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sidekicknicholas 10-29-2013 7:50 AM

Snow tire question
Its that time of the year in the midwest.... I recently put on my winter rims and my tires are much closer to being shot than I remembered, rears are much worse than the fronts... I thought I had another season left in them, oh well.

The current rims are the stock 18s for the car
18x8 - 225/40/18 - front
18.8x.5 - 255/40/18 - rear
Since I'll be buying rears, I'll probably just replace the fronts too... my question(s) are what size to go. I know narrow is good for digging into snow, but will wider tires give better traction on packed snow?

Option 1:
Keep the existing rears and stretch a 225/45/18 to get a slightly narrowier tire for winter

Option 2:
Try to find / buy another two front 18x8 rims so I am running 18x8 all around and 225/40/18 all around -- they will clear the brakes, I checked.

Option 3:
I'll have to check, but look into getting the stock 17s and run those all around (if they fit) to get a more narrow tire

cassidyb 10-29-2013 11:47 AM

wider is definitely not better, they tend to float rather than grip. while 8'' isnt terribly wide, if you have the option of going with narrower rim/tire do it.
id also recomend a smaller rim diameter, when you get into the larger rim sizes the tires get quite a bit more expensive and youre typically limited to a "performance" winter tire rather than an aggressive tread winter tire.
i would not hesitate to recommend hankook ipikes, myself along with 3 family members have been running those for years in colorado. great tire, incredible grip, inexpensive, and they last forever (hankooks performance winter tires are the ice bears, much stiffer sidewalls, dont roll as much as the ipikes but they also dont grip like them either.)
other tires id recommend are nokian hakkapeliitta's, or something in the bridgestone blizzak series (only complaint ive heard on the blizzaks is that they grip like crazy but wear very quick)

rallyart 10-29-2013 3:59 PM

Narrower is better unless you are on glare ice with an ice compound tire. Higher profile is better unless you are talented enough to not slip near a curb, drive over ice chucks or hit frost heaves. Some winter brands, like Blizzaks, change rubber compounds when worn and essentially become an all-season. (Which sucks for at least the winter season)
My suggestion is to put on the stock rims and run a higher profile on the 17". Your traction, ride and safety will be improved, and if you find a curb jumping at your wheel, the tire and wheel are more likely to survive.

xstarrider 10-29-2013 8:30 PM

Couple other factors to know

AWD, front, or rear?

If AWD do yourself a favor and replace all four. Depending on fwd of rwd will also effect decision.

sidekicknicholas 10-29-2013 9:15 PM


My suggestion is to put on the stock rims and run a higher profile on the 17"
My stock is 18" .... but Lexus did make a stock 17" that year, just not sure it will fit with my brakes because of the "sport" package. Right now I am on stock (18") .... the old snow tires (on the rear) were 255/40/18, I was just hoping to replace with something narrower,... a 225/45/18 -- going up to 45 will keep the height the same compared to stretching a 225 / 40 and losing ~1"


AWD, front, or rear?
RWD with staggered rims

antoddio 11-01-2013 12:55 PM

Wider tires don't have more contact with the road given the same PSI, just a wider vs. longer contact path. On packed snow i think it would either make no difference or narrow would help you. Id go with the 17'' in order to get a taller sidewall which will be more durable if you should hit anything. Tires are cheaper too. Nokian WR's were nice tires that could also be run in the summer if you get lazy on changing them.

phathom 11-01-2013 11:07 PM

I would go with option 2, also what tires are you planning on running. In the NW here, we have winters that have intermittent snow and random black ice, but the majority of the time regular pavement that is wet most of the winter. We normally run all seasons here and just carry cables/chains in case snow hits.
For those of us that go up to the mountain regularly, Blizzaks are the most common tire of choice and even in the snow up there, chains are rarely required, but carried anyway for legal reasons.
Even with regular all seasons we go up to the mountain every now and then and don't have any issues with traction or getting stuck.

sidekicknicholas 11-02-2013 11:32 AM


also what tires are you planning on running.
Probably Blizzak WS70, haven't picked one out yet..... wife is taking the car on a pretty long drive next weekend, and no snow in the forecast so I'll let her keep wearing down the current ones before I switch them.


In the NW here, we have winters that have intermittent snow and random black ice, but the majority of the time regular pavement that is wet most of the winter.
Similar here.... lots of days with 2" or less of snow on the ground, lots of days with "slush", maybe 3-5 days of 10"+ on the ground - but the road crews are very good. Honestly in the midwest I can't think of single person who has chains, we have such small amounts of elevation change, they're not really as needed.

.... after doing some digging, what I think I'll do is keep the current rims, continue to run 225/40/18 on the front and then get a 225/45/18 for the rear. the stretch of the 225 but going from 40 --> 45 on the sidewall will keep the exact same diameter of the rim/tire, give me a bit more sidewall, and a narrower tire, also its a little cheaper than the 255/40

timmyb 11-04-2013 9:47 AM

I say keep the staggered sizes and you will be fine. My dad has a Caddy CTS-V and he runs staggered Blizzak's on his car with no issues here in the Denver area. You have to think that you will be driving the car on drive pavement more often than not and when it does snow, you will still have the stick of the snow tires so the extra 1" of width isn't going to make a huge difference. I ran 255's all the way around on my '06 Mustang and the width was never an issue. I had some Hankook snow tires for that car and they were pretty nice so I stuck with them for 7 winter's and had no complaints.

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