Topic:Tire and rim sizes...
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T O P I C     R E V I E W
ManzinatorI have a '97 BMW 540i with the OEM rims. My original tires are dying so I am looking for new tires. The tire size is 225/55R16. Several tire websites state that I can replace the tires with 245/50R16 using my OEM rims. Is this true? Do I risk performance, safety, handling or anything by going to the different tire size?


VinCheck out this site:

You can compare tire and wheels sizes to what you already have. You can use different widths, profiles (side wall height), rims sizes, etc... but the overall outer diameter of the rubber should be the same.

Typically, lower profile and wider tire means better handling but could result in a noisier, stiffer ride and vice versa. A lot depends on the brand of tire, too. Just depends what's important to you. Technically, the size you propose would imply that you might give up some handling but both sizes are still well within the realm of "aggresive rubber" IMHO Depending on the car, it seems generally that more serious performance cars will have at least a width of 195 and be 60 series or lower.

As an example: The OEM tires on my A4 are 205/60R15. I'm running snows with 195/65R15 rubber. In the spring I'm going to upgrade the wheels to 16 inch and go with 205/55R16 rubber.

Good Luck. Hope this helped.

ManzinatorThanks for the reply. I guess my question is more specific to the OEM rims. Can I use the same rims, which are designed for 225/55R16 tires officially, with the wider 245/50R16 tires? I looked at the rim and there are no numbers that I can see that tell me the offset, etc., which may or may not be useful?
VinThe rim width is usually stamped on the inside of the wheel - it should be somthing like 7.5JJ. Tire manufacturers will reccomend that certain widths be used on only certain size rims. I would first pull a wheel and verify your rim width and then check with the tire dealer about an appropriate match for the rim.

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