Why should I minus size tires

winter tires
A properly equipped vehicle will have four winter tires

Combining taller tires with small-diameter wheels has several distinct advantages

A second set of wheels for winter tires provides an opportunity to improve traction in snow or slush. If you plan to keep your vehicle for more than a couple of years it is also easier and less expensive to swap twice a year. The extra wheels take up the same amount of space when stored as tires alone. And the  “winter” set eliminates damage caused to the fancy original equipment wheels by salt and harsh winter conditions.

Having decided to opt for a second set of wheels here is a tip — minus size them.

Minus sizing combines taller tires with smaller-diameter wheels.

There are four distinct advantages to minus sizing: 1. The narrower tire has an easier job cutting through deep snow and slush; 2. The taller sidewall of the winter tire provides a greater cushion against damage to the expensive alloy wheel and suspension from potholes, striking curbs etc; 3. The same taller sidewall will also improve the ride; and 4. The narrower tire and smaller wheel are both less expensive than larger wheels and wider tires.

For the full story as it appeared in the Halifax Herald and other Saltwire Network papers click here https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/wheels/consider-minus-sizing-your-winter-wheels-255226/ 

A safe fit

Wheels are widely available from the vehicle manufacturer; tire stores and aftermarket stores like Canadian Tire. The owners’ manual or sales brochure for your vehicle will likely reveal that it came with several different size wheels. As you move up the trim and cost ladder, the wheels get bigger and fancier. If you have anything other than the most basic model, the manufacturer has already specified which wheels and related tire size will safely fit your vehicle.

No worries about proper bolt patterns, clearing the brakes or causing the tires to rub against the body or suspension parts.

Click here to learn how to read the sidewall of a tire https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/wheels/unravelling-the-mystery-of-tire-sidewall-numbers-letters-257401/

Different sizes

It is not uncommon for a vehicle to be available with at least three different wheel/tire sizes from the factory.

For example, the 2018 Kia Forte LX sedan comes with 15-inch steel wheels and 195/65 tires. The EX trim comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, and 205/55 tires and the EX luxury with 17-inch alloys, and 215/45 tires.

Swap either of the alloys for the base model steel wheels, and tire size, and you will have minus-sized.

In the first case, the steel wheels are one-inch smaller in diameter, the tire sidewalls one-half inch taller and the tire 10 mm narrower.

In the second the steel wheel is two inches smaller, the tire sidewall one-inch taller and the tires 20 mm narrower. Yet all have exactly the same overall diameter, ensuring the speedometer, odometer and all safety devices work as engineered.

click here to read how modern winter tires are much more than snow tires. https://wp.me/p8tqYQ-lo


About Richard 166 Articles
At the age of five I was already obsessed with all things automotive being able to identify the make and model of car by just the sound of its engine going down the street in front of our house in the small town on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Although I have been covering and writing about the automotive scene for more than 40 years and the light still grows brightly.