Forum:Tires
Topic:Winter Tire Sizing Question
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T O P I C     R E V I E W
PeterLWhat's the feeling out there about how the size of one's winter tire should compare to one's regular (all-season) tire? My all-seasons are 225/55 16's (on a FWD Volvo S80 T6). Come winter, I'm driving on dry highways, slushy/icy roads, and - occasionally - in deep, fresh snow. It's been suggested to me that I'd be wise to go to a SMALLER FOOTPRINT with my winter tire - say a 215 - so I'm not pushing so much snow. And perhaps to a smaller wheel-size to protect against pot-hole damage. But I don't want to find myself with a much lower sidewall (lest I damage my rim), or impact my speedometer reading. At 15", the tire size that's closest to my all-seasons (which work out to 25.74" in overall height) would be 215/65 15's (at 26.00" overall height). Would this be a mistake? Am I operating from any faulty assumptions? What should I do?
JeffI too have been told a narrower winter tire is preferable, and it makes sense to me. The tire should cut better through deep snow, and the smaller footprint will deliver more torque/unit area. As for your sizing question, I believe you could even go to a 195/65 16" tire,(overall diameter 26") which you MIGHT be able to mount on your current rims depending on their width. In any case the switch to a 0.26" greater diameter will not adversely affect your speedo.
Jeff...Forgot to mention that the change is possible so long as load index is sufficient to support the weight of the vehicle.

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