can i put smaller winter tires on my car

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Downsizing your tires (aka minus sizing)can be effective for winter driving. Rather than using your factory rim and tire size, a smaller diameter wheel is matched with a more-narrow-but-taller tire. Overall, the tire is intended to be the same height as you’d choose a higher profile tire.

Are smaller winter tires better for winter driving?

To avoid the expense of winter tires — especially as manufacturer size recommendations can hit 19 inches or above — some drivers look to smaller winter tires to help improve cold-weather traction and driving safety. Unfortunately, the price of winter tires is not linear to the size of the tire.

Can I put smaller tires on my car or truck?

However, equipping your car or truck with smaller tires for aesthetic purposes may alter the performance of your vehicle. Before choosing smaller tires for your car or truck, stop by your local Firestone Complete Auto Care, and our tire experts will walk you through the best options for your vehicle based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Why do you need snow tires?

Simply because it’s easy! The winter tire market is very small, snow tires were one of the manufacturer’s last worry because, as we know, a vehicle always comes equipped with summer tires or 4 seasons tires. We also know that the original tires have greatly magnified in recent years.

What size tires do I need for snow?

Unfortunately wide, low profile tires have to plow a wide path through deep snow, where narrower tires have an easier time. So if you’re likely to drive through deep snow this year, you’ll want winter / snow tires and wheels in sizes that help put the laws of physics on your side.

How big should winter tires be?

To avoid the expense of winter tires — especially as manufacturer size recommendations can hit 19 inches or above — some drivers look to smaller winter tires to help improve cold-weather traction and driving safety. Unfortunately, the price of winter tires is not linear to the size of the tire. For instance, 16-inch tires may be more expensive than a common tire size of 17 inches.

Why are smaller tires better?

In certain cases, smaller tires can provide less sidewall roll when turning a sharp corner, offer better handling, improved traction, and allow more torque to be transmitted to the ground since the wheels are smaller in diameter .

Why do tires wear out faster?

Additionally, the added torque from smaller wheels could cause your tires to age and wear out sooner since they’re rotating faster and engaging with the pavement more per mile than a manufacturer-recommended tire size would. Likewise, if the overall tire diameter remains the same but the rim size is smaller, you need to be careful to ensure vehicle hardware like brake rotors and calipers still have clearance so the wheel can rotate.

Why are smaller tires better than larger tires?

Additionally, smaller tires may directionally provide more towing power than larger tires since they may transfer more of their torque to the ground , but the engine may spin faster and run hotter trying to stay at that speed. Smaller tires can boost the aesthetic of your vehicle by lowering your car to the road.

What happens when you have small tires?

Smaller tires can make your vehicle ride lower, causing the vehicle to scrape, collide with, or bottom out on items that it should otherwise clear — think speed bumps, entrances into parking lots, rough intersections, and roadway debris.

What do you need to change to smaller tires?

Schedule. Making the change to smaller tires may require a lowering kit or springs, arms, brackets, stabilizing bars, and shocks. With all of these modifications, you may be looking at interference with your car’s sensors and computers — plus, a hefty price tag.

Can you put smaller tires on a car?

Can you put smaller tires on a car? Perhaps. But should you? Probably not! While smaller tires can have some benefits, the risks of your vehicle’s systems malfunctioning are something to consider. Following vehicle manufacturer recommendations leads to the best intended performance, handling, and safety results in your car — no matter if you’re choosing new tires for a truck or a car.

What is the difference between steel and alloy wheels?

Steel wheels are quite a bit less expensive than alloy, and most steel rims are going to be sized at 16 inches or under anyway. Not only are smaller wheels less expensive, but smaller tires are, too, especially snow tires.

Why is a smaller tire better for snow?

Furthermore, the smaller tire cuts through snow more effectively because the weight of the car is pressing on a more focused set of contact patches.

How big should my wheels be for winter?

Most car experts agree that if you run your vehicle with 17-inch, 18-inch, or even larger-sized wheels during the spring, summer, and fall, you really should consider downsizing your winter set of wheels to 16-in ch, maybe even 15-inch, if possible.

How long do you need to store snow tires?

The price curve gets even steeper beyond 18 inches. Finally, because you’ll need to store your snow tires/wheels for roughly eight months out of the year, they’ll take up much less storage space if they’re smaller.

Can you fit smaller wheels in a car?

Make sure your car can take smaller wheels before you buy anything. Some cars, especially high-performance vehicles, have oversized brake calipers or other modifications that make it impossible to fit wheels smaller than the original equipment manufacturer ( OEM) size. Once you have decided on a wheel size, then you can determine the proper tire size .

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