Wheels and Tires

Question about minus sizing winter tires

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 31st, 2019 11:11 am
[OP]
Member
Aug 30, 2017
246 posts
96 upvotes

Question about minus sizing winter tires

Hi All,

My wife's car tire size is 235/55r19. We weren't planning on putting winter tires on her car as she doesn't drive it much and we'll have access to a winter beater car (with winter tires) for her use when my car (with winter tires) isn't available.

My parents got rid of one of their cars and gave us their spare winter tires, which are 225/65r17. I checked on SimplyTire and their recommendation for minus sized tires for her car is 235/65r17. Forgetting that her odometer will be off, will these tires be okay if used on her car? Are steel wheels made with a generic width or will a 225mm wheel be different than a 235mm steel wheel? I've always read that the recommendation for winter tires for function and cost is to get a smaller rim, larger sidewall and narrower tire, so will this thinner tire fit the bill in that regard?

Is there anything I need to be aware of before I dive into this?

Thanks!
28 replies
Jr. Member
Jul 20, 2009
136 posts
73 upvotes
You have not told us the load index of the tires on the wife's car, nor the load index on the used winter tires. It is recommended that the load index of a tire always meets or exceeds the load index requirements of the (wife's) car.
[OP]
Member
Aug 30, 2017
246 posts
96 upvotes
xi_32 wrote: You have not told us the load index of the tires on the wife's car, nor the load index on the used winter tires. It is recommended that the load index of a tire always meets or exceeds the load index requirements of the (wife's) car.
Good to know I didn't know this, i'll find out tomorrow. Thanks!
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
29096 posts
4786 upvotes
Montreal
With a -2 inch downsize, I would make very sure the brakes clear properly. Make sure you know the exact trim of your car, as some higher trims with sports packages have bigger brakes
Member
Feb 10, 2018
377 posts
135 upvotes
GTA
Piggybacking on this thread & since I am bit of a noob, I will ask my question here.

How much difference there is for Winters from 215/55R16 to 205/55R16? I am thinking of downsizing my tires these time. I have a 2019 Honda Civic EX.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 29, 2011
968 posts
345 upvotes
Milton
binarynumber wrote: Piggybacking on this thread & since I am bit of a noob, I will ask my question here.

How much difference there is for Winters from 215/55R16 to 205/55R16? I am thinking of downsizing my tires these time. I have a 2019 Honda Civic EX.
You can use this site to compare.

Between those two sizes you're looking at a -1.6% difference in circumference, which is negligible. The 205 is a slightly slimmer width (10 mm, or 0.4"), which is often suggested for snow.

Looking up a 2019 Civic Ex, it seems your stock size is 215/50R17. If that's the case, the 215/55R16 is much much closer to your stock size. It's basically the same size but with a higher sidewall to offset the smaller rim size.
Member
Feb 10, 2018
377 posts
135 upvotes
GTA
evosero wrote: You can use this site to compare.

Between those two sizes you're looking at a -1.6% difference in circumference, which is negligible. The 205 is a slightly slimmer width (10 mm, or 0.4"), which is often suggested for snow.

Looking up a 2019 Civic Ex, it seems your stock size is 215/50R17. If that's the case, the 215/55R16 is much much closer to your stock size. It's basically the same size but with a higher sidewall to offset the smaller rim size.
I guess I have to double check the tire size then. Also, what about the speed rating? I think original speed rating on the tires I got on car is 93H, should I go lower or higher?
Deal Fanatic
Jul 26, 2007
6788 posts
4356 upvotes
Toronto
binarynumber wrote: I guess I have to double check the tire size then. Also, what about the speed rating? I think original speed rating on the tires I got on car is 93H, should I go lower or higher?
That's the load rating the OP is checking on. As for speed rating, just keep it under 100kmh with winter tires.
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
4634 posts
4891 upvotes
GTA
binarynumber wrote: Piggybacking on this thread & since I am bit of a noob, I will ask my question here.

