By on October 22, 2014

2012_Toyota_Camry_SE_168988

Gavin writes:

Dear Sajeev:

I have a Gen 7 Toyota Camry V6 and I am getting close to replacement of the factory 225/45/18 low profile tyres. The selection of long wearing low profile all season tyres in 45 series is pretty slim. The four cylinder version of my Camry has 215/55/17 tyres on 7×17 inch rims and the selection of long wearing 55 series touring tyres is much better. My question is, since I am not really a ‘sport driving type’, would it be better for me to find a nice set of wrecking yard alloys and downgrade to the smaller rim/taller sidewall size tyres? Is the difference in performance between 45 series and 55 series noticeable or should I stay with the original low profile tyres.

Finally, Discount Tire seems to really push their ‘tire certificates’, a road hazard protection plan for $20/tyre. Is Road Hazard really necessary on a vehicle equipped with TPMS?

Cheers,

Gavin

Sajeev answers:

Oh yes, we’re talkin’ about the last good-looking Camry!  Come 2015, we’re really gonna love seeing yours on the road. Well maybe not love, as auto blog readin’ fanbois are committed to hate anything Camry, appreciating the subtle differences is strictly off-limits. But, once again, my intro digresses…

So anyway, you absolutely can switch to a minus 1 tire size for those benefits, plus a better ride with less NVH on bumpy roads.  Excuse me, “tyre size minus 1.” This is a great idea for more people than we’d like to admit. Also consider a -2 size to the 16″ rims offered on the 2007+ Camry LE and XLE. It’s doable as they all used the same front calipers and 11.65″ front rotors. (I think.) And tire choices for such conservative driving?  You are covered, for cheap.

  •  Would it be better for me to find a nice set of wrecking yard alloys and downgrade to the smaller rim/taller sidewall size tyres?

Yes, much better.  And don’t fear the 16″ alloy!  Hell, go right ahead and get universal 16″ steel wheels, chrome trim rings and a chrome center cap for that cop car look!

  • Is the difference in performance between 45 series and 55 series noticeable or should I stay with the original low profile tyres?

Your admission of not bring a “sport driving type” means no, you won’t care. If anything you’ll love the better ride.  Also note how huge tires are on vintage race cars, and modern F1 machines: sidewalls are a GOOD thing.

  • Finally, Discount Tire seems to really push their ‘tire certificates’, a road hazard protection plan for $20/tyre. Is Road Hazard really necessary on a vehicle equipped with TPMS?

TPMS is great, but it’s not 100% effective against road-going hazards.  Consider debris like nails and bolts left in construction sites, or in trucks exiting those areas. The sensor can’t sense that shit going into the red zone between the tread and the sidewall. So should you get road hazard? Totally your call, depends on your comfort level.

 

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice. 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

69 Comments on “Piston Slap: Tyre Size Minus 1 or Minus 2?...”


  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    My father is ticked that no one makes any factory 14″ rims with tires suitable for his 40- or 50-year-old 100-bushel wagons anymore…

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      We have both a Kory and an Parker wagon with 15″ tires that can handle the 200 bushel wagons.

      The 15″ should bolt right on to the same hub if it’s a 6-bolt. We still have some 14″ rims and tires, though.

      I like the 15’s more. An 11L-15 is about the same size as a 235/75R15, so I can use our old truck tires on implements. Why can’t I find any junkyard 235/75R14 tires???

      • 0 avatar
        GoesLikeStink

        Try finding tires for a stock 60s Dart or Valiant. They rode on 13s. My Fiat 500c came with 15s

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          My ’63 Dart wagon (brown) had stock 14’s. You might want to upgrade to the next size of stock.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Just remembered that my 1984 Sunbird hatch had 13s.

          All the 1978+ RWD A/G-Bodies (except sport versions such as the Olds 442s and Regal T-Types) rode on 14s.

          My 2006 Accord was the first year on 17s, and you could tell Honda didn’t sort those properly. However, the 9th-Gen Accord Touring I now drive is well sorted for the huge wheels.

          Didn’t realize that a “minus-one” or “plus-one” won’t mess up the speedometer if the total diameter of the whole thing is the same! D’Oh! (Perhaps TireRack’s winter suggestion for my car is OK after all — Blizzaks with generic steel 16″ wheels.)

