Pros and cons of changing tire sizes

Pros and cons of changing tire sizes

by Bob Andrews
(Anchorage, AK)

I'm getting ready to buy new tires for a 2000 Toyota Tacoma that came with 265/75/15's. I'm wondering...what would be the benefit or drawback of changing to a little bit narrower tire such as a 235/75/15 or a 225/75/15? My truck's ride is a little bouncy, and I don't know if that has anything to do with the tires or not. Any advice?

Editorial Comment:

To start with, going from a 265 tire to a 235 or less is not, in my view, a "bit" of a change but rather a substantial one. I would imagine that about an inch less in width doesn't seem like much to you, but to people in the tire field, it is.
Next, when you are changing tires, it is important to try to maintain the same operating diameter of the two tires to be about the same. This is so that the handling and operating characteristics of your vehicle are not drastically affected.
What this means in practice, is that when you change the tire's width, you also need to change the Aspect Ratio which is what the second figure in the size measures. Unfortunately, there are not many tires available which have an Aspect Ratio of 80 or greater, which would be needed in your case. The closest standard size I am aware of is 255/75/15, which is very close to the same operating diameter as your original tire.

In any case, if you feel that your vehicle is too bouncy, especially if you have ridden in similar vehicles owned by other people, it could be you have a problem with your suspension or shock absorbers that you should look into correcting.


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Your Toyota Tacoma
by: Wheels Etc

I don't recall any Tacoma coming with original equipment tires size 265/75 R 15. There were some 265/70R15's on 7 inch wide wheels. Some dealers may have changed those tires to 75's during the life of this truck but I would check the width of the wheels before I would go to the smaller tire. If the wheel is a 6 inch wide wheel then the proper size was 235/75 R 15. That tire is not properly fit on a 7" wheel so sticking with the wider tire will be a better fit. As I think of it I believe the wider tire was only on a 6 lug wheel for 4 wheel drive trucks. I think the wider tires on Tacoma were a little later and 16 inch.

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