How much difference there is for Winters from 215/55R16 to 205/55R16? I am thinking of downsizing my tires these time. I have a 2019 Honda Civic EX.
Downsizing means using a smaller diameter wheel. Usually because the tires are cheaper. You are just considering a more narrow tire with the same size wheel.
Member
Feb 10, 2018
377 posts
135 upvotes
GTA
derass wrote: Downsizing means using a smaller diameter wheel. Usually because the tires are cheaper. You are just considering a more narrow tire with the same size wheel.
I was told by the tire shop that narrow tire size is better in snow. I am going to go back with correct size & see what they recommend this time.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
12855 posts
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Toronto
derass wrote: Downsizing means using a smaller diameter wheel. Usually because the tires are cheaper. You are just considering a more narrow tire with the same size wheel.
Hmm, no. Downsizing a tire is for a more narrow tire i.e. 205 over 215. That usually accompanies a smaller diameter rim.

This site does a great job of showing what tires and rim can more seamlessly fit.
https://www.wheel-size.com/
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
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GTA
binarynumber wrote: I was told by the tire shop that narrow tire size is better in snow. I am going to go back with correct size & see what they recommend this time.
I think that's entirely regurgitated myth. If anyone can show me test results that support that claim, I'd be very curious to see them.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
12855 posts
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Toronto
derass wrote: No. You're wrong. Google "plus sizing" or "minus sizing".

https://blog.tirerack.com/blog/make-dri ... ing-101-v1
Your link doesn't work. Looks like ou're in Vancouver where 'changing sizes' is how cool your rims look while maintaining the width of your tire for consistent traction.

Here in winter tire obsessed Toronto, it's typically referred to narrower width tires which are also cheaper for the 2nd set of steel rims and tires itself.

You're reading it wrong because you're seeing smaller "Wheels/Rims" referenced first, but in reality and effectively here, it typically means Narrower tires (which is the objective I stated earlier) along with smaller size rims .
DOWNSIZING TO SMALLER DIAMETER WHEELS
Why would someone want to minus size their tires wheels package and go to a smaller wheel diameter?[/b] Listed below are a few options why going smaller makes sense:

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package: Smaller diameter wheels typically allow for a narrower tire , which results in better winter traction.
Downsizing to Smaller Diameter Wheels
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
4634 posts
4891 upvotes
GTA
I don't know what point you're trying to make about Vancouver vs Toronto. I lived in Toronto all of my life.

Think about an SUV with something like 255/40R20. Is someone going to downsize to 255/45R20 or 255/60R18? Which one is going to save them more money?

I think you just interpret downsizing as narrower tires. The industry recognizes it as smaller wheels. Your link says even says "downsizing to smaller diameter wheels".

Your link doesn't work either. I thought we all knew that about linking Tirerack on RFD Auto and how to work around it.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
29096 posts
4786 upvotes
Montreal
peteryorkuca wrote: That's the load rating the OP is checking on. As for speed rating, just keep it under 100kmh with winter tires.
Q rated tires are 180km/h, which is the lowest I've seen.There are L, M N and P but I've never seen them used.
Newbie
Oct 28, 2019
1 posts
Narraw tires do tend to perform better in snow from my personal experience. I used 255s in my LC RKR last winters and now im using 195s. and I feel that these are way better than previous ones in terms of driving in snow.
Member
Feb 10, 2018
377 posts
135 upvotes
GTA
evosero wrote: You can use this site to compare.

Between those two sizes you're looking at a -1.6% difference in circumference, which is negligible. The 205 is a slightly slimmer width (10 mm, or 0.4"), which is often suggested for snow.

Looking up a 2019 Civic Ex, it seems your stock size is 215/50R17. If that's the case, the 215/55R16 is much much closer to your stock size. It's basically the same size but with a higher sidewall to offset the smaller rim size.
I doubled checked the tire size, I actually have 215/55R16 on the car right now. That's the size I got the car with. So what would you recommend then?

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