    • 0 avatar
      Cerum

      The Geo Metro LSi came with 13’s which was +1 from the base 12’s. Junkyard wanted $20 for a tire and wheel, talked them down to $15.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I lived in a high construction area and my job took me to many construction sites. I was glad I had the Discount Tire ‘tire certificates’ them having to eventually replace every tire at no charge to me. I no longer live or work near construction sites and haven’t had a damaged tire in years, your call

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I guess it depends on your local road conditions. In my case, a “pay for 5 tires, get 4” deal would definitely not be worth it.

      I suspect most people would be better-off spending the extra $20 on better tires rather than on a piece of paper.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Where are you guys driving??

      Between rented cars and my own cars I drive 25K a year. 25 years or so ago I ruined a tire on a granite curb concealed in snow. In the past 25 years I think I have had one nail in a tire in my own cars in that time, and I recently had to return a rented car due to it losing pressure. Count me as a big fan of TPMS, that would have been fun had I just gone to my hotel, and found a flat at 7am when I needed to be onsite at 7:30..

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Where are you guys driving??”

        Construction sites, where there’s nails and screws and broken things hidden from view. I had so many flats that AAA dropped me

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          Or just haul your DIY remodel waste to a transfer station and see how little the commercial guys worry about the tires on their company trucks.

          Every kind of nail, all over everywhere.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    I used to be dubious of those road hazard warranties too. But lately I have been buying them – and I think they are worth it – I have had several tires replaced for free – also – in many cases they come with “free” tire rotation – so when I go for an oil change – I get the tires rotated as well.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      The rotation is the only reason I ever consider the warranties. On my Audi, I get new tires at Wal-Mart, and take the coverage.

      On my trucks, though, I run used tires from the scrapyard. I put on 40k miles annually, and have had 2 tires ever go flat on me.

      It depends on where you drive, and if you want Discount Tire to do your oil changes…

  • avatar
    musicalmcs8706

    I have my tires through Discount Tire and will always get the certificates. You get one tire they have to replace and it pays for itself.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Agree 100% regarding road hazard warranties for tires. Over the years they have saved me a great deal of aggravation and money.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Check craigslist and the forums before you hit the junkyard, every clown who goes aftermarket +1/2 has four takeoffs to get rid of and you can often find base wheels with just a couple weeks of wear on the tires for little more than new tires alone.

    TPMS makes the swap much more of a pain in the ass than it was in the good old days though.

    • 0 avatar
      mechimike

      Good point about TPMS. I would think the sensor could be transferred tot he new wheels, though.

      16″ is about the sweet spot now for price and availability. I’ve never been a big fan of the “rubber bands around the wheel” look. more sidewall rides better, is more resistant to blowouts from curb rash, AND, has more predictable handling. A tire with no sidewall will handle like it’s on rails- right until you go off the rails. Then it will breakaway like nobody’s business. A tire with more sidewall will squeal and slip and give you some warning that things are about to go awry. I prefer tires with a 50 aspect ratio or higher.

      Just keep the rolling diameter +/- 2% and you should be fine.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      There’s a great quote from the Firesign Theatre that describes my feeling about TPMS *perfectly*: “As seen on ‘Who Asked For It?\'”

      I have a full set of rims and snows and I even have the correct TPMS sensors on my snows. That means a twice-a-year trip to get the TPMS reprogrammed. It’s the dumbest damned thing. Why can’t the car remember more than one sensor per wheel position? Better yet, why can’t I just be allowed to reset it myself?

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        We know exactly who asked for it, it was the TPMS manufacturers.

        I gave up and ‘fixed’ mine with a piece of black electrical tape over the light.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        You are allowed to reprogram your car yourself. I do it on my two cars that have TPMS twice a year. You just have to buy the right brand vehicle in the first place to make it cost effective though. On early Fords with the valve stem mounted sensor all you need is you ignition key and a ring magnet. You do a particular key on/off sequence and the vehicle display says program LF sensor. You then place the magnet over the valve stem, the horn beeps once and the display says to program the next sensor. Repeat until all 5 have been programed. On the later vehicles with the band mounted sensor and the later valve stem mounted ones you do need the transmitter which they actually included on some models but can be purchased for a reasonable cost.

        Now if you have a Toyota product then it just isn’t cost effective since you need two computers to complete the process. One to ping the sensor for the ID and one to plug into the car to enter that ID. You are “supposed” to reprogram them every time you rotate the tires since the display is supposed to tell you the exact tire that is low rather than just telling you that a tire or your spare is low since they know that their consumers are that lame and aren’t willing to check all of their tires to figure out which one is low.

