Why tire dimensions are important

265/70R17 all-weather tires

The reason tire dimensions are important is because they assure the best performance of your car and because the wrong size tires can lead to decreased fuel economy and can even harm the transmission. In fact, if you put larger than the recommended size tires on your car you would increase the vehicle’s gas mileage by increasing the rolling resistance. It can also alter the performance of the car and can even be bad for the transmission. This is because a larger tire can actually reduce the cars effective gear ratio. With larger tires causing the tires to rotate slower to cover the same amount of ground which in turn can cause strain on the transmission. Wrong size tires can also affect the braking (ABS), handling and your odometer. Wider tires will also hydroplane easier.

When in the market for new tires you need to consult your car manual to find the manufacturer’s recommended tire dimension for your make and model of car. Whether you are looking for winter tires, all-season or all-weather tires the recommended tire dimensions need to be respected. The tire dimensions can be found on the sidewall. If the dimensions are 275/65R17 then you would need to buy either 265/70R17 all-season tires, 265/70R17 all-weather tires or 265/70R17 winter tires.  With 265 signifying the tire width in millimeters, 70 being the aspect ratio, R the construction type (in this case Radial), and 17 the wheel diameter. In addition to these tire markings the sidewall is marked with tire type, load index, DOT symbol, tire identification number and the Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG).

As mentioned above the wrong size tires effect the rolling resistance which is the resistance your car has to overcome in order to move forward. With larger tires they have a higher rolling resistance which will thereby decrease fuel efficiency. Deeper tread blocks like that found on winter tires and all-weather tires are great for grip and traction but bad for rolling resistance. With a low rolling resistance tire you can save 6 percent on fuel costs. If you want to reduce fuel costs and thereby do something good for the environment, then you should invest in low rolling resistance tires with the correct size tires for your make and model of car. There are however some advantages of larger tires as they improve handling as the wider tread faces and stiffer sidewalls allow for decreased braking distance and improved acceleration, especially in very powerful vehicles and muscle cars. Also, muscle cars offer better grip due to their wider tires, this however is due to the composition of the tire compound being softer, with this softer compound the tires need to be wider to support the weight of the car.

Using the correct size tire dimension for your car or SUV is important as it assures the best handling, performance and functioning while assuring the best fuel efficiency, thereby saving on fuel and making the tires more environmentally friendly.  

For more information regarding right size tires, visit: www.nokiantires.com