Tire Size Issues Part 3

Mixing different sized tires

by Trevor
(Clinton, Md, USA)

Ford Windstar

Ford Windstar

I just got a great deal on two tires for my Ford Windstar, however, They are 205/65 R15 while those on the van are 205/75 R15.


Is it wise to purchase them? and if so, should they be mounted on the front or rear of the vehicle?


Editorial Comment:

Unless you have a vehicle which is designed to use different sized tires it is seldom a good idea to mix different sizes even when you keep the same sizes on the same axle as some people will recommend.

I view mixing tire sizes as a measure to be resorted to only in emergency and very short term periods. If you do mix them you need to constantly drive with increased caution, preferably at low speeds and only until you can reach the nearest tire facility where you can normalize your mixed tire sizes.

To compare these two tires and see the differences in them you can use our Tire Size Calculator.

The speedometer error and differences in fuel consumption will apply if you install the new tires on the drive wheels of your Windstar but if you find the effects which the Calculator shows are acceptable to you, I'd still only buy those tires if you can purchase another 3 (remember you have a spare, too) and switch over to using the new size all around.


TG



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Smaller diameter tires for ford explorer

by Steveo
(In alaska)

2008 Ford Explorer

2008 Ford Explorer

Can I install smaller tires on my Ford Explorer?

16" stock rims, 235/70r16 to be exact. I found a new winter set for sale on 205/55r16. I know it would affect speed and ride height but not exactly sure how much.


Editorial Comment:

I have a 2008 Ford Explorer XLT 4wd. It has Please use our Tire Size Calculator to get the exact comparisons between these two tires. At a quick glance, I'm sure that you'll find that the 205/55R16 tires will be considerably more than the 2% maximum difference which we normally recommend.

Unless you are a person who likes to experiment and are willing to accept the consequences which likely could involve some inconvenience and expense, I would not recommend going beyond the standard 2% difference limit.

If the reason you're considering this change in sizes is because you're strapped for money, you might find some ideas in our article on Cheap Tires.


TG

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changing 15" tire to 16"

by Tracy Skidmore
(Cairo GA 39828)

Chevy Cavalier

Chevy Cavalier

My '98 Chevy cavalier has tires with a size of 195/60/R15.

Can replace them without changing rims to a 215/60/R16 tire?


Editorial Comment:

NEVER try to mount a tire on a rim with a different diameter than what it was designed to use. R15 tires are for use ONLY on 15 inch rims. R16 are for 16 inch rims, and so on for each tire size. The last of the three sets of numbers in a tire's size is the diameter of the rim which must be used for that tire.

In some cases it will be impossible to mount a different sized tire on the wrong rim, in other cases it may be very dangerous, either during the mounting process or after the tire has been put in use when the tire would suddenly come off of the rim and cause damage or injury to the person doing the installation, among other things. There have been cases of people literally losing their heads by trying to mount a tire on the wrong sized rim!


TG

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Substituting Tires

by Ken
(Cornwall PE Canada)

I would like to substitute 4 used 225/55/17 winter tires for my all season 225/50/17s on my 2010 Honda Accord. Is the difference in depth too much for the wheel wells and are the original wheels adequate to accept them?

Editorial Comment:

Use our Tire Size Calculator to compare the exact differences between these two tires.

You can also calculate the difference in height. There's a difference of 5 in the aspect ratio-AR - ( 55-50) so the 50's are 5% lower than the 55's. The AR is used to calculate the sidewall height from the width, which is 225 mm in both cases. So, a 5% drop in height is 225 x 0,05, or 11.25 mm.

Your wheels can certainly handle that difference in height and your car's clearance is not likely to suffer much, but most tire experts will tell you that a difference of more than 2% is not recommended for most tire swaps.

TG

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