What Size Tire Do I Need?

The most common question when starting to shop for tires is: "What size do I need?" Luckily, it's very simple to find the appropriate tire size needed for your vehicle. The first step should be writing down the tire sizes marked on the sidewall of all four tires. It's important that you confirm the sizes because there are many cases where the vehicle was manufactured with different size tires on the front and rear.

Now that you know what is currently on your vehicle, we need to determine if the size(s) you have written down is the correct size(s) requested by the vehicle manufacturer. Beginning in 2003, vehicle manufacturers were directed to install information placards. Tire information placards identify the Original Equipment tire sizes and inflation pressures (including the spare), along with the vehicle's weight capacity.

Placards on new vehicles must now be located on the driver's side doorjamb (called the "B-pillar"). If a vehicle doesn't have a B-pillar, then the placard is to be placed on the rear edge of the driver's door. And if the vehicle does not have a B-pillar and the driver's door edge is too narrow, the placard is to be affixed on an inward facing surface next to the driver's seating position.

For earlier model vehicles, the information placards can typically be found on:

  • Driver-side door or doorjamb
  • Rear passenger doorjamb of Ford sedans
  • Fuel filler door
  • Glove box or center console door
  • Engine compartment

If the tire size you have written down matches the tire size given on the vehicle's information placard, then you can be assured this is the size you need to shop for. There are many instances where a vehicle has aftermarket wheels or optional tire sizes and the size you have written down does not match the size on the information placard. In this case, you can search for tires by vehicle on our website and just below the Original Equipment size the website will give you optional tire sizes by wheel diameter. 

For additional information, check out our Tire Size Guide.


Saturday, July 13, 2013 by warren

we have 225 55 19 tires/wheels on our new suv. for winter I would like to use 16" or possibly 17" wheels, could you tell me the tire size I would need on these wheels to match correctly to the 19" tire/wheel combo
thank-you, warren
Monday, July 22, 2013 by Zig

Judging by the 225/55R19 it must be a Dodge Journey and typically in the winter you should use 225/70R16 or 225/65R17.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 by Kevin

I have a 2007 Subaru Legacy GT limited with 215/45/17's but I want a 16" wheel. Is this possible and if so what would be the best tire size?
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 by Tire Rack Team

Kevin, On the Legacy GT downsizing is not an option as 16" wheels will interfere with the braker caliper. -- marshall@tirerack.com

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