Car Tires 101

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by malman89, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. malman89 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    MR Community -

    I've come to the point where I need a new set of tires - my first new set of tires ever (lived in Chicago for years and didn't need a car) - and haven't really been able to find clear and specific information on what's best.

    I currently have a 2010 Ford Focus SES with Kumho SOLUS HK16 P215/45R17 tires. They're what came with the (used) car. My dealer quoted a new set of 4 including all installation/disposal/taxes at $626.68.

    I went to a local Belle Tire (big chain mostly in Michigan) that dissed the tire for its type/size for my car and they recommended two sets of tires, one being a set of Continental 225/45Rs (pretty sure this link is them) for out the door pricing of $550. (For the record, the second set just had a 40,000 mile tread warranty on them and the Continentals had 65k - I drive a lot so I am leaning that way)

    I noticed on the door panel that the listed tire dimensions on my driver's door panel states:

    Tire (FR): P215/45R17
    Tire (RR): P215/45R17
    Pressure (FR): 240 kPa/35 PSI COLD (RR): 240 kPa/35 PSI

    Does that mean those tires would be too wide for my car? Or are those just suggested dimensions and not maximum? Every tire buying site that asks you to enter your make/model and pair tires to my info doesn't pull up 225s, so I was a little leery. I did like the sound of those tires though (and saving a bit of $ doesn't hurt either).
     
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #2
    225/45 would slight mess your speedo and odometer up as your tire will be slightly larger than what is stock

    225 is the width in mm and 45 is the aspect ratio....being how much "rubber" is between the wheel and the top of the tire

    It would probably fit fine

    but

    215*.45=96.75
    225*.45=101.25

    The second option as you can see will add to the overall wheel diamter and that is why your speedo may be off a tad (on the wrong end as it will say you are going slower than you actually are)

    But it should fit fine. Keep in mind you need to have the tire fit the wheel hud diameter as well but it should be no issue with this slight jump.

    I have had 205s to 225s on my car with no issues.....as long as i keep that aspect ratio in check to maintain roughly the same wheel diameter


    ALSO....I would look at discounttire.com or tirerack.com. Those are the only places I ever buy tires from. Never had anything but awesome experiences
     
  3. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #3
    Yeah I wouldn't go for the 225 size as duke said above.

    I suggest going to tirerack.com and finding the best tires for the money.
     
  4. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #4
    Most tires come in multiple sizes.

    225 isn't significantly wider than 215, there's a chance of a fit issue, wheel or rubbing on suspension bits. But it's unlikely. More importantly would effect your speedo as outer diameter also changes.

    Generally speaking, the longer the treadlife, the harder the compound. The less good the tire is at road handling. That may be ok by you. Just so you know the trade-off.

    Continentals are respectable tires. But they have everything from budget tires to high performance and every level inbetween.
     
  5. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #5
    Go on Tire Rack ad look at Fuzion tires. I had a set on my wife's Mazda 6 a few years ago and they were excellent tires. And are a little cheaper than a lot of brands.
     
  6. malman89 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Some helpful responses here - thanks. What's the difference between a P215 and a 215 sized tire? I get the P is for passenger, but looking at some results on tirerack.com for my make/model some have the P and others don't. Any real difference?
     
  7. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #7
    its not passenger.

    Its Pmetric vs metric.

    All that varies is load capacity. If you have a midsize sedan or smaller, non issue.

    Edit P means lower load capacity, and your door jam specs the lower, so not a detail to concern yourself with.
     
  8. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #8
    If you drive a normal everyday car and nothing crazy sporty, your first concerns should be economy, treadwear and noise. Typically, all tires from the reputable manufacturers have great handling. Remember, these 4 pieces of rubber are the only contact points between 1500kg of steel and aluminium and the road!

    I've had great experiences with Continental Sportcontact 3 & 5 in the 225/45/R17 size. These are high performance tires though... Conti also sells the Premiumcontact series in that size i believe, aimed more at comfort.

    Other reputable maufacturers (at least here in Europe): Dunlop, Michelin, Bridgestone/Firestone, Goodyear, Pirelli. Some lesser known but well-regarded brands are: Toyo, Vredestein, Falken, Fulda, Hankook, Kuhmo, Semperit.

    Stay away from Chinese brands!

    Better spending $100 more on some great tires than going cheap for some mediocre ones.
     
  9. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #9
    There wider not taller the speedo won't be affected.

    Op running slightly wider tires will not damage your car and they will fit. The downside is increased wear and decrease mpg
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    Wow, I never thought of that - larger or smaller tires affect the calibration of the controls. I suppose it never became a problem because I stuck with the same size mostly. When I did opt for larger tiers it was back on a 72' duster and I didn't care about speedometer or the odometer at that point ;)
     
  11. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

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    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #11
    Wrong. 215/45/17 vs 225/45/17. The latter will have slightly higher tire walls as the wall measurement is 45% of 225mm instead of 215mm.
     
  12. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #12
    they are also taller

    thought my post explained the numbers and what they meant:cool:
     
  13. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #13
    Was my bad math.

    That said do you guys have the +\-10% +1mph rule over there? If so it wouldn't matter.
     
  14. malman89 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 29, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #14
    So I expressed my disinterest in going with the 225s as I want to stick to what was recommended for my vehicle. I was given two options:

    Continental DWS 215/45-17 $548.10 out the door

    Bridgestone Ecopia EP 422 $602.40 out the door

    Bit of a toss up based on what I read. The Continental DWS tires have a 50k tread wear vs. 65k for the Bridgestones. The Continentals seem to be a bit of a better all season and handling tire, but saw some notes about loud road noise after a while.
     
  15. 725032 Guest

    725032

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #15
    If it was my choice I would go for the Continentals.

    Maybe slightly more noise but they are the better tyre out of the 2 for adapting to most environments, offering more safety for you and your passengers.
     
  16. chuckiehina macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    #16
    Maybe it is just my bad luck but from my experiences I don't like either Continental or Bridgestone. And if those were the two brands that the tire store was pushing, I would definitely find another store. There is reason why Bridgestone has "stone" in their name, there ride like stone tires (think of the Flintstones)-the feel like stone tire and if you just spit on the road they loose all traction. Contential are just poor quality - had a set of 4, out of 4 the for tires-end up having 6 tires replaced (sidewall bubbles, tread falling off, blow out, etc.), eventually just tossed them even though there was still some prorated warrenty left on them.

    • For ride, all weather and warranty I would go for Michelin
    • For a bit more performance & all weather with slightly less warranty go with Dunlop
    • For a bit more performance but with slightly less comfort and wet performance go with Pirelli
    • For a lot more performance (and everything else being secondary) go with Toyo
     
  17. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #17
    Are you specifically looking for all- season tires? Typically they tend to not be very good at any of the disciplines. If you get reasonably harsh winters i would highly recommend a set of winter/snow tires for that time of year and some good summer tires for the warmer months. Its a bit of an investment initially but the tire performance in both seasons will be miles better than a compromise tire like any all season.:)

    ----------

    Hmmm you can't really assume that every tire model from a manufacturer handles the same. Pirelli makes excellent performance tires, but so does michelin and dunlop. Wet weather performance differs per model. It always a trade off between dry grip and wet grip. Toyo makes great performance tires at an affordable price, but to say they better than Michelin's Pilot Sport or Dunlop's SP Sportmaxx or Pirelli's P-Zero is far from true!
     

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