Help with a Guide for Tire size selection.... [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Help with a Guide for Tire size selection....


Wamba
04-14-2005, 06:31 PM
Hello to all fellow Element drivers,

There are recurring posts on this board about sizes of replacement tires, relative merits of different brands, possibilities of rubbing, noise levels and which size to buy....

I'm asking all who have tested/posted/checked details out to help answer these basic questions for the newbies that have just found the board and us longer term readers that will need to replace tires:

1. What does changing the size of the tires from the stock 215/70X16 to 225 or 235 gain you? Are there negatives? Please talk about handling, ride, performance, etc.

2. What does changing to a wider tire like the oft-mentioned 235/60X16 gain you? What are the negatives? Again, talk about handling, ride, performance, mileage, etc.

3. There are many brands out there. Let us know if you have purchased a brand and size and for if the results you were expecting have been achieved.

I realize that many have opinions and many have favorite brands of tires that they want to extol. All this is good; the bottom line question still has to be what do you expect to gain or lose by changing from the stock size.

A big THANKS to everyone that replies.

lwclancers
04-14-2005, 06:39 PM
There is a BIG sticky thread at the top of this forum that covers information like this going back 2 years. it takes some time, but I learned most of what you just asked in that thread!

wankerklink
04-14-2005, 06:45 PM
My E is 3 weeks old, so I can't speak to the noise, ride, handling etc. questions of different tire sizes and brands. But, as the size of the tire patch goes up, the mpg goes down fractionally.

Wamba
04-15-2005, 12:52 AM
LW, I realize and have read thie thread above that describes tire selections.

I thought since this question recurs that a new thread could help to get right to the answers to these questions.

Apologies to anyone that this post bothers.

paulj
04-15-2005, 02:54 AM
1. What does changing the size of the tires from the stock 215/70X16 to 225 or 235 gain you? Are there negatives? Please talk about handling, ride, performance, etc.

Sticking with stock wheels, the most common alternative sizes are 235/60/16, 225/70/16 and 235/70/16.

The undisputed fact is that there are more models available in these sizes. Check for yourself by looking up tires by-size on a site like tirerack. If you want a particular tire model (e.g. Revo) you may have to change size.

Changing tire size will also change section-width and tire diameter. You can calculate these values, or look them up in the spec tables for a specific model. Tread width will also change, but that can vary significantly from tire model to model, as well as with nominal size. Only a few manufacturers list tread width in their spec tables.

Changing tire diameter will change the height of the car, and its ground clearance - by half an inch or less. You may notice that the first time you get in the car after the change.

Changing tire size will change the shape of the contact patch. However, unless you change tire pressures as well, it will not change the patch area by any significant amount.
Tirerack has tech note on contact patch: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/general/contact.jsp

Whether a 10% (235/215) change in patch width makes a objective difference handling is debatable. However, since the stock tires have a relatively narrow tread width (compared to other 215 tires), changing the tire model (as well as nominal size) may change the contact patch shape by more tthan 10%.

Lots of people talk about how much better their new tires are, compared to the (worn) stock ones. But no one has bragged about how changing to 235/70/16 Wrangler HPs improved the ride relative to the stock ones. I have not seen any handling comparisons between two different sizes of the same model.

As to negatives - changing tire width changes the gap between tire and parts of the car, particularly the front strut tower. There was a recent thread that clearly showed how small the gap gets when you mount 245/70/16 tires. One problem with reducing the gap is that it reduces your chances of using tire chains. Changing to a larger diameter tire will increase the size difference between these tires and the compact spare (which is 145/90/16, about 6% smaller in diameter than stock). However no one has reported problems from using the spare along with larger diameter tires.


2. What does changing to a wider tire like the oft-mentioned 235/60X16 gain you? What are the negatives? Again, talk about handling, ride, performance, mileage, etc.

In theory a wider, lower profile (60 v 70) should give tighter handling, since the tire will flex less when going around corners. However I doubt if this degree of change is enough to be detected in a double blind test (holding everything but tire size the same). So you get back to the tire selection issue - it is easier to find 'performance' type tires in this size, just like it is easier to find 'off-road' tires in the higher profile 225/75/16 size.

3. There are many brands out there. Let us know if you have purchased a brand and size and for if the results you were expecting have been achieved.

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showpost.php?p=108013&postcount=61
describes my experience with Cooper Discoverer ATR tires. Note that for about 6000 miles I had GY Integrity tires in the 225/70/16 size. The differences I noted had more to do with tire style than with tire size. These tires were not available in the 215 width at the time I bought them. I suspect I might have had rubbing problems if I'd tried 235/70/16 tires in this model.

Another qualification - tire handling, noise, traction, etc changes as the tires get 'broken in'. In addition the driver gets used to the new tires, and forgets what the old ones were like. Now I don't notice most of those differences that I wrote about in January. See the tirerack article on 'breaking in your tires':

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/general/break_in.jsp

the bottom line question still has to be what do you expect to gain or lose by changing from the stock size.

Within this range of sizes that fit the stock rims and don't rub on the strut towers, tire model is a far more significant factor in handling and ride, than actual size - at least in my opinion and experience.

Check out other tech articles at the tirerack link.

paulj

lwclancers
04-15-2005, 10:55 AM
LW, I realize and have read thie thread above that describes tire selections.

I thought since this question recurs that a new thread could help to get right to the answers to these questions.

Apologies to anyone that this post bothers.

No problems Wamba! As you can see I should have just said to PM PaulJ as he seems to be the one answering most of these questions :)

Wamba
04-15-2005, 12:23 PM
PAul, thanks you for your concise and detailed explanation. This was what I was hoping to see posted.

Thanks again!