- A short note here: As a former Bridgestone engineer, I strongly recommend checking Discount Tire - Treadwell out. Now, you can effortlessly get recommendations based on value, performance, and local favorites without going to the Discount Tire store.
TRIED & TRUSTED!
The automotive market is huge. 14.9 million light vehicles were sold in the US alone in 2021. More than 400 different vehicles are available on the market now. Well, most of them use different sizes of tires. As a result, you see a lot of tire sizes when you’re trying to buy a new one. I know it’s confusing. No worries. I will give you everything you need regarding tire size. Let’s begin!
How to Read Tire Sizes?
In my point of view, if you have an answer to this question, you can compare all the sizes you need.
Alright, first of I would like to define our elements first. Let’s take 225/55R18 into the consideration.
225: This element defines the width of the tire. Take home point, this is sidewall to sidewal legth. Not only contact patch. If you measue only contact patch, you will see a lower leght. Unit: Millimeter
55: This element defines sidewall height. But, it is in ratio form. If you want to know the real height of the sidewall, you have to multiply this ratio with tire width (225×0.55=123.75). Though worth reminding, the tire is a round matter. Therefor, you need a two section of sidewall if you want to real heigh of tire. Unit: Millimeter
R18: R means ‘Radial Construction’. So, the number comes after the R is the rim size. Unit: Inch
What are the Differances?
Actually, with these inputs, I can only say the width is the only difference. Though, from now, I will assume that the tires have the same sidewall ratio and same rim size.
Let’s say we have 3 different tires. 225/55R18, 215/55R18, and 235/55R18.
In that case, 235 is not only the broader one but also the tallest one. Well, it has the best traction among these sizes. If the tires are the same, the broadest tire always has better traction. Furthermore, wider tires provide better handling. These are all about the increment of the contact patch. When you increase the contact patch, traction, and handling increase correspondingly.
However, tables turn for loose surface conditions. The narrower tires always have better winter performance. When you decrease the contact patch, the tires’ stepping pressure is increased. Hence, it can grip and bite way much better. As a result, 225 has the best loose snow and slash performance.
Tire Width and Height
235 is the broadest and highest tire among these three. This feature come up with some advantages and disagdantages.
Regarding traction, 235 is the best one. Wide tires have the best traction on dry pavement.
Wider tires tend to hydroplane more often. Therefore, narrower tires work better while pouring. 215 is the winner on wet.
Same again 215 is the winner. A narrow tire can make more pressure on the surface. Thus, they can perform better on loose grounds.
Wider tires have better handling. 235 is the winner.
235 is the heaviest one obliosly. Therefor, it’s also less fuel-efficient one. 215 is the winner.
Are 225 and 235 Tires are Interchangeable?
The answer is highly related to your vehicle conditions. If you step down your vehicle to the ground, 225 to 235 might not work for your vehicle. However, you can change 235 to 225 without a doubt.
In summary, 225 to 235 is questionable. Yet, you can confidently change 235 to 225.
Note: If you want to make this change, you should focus on the load and speed range of your vehicle.
Can I Use 225 Tires Instead of 235?
Yes, you can.
However, 225 tires can hold less air inside. Therefore, their load ranges are might be lower. You should pay attention to the load range.
Can 235 Tires Replace 225?
If your vehicle isn’t modified, the answer is most probably yes.
If it is stepped down, you might measure your gap between the 225 tires and fender. You might need 1-3 inches depending on the rim and aspect ratio.
Are 215 and 225 Tires Interchangeable?
The answer is generally yes. Yet, you should pay attention to load range, speed rate, and your gap between the current tire and fender.
Note: You don’t need to pay attention to spacing if you’re going 235 to 225.
Tire width and height can be bear on tire performance. You can check the pros and cons of narrow and wide tires.
|Better hydroplaning resistance||Better traction on dry ground|
|Better in winter||Better looking|
|Fuel-efficient||Can carry more load|
- LT sizes have stronger sidewalls. That feature makes them more durable. Yet, these tires offer a rougher ride. (LT vs P-Metric tires)
- XL sizes tend to carry more load and offer better handling. Hence, if you’ll go with p-metric sizes, they might be a better pick for hauling and towing( XL vs SL tires)
- Please pay attention to the load range and speed index. These metrics are essential if you expect decent tread life
- There isn’t a bad tire in the market right now, you should just know what to expect from tires
A side note here: If you’d like to get local advice and find the best fit for your driving habits, location, and road conditions DiscountTire – Treadwell Tire Guide can give you masterpiece recommendations.
I hope the article was helpful. If you have any further questions, please leave them below. Have a safe ride!
Guide Me Bruh!
This section contains my research and top picks. Depending on your need, you may choose a category and easily find the best fit for yourself. Remember, nobody knows your driving conditions and requirements better than yourself. You’re in the charge out here.
Paul Cole says
Wondering if you have advice on tire replacement for a 2001 eurovan I just picked up. It has nokian etyre 225/60/16 102rating, that have heavily worn on the inside fronts. While that is a “recommended tire” I am looking for something different. Would appreciate handling improvements without creating high mileage loss. And it will be driven 95% on the road in the NW with limited winter driving.
Emrecan Gurkan says
Sorry for the late reply.
First of all, your vehicle should have RF or XL tires with greater than 102 load index. Well, there’re not many tires that meet these conditions.
This advice might seem weird to you but we’ve tried a similar thing with one of our customers and it worked pretty well.
Check this one out,
This is not a tire for vans but it works smoothly on large SUVs which has heavier than your vehicle. For instance, Jeep Wagoneer.
I’m pretty sure it’ll not wear unevenly. Yet, this one’s UTQG rating is 400 which means it won’t last as long as Nokian Entyre.
Shouldn’t he be using a class C tire on that?
Emrecan Gurkan says
It depends on what he wants from the tire.
For instance, if he was spending too much time off the road, he needs an all-terrain tire. In that case, he just needs a tire that can handle occasional off-road.
Besides that, he wants improvement in handling which is automatically leading me to all-season tires.
Anyway, the answer to your question is mostly, yes. C-class tires are a better option for hauling or towing.
Note: The tire I suggest has a high load rating. Hence, it fits this vehicle.