transfer box) along the prop shaft and into the rear differential. With this process it is crucial that all four wheels are of the same ratio – basically the same size and type.
A differing ration between the front and rear wheels causes excessive strain to be put down the transmission line. The ratio difference is caused by fitting different radius tyres to the front compared to the rear. This can be done by using incorrectly sized tyres; worn tyres on one end of the vehicle and new tyres on the other (don’t just replace two tyres, make sure you replace all four at the same time!); or running very low tyre pressures on one end of the vehicle.
So what happens if you have a differing ratio between the front and the rear tyres? Well, in a nutshell, you are liable to damage your rear differential. A radius difference of just 10mm can destroy a rear differential in just 5 miles!
The need to match tyre sizes between the front and the rear is mentioned in the Land Rover hand book, however they don’t highlight just how much damage it can cause!