        Other mfgs are in between, they often don’t offer their brand specific tool to the general public though there are aftermarket universal tools but they are not cost effective for the average DIY’er.

        “Who asked for it” the average consumer who couldn’t be bothered to check their tire pressure or notice that the vehicle is driving strange and thus got into an accident due to under inflated tires.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          It’s one of those things. It could be argued that the average person will just ignore the TPMS warning. Add to that the end of the free air at gas stations (really? $1 for a few minutes)? And I’d argue that the only time most tires get properly inflated is when the car is serviced.

          I’m not one of those people. I own my own compressor and use it often. Worse, the lame TPMS system penalizes my effort to have the proper tires for driving conditions, something that most people ignore. I’m not against TPMS in principle, but the half-assed, expensive and time-consuming implementation thereof does deserve criticism.

          Oh, and, finally, Get off my lawn!;-)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “It could be argued that the average person will just ignore the TPMS warning”

            Until your local authorities make the TPMS light part of inspection. The sensors I’ve seen are cheap disposable junk, and it wouldn’t be surprised if some brands use a proprietary part.

          • 0 avatar
            Yuppie

            In California gas stations are required by law to provide free air to customers who purchase fuel.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            You only have the mfg to blame for the implementation they used or depending on the mfg yourself for not being wiling to spend a few dollars now to purchase your own tool to do it. The one for my car that needs more than just a magnet is commonly available for ~$30. For the one that needs a magnet I just used a transmission pan magnet but they can be found at a good hardware store for $5.

          • 0 avatar

            I noticed a direct correlation between the end of free air at gas stations, and the federal mandate of TPMS sensors.

            Those gas stations are clever!

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          That’s a crazy procedure. Here’s the drill on my newish car:

          (nothing)

          That’s right, the car figures out that I’ve swapped tires all by itself, and it figures out what tire is in what corner without even bothering me.

          As far as I’m concerned it’s great technology, and totally transparent.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Sounds like you don’t have sensors and have an indirect system that just looks at the wheel speed sensors. I’ve never heard of a system that could tell which tire was in which position w/o telling it before hand. With indirect it figures it out based on which speed sensor has the unusual reading.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I don’t believe indirect systems have been allowed for a number of years now. The Feds decided they were not accurate enough.

            My ’08 Saab, ’11 BMW, and ’13 Fiat all have TPMS systems that figure out which wheel is where all by themselves, no intervention required. The Saab and BMW also can figure out a second set of wheels all by themselves. I assume the FIAT can as well, but I don’t drive it in the winter so it has no snow tires. My Mother’s Toyota cannot, which is extremely irritating.

          • 0 avatar
            Yuppie

            According to TireRack.com, my 2015 Audi A3 2.0T uses an indirect TPMS system based on wheel speed sensors. There are no sensors on the tire valve stems.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ krohdes1, The information I see online posted by a BMW dealer does not agree that it is smart enough to learn it w/o intervention. It never knows which tire is in which location, just that it has 4 “OK” signals or not. It just takes longer to learn the sensors since you don’t make them send out an initialization signal. It just assumes if you get in motion and it keeps seeing the same 4 signals for a minimum period of time that those sensors must be on your car, but will not do so until you initiate the reset process. Overall a very good design though.

            I’ve never heard or read of a direct system that knows which sensor is in which position w/o being programed. You either need to do the reset with the tool in the proper order or enter the ID into the car’s computer manually like in many Toyotas.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Scoutdude,

            My Fiat-Chrysler car does not need extra programming, and the wheels definitely have TPMS sensors. I imagine that they use a differential antenna and look at the phase offset between the signals to determine position. That’s the same way autofocus SLRs figure-out which way to focus a lens, btw.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @yuppie

            Interesting. I had been told that new regs were the reason BMW went from indirect to direct sensing back in ’07. Have you checked with Audi? TireRack generally knows what they are doing, but they did sell me the wrong sensors for my ’08 Saab… Maybe they have improved the tech enough to satisfy the Feds. Which would be GREAT, as the sensors are a PITA.

