Do My Winter / Snow Tires Have Another Year in Them?

What Honest Abe Doesn't Tell You About Minimum Tread DepthsThe weather is getting cooler and many are thinking about removing their performance tires for winter / snow tires. However, what condition are your old snow tires in? Can you eke out one more season? Should you? 

Keep in mind that the more tread depth the tires have, the more effective they will be in loose snow and slush. Checking your tread depth may seem pretty obvious (here's how), but there is more to this than taking a quick look at the tread. In order for winter tires to perform well in snow, they need adequate tread depth so they are "biting" into the snow instead of "nibbling" at it. Most winter / snow tires start at 10/32nds of an inch to 12/32nds of an inch. 6/32nds of an inch is the minimum tread depth that Tire Rack recommends for winter driving.

Check out "What Honest Abe Doesn't Tell You About Minimum Tread Depths" for more information about tread depths for winter and all other seasons, too. 

If you find that your old snow tires have less than 6/32nds of an inch of tread depth, they are ready to be replaced. There are many great winter / snow tires available, but a good starting point would be to check out Bridgestone's Blizzak line. If you're looking for Bridgestone tire reviews on some of the top Blizzak tires, read "Blizzak Winter / Snow Tires."

You can find the right auto tires online, when you shop by vehicle.


Thursday, December 27, 2012 by Steve Thomas

I just had a quick question followed by an omg moment. I was tring to keep my 16 inch wheels on my 1998 Firebird that I was going to use as snow tire wheels. I used your winter guide and decided that the new w70 would be a great new option. I hesitiated at bit when it recommend 215 tires for better traction but I went with tire rack.
What I didn't realize till after I oldered and they will be here tomorrow morning is that in the side notes hiddin says and I had to dig to find it was the 215/60R16 do not fit an an 8 inch wide wheel, although it fits 7.5. What I was wondering is just just a procaution or will the really not fit and I need to call and exchage. Im a tech and Ive seen people underside snow tires and its more or a jugement call if it fits and I know a number of BMW and Corvetts undersize the tires on rims.
I gues the bottem line Im asking will the 215/60R16 Phicially fit an 16X8 wheel. This will be a strickely snow tires. Well untill summer when the drags go on. :)

Thanks Steve THomas
Monday, January 14, 2013 by ross p

I have a 2002 hyundai sonata GLX, I have 205/60/16 tires on currently. can I replace with 205/60/15 (15 inch instead of 16)?
Monday, January 14, 2013 by Gary


In order to change to a 15" tire, you would need to purchase 15" wheels with size 205/65R15.
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Mark

i currently have 225/50/R17 on my 2006 Ford Fusion SEL.. i want to purchase a winter wheel and tire pkg. Can i put the 16 " wheel and tire pkg on and not effect my speedometer?
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Gary


Yes, you can indeed use 16" wheels with tire size 205/60R16 with no problem on the 2006 Ford Fusion SEL.

Check out available wheels here :
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by luis

Hi Guys, i need Little help before i buy these tires, I have a 98 F150 xt cab, that has 235/70R16's on it now, and i would like to upgrade to 255/55R17 , will i have an issue with them at all in the truck, will i have to do anything to the truck to be able to use them... thanks in advance for any advice u can give me...cheer's...:)
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Lou Ciesco

Hi, Could I put 15 inch rims on an 2002 Monte Carlo SS, it came with 16 inch rims. Thanks.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 by Gary


I'm sorry, we have not found any 15" wheels that fit over the brakes on the 2002 Chevy Monte Carlo SS.
Monday, April 22, 2013 by Merrick

Will P235 65R17 fit on P 225 65R17 rims for a 2009 Grand Caravan without any problem?
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 by Gary


Yes, either size will fit the original 17" wheels for the 2009 Grand Caravan.

Saturday, June 1, 2013 by Teresa

I just purchased a 2013 Toyota Avalon Touring Model. It comes standard with tire size P225/45R18. 18" wheels which I found I do not like the harsh ride. Can I downsize these tires and/or get a higher profile tire that would allow a more soft ride? and if so, what tire should I purchase when time to replace?
Monday, June 3, 2013 by Gary


You can use size 245/45R18 which would gain almost an inch in total height which could help soften the ride a bit. Top choices would include the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus, and Michelin Primacy MXV4.

