Read these 6 Tire Sizes Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Tires tips and hundreds of other topics.
Some people like to experiment with different size tires for their vehicles. Changing your tire and wheel combinations can give a lower profile for the vehicle, increase steering and cornering responses, and many other plus size tire benefits-- depending on the combination. Many of these benefits depend greatly on the make and model of your vehicle plus the original tires you started with. It's best to consult the experts before changing sizes to learn what benefits or disadvantages a particular size might have in store for your vehicle. They will know the acceptable alternative tire sizes for your vehicle.
Custom car lovers enjoy trying plus size tires on their machines, but one thing that any newcomer to plus size tires should know; mounting tires designed for one kind of rim size should never be mounted on a differently-sized rim. If the rim says 16", the tire should match. You may be able to get a tire to fit on even a slightly larger rim, but there is a risk of explosive injury that cannot be ignored. Mismatching a tire and wheel is NOT safe.
When a mechanic talks about getting proper tire fitment, he or she is talking about installing tires and wheels that meet the factory specifications of your vehicle for tire size and width. There are many fitment options--you can go with the regular issue tire that came with your vehicle as standard equipment, or you can try approved plus size tires, even smaller in some cases. Each vehicle is different, and the choice is up to you. Many times it comes down to what you are willing to spend and what your specific needs are, but whatever you choose, be sure to tell your retailer you want a fitment that is still within recommended specs for your make and model car.
For those who simply want to put in an order for tires they already have, there's no need for Internet searches on tire sizes, or consulting the owner's manual. Simply check the side of your tire. You will see a series of letters and numbers that looks something-not exactly-like this: "P195/65R15".
This, plus the brand name listed on the tire, will tell your dealer or mechanic everything necessary to get you an identical set of tires to match the ones you are replacing. It's that simple! If your dealer asks for additional information, write down what they ask for and consult your tire once more. They may want you to consider a different type of tire based on availability of the tires you need, or their current tire sales.
Classic car buffs often find themselves having to convert from the old numeric or alphanumeric tire system to today's sizes. Fortunately, there is no longer any need to invest any brainpower in converting. There are websites with special tire size conversion features that can "translate" the tire sizes for you. The website Onlineconversion.com has a number of converters available, tire sizes is only one of the many features.
Finding tires for modern or newer vehicles is relatively easy. What's not so easy is to get comprehensive information on older model vehicles, their tires and appropriate tire sizes. Fortunately there are "old timer's guides" or "vintage guides" that can give car buffs in love with models made between the 1920s and 1980s the information they need on sizes of the car tires made in these decades.