            @Scoutdude

            Saab did not need any sort of intervention. The car did not have a readout of individual pressures in the car, but you could display them with a Tech II, and it would definitely figure out which sensor was where on the car. That car had a hair trigger for the system, it would alert at only a couple psi low, so cold winter mornings were enough to set it off if the car was not in the garage. It told you which tire was low, and it was always right.
            BMW works the same way, other than you can set the threshold yourself by resetting the system through the OBC.

            Takes about 5 miles in each case for it to figure it out after a wheel swap. My FIAT DOES display tire pressure on the display in the car, and it also has no problem figuring out what wheel is where after a tire rotation.

            So now you have heard of three cars that can do this. Toyota is not the end-all and be-all of automotive technology.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            My 2013 Accord uses indirect sensing, based upon rotational inputs from the ABS sensors. Hondas are going to this system versus the wheel-mounted units.

            I don’t know how the PSI readings could be determined without the direct sensors.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          “the display is supposed to tell you the exact tire that is low ”

          I’ve never noticed that… how’s it work, or when did that get introduces?

          (I’ve only ever seen TPMS systems with a single icon that lights up to indicate “something is wrong somewhere”.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I have a system which only lights up, but it will display either a numeric value or “–” under this wheel in the trip computer display.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            That is only on certain vehicles. On some with the direct system, ie sensors, you have to reset the system every time you rotate the tires for it to give you valid info. Some vehicles use the indirect system where it just uses the wheel speed sensors which then tells you which one it is based on the sensor that is showing as turning faster.

          • 0 avatar

            It only does on some cars. GM’s TPMS, you program each sensor to a specific location with a handheld scanner. That way the display cluster knows.

            Of course if you rotate the tires and don’t reprogram the TPMS then it’ll be wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          You don’t need the tool that tells you the sensor ID if you just write it down before the tire goes on. They are printed on the sensor itself. Many new cars will set themselves. New GMs have to use a tool, but you can find them cheap. Tirerack is blowing this one out at $20
          http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/detail.jsp?ID=177&category=Tire+Pressure+Monitoring+Systems
          It says it only goes up to ’09, but the trigger function can be used on the newer cars. You just don’t get to use the display.

          For the cars that have to be programmed through the OBD port, the ATEQ Quickset is perfect. It is designed for swapping winter and summer wheels on 5 different cars.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I have yet to have a car with TPMS that doesn’t sort it out for itself. Just plain stupid for it not to be able to. There aught to be a law!

        But I am a big believer in the system. Seen too many people running around with obviously uninflated tires.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        Jeep owners get a problem with these when they go offroad and air down. The stupid TPMS won’t shut up and there is apparently no way (according to a Chrysler engineer) to turn it off, even temporarily

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yup definitely check Craigslist you can often get some good deals on factory wheels from some yahoo that couldn’t be seen w/o aftermarket wheels on their grocery getter. For the snow tires on my wife’s car I went -1 from what her car was equipped with from the factory. I found a guy who had replaced the wheels, but not the tires on his base model and let the set with the center caps go for $50. Yes $50 for four aluminum wheels, the center caps and even a spare set of lug nuts. The center caps alone have a list price of near $40 each. I also just found a set of Mustang wheels for $100 on craigslist but me schedule didn’t allow me to connect with the person selling them before someone else did.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        I bought a set of Sonic 15″ wheels that are like brand new, with tpm sensors and center caps of of a guy for $200. They even had tires on them that had about 50% life left, but I got them for winter wheels for my sisters Cruze. On the other hand, the Nokians to mount on these wheels I could not find for cheap.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          What I don’t understand is so many who buy, or get sold, new TMPS sensors when they buy new wheels. You can buy new bands to mount the sensors on the new wheels even if they are different diameters. For metal stem style sensors you can get a service kit that includes a new stem to wheel seal. For rubber stem mount units you can buy new stems and the electronic part is held to it by a screw.

  • avatar
    vvk

    I have upgraded from 17″ to 16″ on my 325i and from 19″ to 17″ on my 550i. Much better!

    My friend also upgraded from 19″ to 17″ on his 545i — he is also exceedingly happy.

    I highly recommend it!

    I believe it was Car and Driver that ran some comparison tests between different wheel sizes. As far as I recall, once they went above 17″, performance started to decline. 16″ and 17″ were best for braking and handling in their comparison test.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      My understanding is that a taller sidewall doesn’t just benefit ride comfort, but also provides progressive driver feedback about what the tires are doing and how much traction they have left. Take away that sidewall height, and in theory, you have less tire flex, but also more sudden break-away characteristics at the limits of adhesion.