Monday, July 22, 2013 by stan

Will 2003 grand caravan rim work on a 2004 Nissan maxima
Monday, July 22, 2013 by Gary


We do not have compatibility information on original wheels between these two models.
Saturday, September 21, 2013 by George

I have a new 2014 chev impala ,with 235/50/18 tires on it I want to put 17 inch rims on for the winter ,going to put 225/60r17 inch winter tires on will there be a problem in performance with these tire be ok
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 by Gary


Yes, you can indeed minus size to 225/60R17 on the 2014 Chevy Impala.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 by donna

My Dodge Caliber has 215/60/R17? Can I use a different size tire on this car? I don't like the loud riding sound
Tuesday, October 22, 2013 by Gary


While other sizes such as 225/55R17 do fit this car, changing the tires size has very little effect on tire road noise. For a quiet tire in 215/60R17, check out the Michelin Defender or Goodyear Assurance Comfortred Touring.
Saturday, January 4, 2014 by David Iovieno

I currently have 225/60/17's on my 2014 Forester 2.5i Premium model. Can I use the 205/55/16's winter tires from my 08 Subaru Impreza? I just traded in the 08 and will keep the winter tires if they will work on the Forester. Thanks!
Monday, January 6, 2014 by Gary


We have not found any 16" wheels that fit over the brakes on the 2014 Forester 2.5i Premium.
Saturday, February 1, 2014 by Bob

I just purchased a 2014 Lexus ES350 with 18" rims and Bridgestone tires. I find the ride terrible on all but the best roads. Should I move to a 17" wheel and larger tire?
Monday, February 3, 2014 by Gary


Yes, you can improve the ride by using a 17" wheel with a taller sidewall such as 215/55R17. Choose a softer riding tire to improve ride even further, such as the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus.

Friday, March 28, 2014 by martin

i just bought a new 2014 chevy impala ltz. with p245/40R20/95v low profile tires ride is to rough can i downsize to smaller tire and rim
Monday, March 31, 2014 by Gary


Yes, you can minus size as far down as 17" on the 2014 Chevy Impala LTZ using size 225/60R17.

Saturday, July 26, 2014 by Paul

Can I install some 2012 Rav4 215/70r16 steel rims on my 2013 Rav4 which has 225/65r17?
Monday, July 28, 2014 by Gary


16" steel wheels do indeed fit the 2003 Rav4 with size 215/70R16 tires.
Monday, November 3, 2014 by Reiny

Just bought a 2014 impala limited ltz with 235 50 18. Can I downsize to 16 inch snow tire and wheel?
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 by Gary


Yes, on the 2014 Chevy Impala Limited ltz with 235 50 18 original tires, you can minus size to 16" winter wheels with size 215/65R16 or size 225/60R16 tires.

Winter Package Shop by vehicle
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by steve

Have a 07 accord with.blizzaks at 4/32nds. Time to replace? I can only afford 2 right now. Should.I.put new ones up front or in rear. Car if front wd. Thanks
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by Gary


Yes, most tires begin to suffer from hydroplaning and much reduced wet and snow traction at or below 4/32nds. We recommend installing new tires on the rear.
Saturday, November 29, 2014 by Larry

I have a 2007 Honda Accord EX sedan(v6 with 17" wheels)Can I downgrade to a 16" wheel for winter tires?
Monday, December 1, 2014 by Gary


Yes, you can indeed minus size to 16" on the 2007 Honda Accord EX.

Winter Package Shop by vehicle
Sunday, January 11, 2015 by Kristina

I have a 2006 ford fusion with 205/60/16 & want to know if I can use 215/65/16 in place of the 205's?
Monday, January 12, 2015 by Gary


215/65R16 is much taller than we can recommend to fit the 2006 Ford Fusion without rubbing.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 by Wayne

I just bought a 2015 Impala LT and have access to nearly new 225/60R17 winter tires and rims - will they be okay? (I was told to get 235/55R17 brand new.)
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 by Dianne

our 2015 Impala LT currently has 235/50R18 tires/rims (all season) - we want to get winter tires?rims and have access to some 225/60R17 nearly new tires/rims. can these be used?
Monday, October 12, 2015 by Gary


We have used 225/60R17 tires on the 2015 Chevy Impala with no problem.
Monday, October 12, 2015 by Gary


Either 225/60R17 or 235/55R17 would be acceptable minus sized tires for the 2015 Chevy Impala
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 by Jeff

We currently have P225 60 R16 tires on our 2006 chev Impala. We were wondering if we could downsize to a P215 65 R16 for winter tires.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 by Vikki

We have a 2010 Impala with 18 inch tires and I guess the same rims, can we downsize?
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 by Gary


Yes, you can indeed minus size to 215/65R16 on the 2006 Chevy Impala with no problem.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 by Gary


Suggested minus sizes for the 2010 Impala include 17" and 16"; both of which will fit with no problems.

Sunday, November 22, 2015 by Amy

Hi Gary,
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I have a 2015 Kia Soul SX and I was wondering how small I can go for winter tires. I currently have 15's that are like new so I'm hoping these will do the trick.

Thank you,
Sunday, November 22, 2015 by Steve G

hi I have a 2005 Chev uplander, original size 225 60r 17. I would like to know if I can use a 225 70r 16 tire on this vehicle (assuming I find rims with the correct 5x115 bolt pattern)

Thank you!
Monday, November 23, 2015 by Gary


We have used 16" setups on the 2005 Uplander with size 215/70R16. 225/70R16 is just a half inch taller and wider so it has a good chance of fitting as well.
Monday, November 23, 2015 by Gary


We've minus sized as far down as 15" on most models of 2015 Kia Soul vehicles. Most use 205/70R15 or 215/65R15 when minus sizing.

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