Tires - Who's Correct? Can they be Mixed?

When I bought my 2001 CLK430 (used) the dealer had installed 2 new tires on the front. The fronts were Michelin Pilot Sports , and the rears were Pilot
Sport SX, both Z rated.
The rear tires now need to be replaced but some tire dealers tell me I cannot put a different brand on the rears - to do so would cause handling problems.
Yet other tire dealers say it doesn't matter and will willingly sell and install other brand tires.
I would think that as long as I keep the correct sized tires and correct speed rated on the front and the correct sized tires and correct speed rated on the rear there should be no problem.
Any opinions? Who is correct? Do I need to buy 2 or 4 tires.
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on
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Tires need to be matched pairs, the same on both sides in the front, and the same on both sides in the rear. If someone is telling you that they need to sell you four tires, then that is because THEY need to SELL you four tires, not that you need them.
Bernard

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I mixed fronts and backs once; maybe there are some tires you can do this with but it made my car ill handling and dangerous. Perhaps MB's in general, but my car (126) in particular is very sensitive to wrong tires. Use 4 the same or prepare to die.
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Each axle must have a matching pair... so yes, you can have two different makes as long as you have two pairs of matching tires. This is basic.
Now, performance wise, you have two different traction characteristics and does not work together... a pair may have a better traction than the other pair... so your handling is reduced to the weaker pair.
Normal driving... you are fine... If you do performance driving, then you are better off a matching set.
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re - your last point: Not necessarily - how many 'fast' cars have differing width/profile tyres on the front/rear? Quite a few. :)
Also on a rwd car the requirement for what the tyre does is quite different, the front will be exposed to alot more lateral force, and the rear more longitudinal (sp?).
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No... that's not what I meant in staggered set (rear tire is way wider than front). These are for performance car that are designed for it.
You see... MB and BMW are very close to or exactly 50/50 weight distribution. So that means each tire has the same amount of weight on it or close to... and 4 tires each has same amount of work/traction to do.
Now if you put two different tires... let's just do it wildly... an excellent performance tire... and a crappy passenger tire... you know what is going to happen... car is going to handle very poorly because 50% of your traction all relies on your crappy tires.
Now, let's get back to reality... he is going to put all performance tires but two different brands... each performance tire has different characteristics... remember how when you change all your tires and you notices such a profound difference from old set to new set? That is what I meant. They all have their own characteristics...
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;freom no problem to "be prepared to die" maybe this is what I should have asked. I cannot believe the difference in opinions. I guess I have changed cars before I needed tires in the past, except for my '98 Corvette. All 4 of these tires wore out about the same and I replaced all 4 for that reason.
Even tire dealers have different opinions about putting different brands (same speed rating, correct sizes).How can there be so much difference. Given that there may be a diference in traction, putting different brands on the front/back, I still cannot believe it is life threatening as many state. My car came from the Mercedes dealer with different tires on the front/rear. Crossing the street can be life threatening, and many have died doing it, but we all still cross streets.
I guess I will buy 4 new tires but I am not convinced there is such a problem that the car will be unhandleable.
How about some real life experiences.

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yes put some real grippy ones up front and some so so M & S tires on back hit the exit ramp at speed, hit the brakes and tell me were your front end ends up.
more fun in the rain
you need to be educated and that you not get at a tire dealer like Sears OR Wallyworld!
go to a performance tire dealer, the place that has the 100K cars out front!
case
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FREE-BROADBAND http://home.iprimus.com.au/global11 /

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FREE-BROADBAND http://home.iprimus.com.au/global11 /

handling
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Yep! Mixed the fronts and rears once. Was terrible! Dad ratted kar would only drive backwards on a regular street, but would go forewards when I wanted to park. So I just shipped the thing to England and it works quite nicely there!
mcbrue goodorderedly under the bridge in the trailer down by the river
96 S420
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