      I remember outfitting my Galant with P215/60R14 performance tires. While I would have preferred 17 rims at the time, I noticed that I knew how much traction I had at each of the wheels to within 2-3mph when driving aggressively. Fun times.

    • 0 avatar
      rehposolihp

      I’m sorry, but you are remembering incorrectly. The skidpad and braking results improved with larger tire size at the consequence of diminished acceleration and fuel economy.

      The article is titled “Effects of Upsized Wheels and Tires Tested ”

      Although you are partially correct – the effect of increased handling does diminish from 18 to 19, although 19 is still better than 17.

      It is important to note however – that C&D’s methodology has the flaw of differing tire width. So take from it what you deem appropriate.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        from what i read in that article, 17″ was the “sweet spot” where you get better handling and braking, without diminished acceleration and fuel economy.

        • 0 avatar
          rehposolihp

          Sweetspot perhaps – but to say that 17″ is as good or better performing (handling/braking) is just not the case.

          Everything is choosing the compromise that works best for you.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “Everything is choosing the compromise that works best for you.”

            Exactly. There’s no right answer for everyone. It depends on your preferences, driving style, and road conditions.

            Where I live, the roads are terrible due to spring freeze-thaw cycles and poor maintenance. So 215/55R17 would be preferable to 225/45R18. But if I already had the 18″ wheels, I might just go with a 235/45R18 summer set and 225/55R17 winter set, or even 215/65R16 or 225/60R16 for winter. It would really depend on what sort of wheels pop up on Kijiji for a good price, but any extra width or s*dewall would be a benefit for pot-hole and curb protection, and there’s always plenty of room in the fenders to go up one tire size if you won’t be needing chains.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Note that if “s*de” – with an actual “i” – is anywhere in your post it will be flagged as spam and not show up. I’ve had this happen with the words s*deways, cons*der, and now s*idewalls.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Just went from OEM 235/45/18 with Continental ContiProContact to a set of used-but-refinished-and-powdercoated OEM Buick 16s with 215/60/16 Hakka R2 winter tires.

    http://i749.photobucket.com/albums/xx140/dave_bernardin/Winter%20Tires/IMG_5899_zpsf3c73081.jpg

    Used OEM Rims in good shape are an awesome way to achieve a more useful sidewall. They look like the belong and not obviously like you bought new rims that don’t quite suit the vehicle, as can sometimes happen aftermarket.

    I also cringe when I think about replacing the summer rubber. My parents have experimented with Nitto Motivo off of tire rack as a lower priced option to the Pirelli P6, and so far have no complaints.

  • avatar

    I had the opposite version of this question some years ago for my Accord. I got it into my head that I wanted aluminum wheels, and that I wanted to up the diameter from 15 on my steel wheels to 16 on what would be my new aluminums. Besides Sajeev’s logic, I discovered that the aluminums I’d have gotten are no lighter than the steel wheels.

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    Downsizing is OK but try not to change offset too much or it would affect scrub radius and handling. In that respect, try to get a junkyard 17″ from the same Camry generation. Also, Costco tire prices are competitive, installation is less than most places, and road hazard is included.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      X10, in addition to messing with the steering geometry a significant change in the wheel offset will shorten tire life. Costco and Sam’s club are the places to purchase your tires if you aren’t going the Tirerack route. Lower price for the tire than other places and lower price for mounting and balancing which includes road hazard protection.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I find TireRack’s shipping to negate any savings buying from them 95% of the time. DiscountTireDirect is cheaper for Internet orders as they have free shipping. Not as good a selection, but generally good enough. And I always check the local places, sometimes they are surprisingly good, though in my state there is both sales and excise tax on tires, and a disposal and environmental fee (even if you keep the old tires!).

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          For me in a state with high sales tax combined with the fact that I don’t buy bargain basement tires means the shipping is usually less than the sales tax. If you have a Discount (or America’s) Tire in your state they have to charge you tax and thus there go any savings out the window.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Doesn’t matter what tires you choose, for me TireRack shipping runs more than $15/tire. No local Discount Tires so no sales tax, excise tax, or fees from them either. They are typically $2-3/tire more than TireRack, but you still end up noticeably cheaper.

            Where the local guys score is that some of them have free mounting and balancing, free rotations, etc. So sometimes even with the higher price on the tires and the taxes and fees it can end up being cheaper for the whole package. I just shop around every time. Not like I buy new tires all that often with my driving spread across four cars. Summers for the BMW will be next, in a year or two.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            It absolutely depends on which tires you choose. The sales tax on a $50 tire is 1/4 that of the tax on a $200 tire. So if you buy $200 tires the shipping is less than the tax. If you buy $50 tires then the shipping is more than the tax. The shipping also varies depending on which warehouse they have the tires you want in stock and where you live.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Still irrelevant for me. I can get the same tires from either a local place or DiscountTireDirect and not pay shipping at all. TireRack charging for shipping makes them uncompetitive to my area. Unless they have something that no one else does, which has never happened for me. Excise tax and the fees here are more than shipping, never mind sales tax. So usually DiscountTireDirect ends up being cheapest even with having to pay for mounting and balancing locally. YMMV, of course.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Ouch they really are sticking it to you if your excise tax and tire disposal fee is that high.

            Just for giggles I looked up the tires that I plan on putting on my wife’s car when the winter tires come off next year. Discount is $14 more per tire so that free shipping ends up saving only $12 before sales tax, in this case to my location. Since I would have to pay sales tax from Discount that $12 is more than made up for by the extra ~$50 I would have to pay in sales tax. Certainly it will vary depending on where you live.

            Getting back to my original point if mail order isn’t your thing Costco and Sam’s club typically are a better value than other tire stores.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            If you live in California, you owe the sales tax anyway.

  • avatar
    redav

    I swapped the stock 16s from my prior car for 15s, and I swapped the stock 18s of my current car for 16s. The money I saved on tires payed for the wheels, and the ride is noticeably better. Plus, I dropped weight, but I don’t do instrumented track runs to see what effect it had on acceleration.

    Now, we just need to do something about all those gun slit windows.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    Don’t buy the road hazard guarantee (unless you frequent unusually bad roads).
    It’s an insurance policy. When you buy insurance, the odds are whatever you are insuring against won’t happen – otherwise they wouldn’t sell you the policy.
    Only buy insurance against losses you can’t afford. If you run over something and blow a tire, you won’t like buying a new tire but one new tire will not bankrupt you.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      It depends on where you live. The road hazard price is the same across the country. Where I live now in the Seattle area, I’ll take my chances. Where I lived in the Detroit area, $15-20 per tire was a sound investment.

  • avatar
    BMWnut

    On some cars, the size of the brake discs precludes or limits the downsizing of wheels. On the Camry this is probably not a problem, but it wouldn’t hurt to check before pulling out the wallet.

  • avatar
    Sam Hell Jr

    Similar question … my tC is now paid off, so even though I’ve gotten old enough to want some peace and quiet, I’m living with my 26-year-old self’s choice of car for a while. If I’m not willing to track down 17-inch wheels, how much of the downsizing ride and nvh benefits can I get just by dropping from performance tires to touring tires, and/or moving down a speed rating?

  • avatar
    amancuso

    Informative article here. I just find it funny that he had to point out that he isn’t a “sport driving type” . I could tell that just by the fact he drives a Camry.

  • avatar

    Don’t fear the -1. My 3 has the lovely and oh so precious staggered wheels, in 17 inch with 40 and 45 series. Wonderful for ultimate driving but not so much for pothole land or tire rotation. OE is 225 fronts 245 rears, and the -1 is to a 16 inch rim with a 225/50. Not as precise, but pretty much the same contact patch and ultimate grip. The fat sidewalls make it plush, not surgical, but take one mpg away…ok trade. I can also now rotate tires. The OE tire on the current 3, non sport, is a 225/50×17, as in “we don’t want customer complaints’.

    The Golf comes with 225/45 x 17, a common “sport tire” size. The -1 there is a 205/55 x 16, also a common size. Unlike the lateral move on the 3, the -1 here with less cross section totally changes the car…you see how much the tires change things.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dal20402: My sister-in-law who lives in small-town Texas has now owned four straight Suburbans or Yukon XLs. She is...
  • AVT: Anyone know where we are getting the raw materials for all these ev cars that we are supposed to be selling...
  • AVT: At no point will the world be completely electric vehicles baring mass exodus from cars to public transit. There...
  • SPPPP: This “infinite scroll” is offensive to me. I find it very irksome that I can’t find the...
  • 28-Cars-Later: I’m surprised its not under half of Americans.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States