How Can I Tell if a Smaller Wheel Will Fit My Car?

For Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages, it's often beneficial to use a smaller diameter wheel (combined with a taller profile tire) compared to your stock wheels. In many cases, an expensive, low profile tire size and wheel combination can be substituted with a more cost-effective tire and wheel set that'll also afford added sidewall height to minimize pothole damage. With more and more vehicles coming standard with 19" and 20" wheels and tires, "minus sizing" has become very popular. 

How do we know which wheels will fit your vehicle? By measuring your vehicle's critical components with sophisticated electronic tools that allows our fitment engineers to create accurate drawings of these parts. This also helps us check for any interferences. Items we measure or verify during the process include:

  • Bolt Pattern
  • Centerbore
  • Hub Interference
  • Load Capacity
  • Lug Hardware
  • Suspension Components

Once a wheel is guaranteed, we can develop the corresponding tire size that will both maintain proper load capacity and overall diameter for accuracy of the vehicle's electronic instrumentation and safety systems. Proper fitment engineering allows us to offer Tire & Wheel Packages that are specifically designed for your vehicle. Our attention to detail prevents vibration, wheel/tire interference and unbalanced handling that can result from improperly designed packages.

For further information on how we verify what wheels are a match for your vehicle, read "How We Know What Fits."


Friday, July 25, 2014 by David

Have low profile 215/45-17 on 2012 hyundai elantra limited. I now have bubbles. What size tires should i buy sothis will not happen?
Friday, August 1, 2014 by Doc

To get a noticeably taller sidewall on your tire, you really want to consider switching to a 16" wheel instead. We could not recommend a tire size to fit your current 17" wheels that would be tall enough to help with your issue and still fit without rubbing/
Monday, November 10, 2014 by Rob

I was told that I should change my 17" rims for 15" rims when buying winter tires for my 2013 VWGolf. Will the smaller wheel/tire help or hurt my fuel economy?
Friday, November 14, 2014 by Doc

The tire size used for the 15" wheel (195/65R15) would have a smaller contact patch that might help your fuel economy slightly, but it would be tough to measure given other variables like tread depth and your driving habits.
Saturday, November 15, 2014 by Eugene Wilson

need to know if I can use 195/55r/15/85h winter tires on my Acura 2002 RSX the size it calls for is 195/65r/15/89h
Friday, August 14, 2015 by Andy-roo

I have really good snow tires I got on for my 2009 forester and I want to know if they'll work on my 2015 crosstrek. The snow tires are 215/65R16 = 27x8.5R16 and the crosstrek has 25/55R17 = 26.7x8.9R17 on it now. I know I'll need to buy steel rims to mount the snow tires on, but that's fine. I just want to know if they'll fit without causing any problems... I'd hate to lose them after only 2 winters of driving.

Thanks for the help!
Saturday, August 15, 2015 by Doc

The 195/55R15 is too small in diameter and load capacity to be used safely
Saturday, August 15, 2015 by Doc

The 215/65R16 is a safe size to use, and we have (new) steel wheels to fit the CrossTrek in stock. Give me a call !
Monday, September 14, 2015 by Adrian Utsch

I have Michelin Latitude X-ice snow tires sized 235/60 R18 from a 2014 Audi Q5. I just bought a 2011 Audi Q7 TDI. I was thinking of getting MSW type 19 wheels that are 18 inches in diameter and 8 inches wide. Will my Michelin latitudes fit on these new MSW wheels?
Saturday, September 19, 2015 by Doc

The 235/60R18 is close in diameter to the OE tires, but is too narrow to sufficiently carry the required weight (GAWR) on the rear axle. You need to have a 255/55R18 for safety's sake.
Thursday, October 29, 2015 by Peter

Hi Doc,
I have a 2011 Mazda 3 and I read I could downsize to 195/65R15 tires. Would it be OK to use 195/60R15 or 205/70R15 tires? Thanks for any professional advice you have.
Monday, December 7, 2015 by Justin

Hi, I have a 2005 Passat GLS Sedan and I'm in the market for spare rims for winter tires. Current tire measurements are 225/45 R17. I found an ad on craigslist for wheels. The tire measurements on the wheels are 215/60 R16. Would these rims work with my car? Is the width difference too much?
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 by Doc


If you are asking if the 225/60R16 tire size will work, I'd say its a little too tall and may rub over speed bumps or potholes. Tire specs are not enough to tell you if the wheel will work, however. I sell new steel wheels for the Passat if you need them.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by Joe

I have a 2015 Jetta GLI. The stock tire size is 225/40/18. I have bent 3 of my wheels so I am looking to down size to a 17" or even 16" (my winters are16's). Should I stick with the stock width and just change the height for the wheel or do I need to downsize both the width and sidewall? What size do you recomend?
Saturday, February 25, 2017 by Doc


VW offered the GLi model with a 225/45R17 size off the showroom floor. You can also switch to 16" wheels and 225/50R16 tires if you wanted to get the tallest sidewall (while keeping your overall diameter within spec.) The wider 225 tire will help with performance driving and lateral stability.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 by Royston

I have 255/45 R20 tires on my Volvo xc60 T6. The ride quality is very hard and road noise from the Pirelli's.

Can I reduce width and increase profile to 245/50 R20?
Saturday, April 22, 2017 by Doc


While we do not have any recommended (alternate) sizes for your application the 245/50R20 size has sufficient load capacity and is just over 2% taller than stock. I don't know that this amount of change will make a noticeable difference, but short of switching to smaller wheels there are no real options I'm afraid
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 by Mark

Hey there trying to see if my 2015 Prius C that came with P195/50R16 can fit safely a P185/65/R14.
The same Prius C four factory option tire is a P175/65R15, so this new tire is somewhat a compromise. Let me know. Thanks
Friday, April 28, 2017 by Doc


The 185/65R14 is a little smaller in diameter than we recommend, but would have sufficient load capacity. We prefer 175/70R14 or 185/70R14.
Thursday, July 13, 2017 by Lori

I have a 2006 Honda Civic coupe that has 205/55r16 on standard steel rim. I would like to replace with 205/65r 16 . Rim size 7"from a 2014 Honda Accord. Will this work without too much rubbing/problems ??because I can get them for free. Thanks
Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Eugene konopinski

Your help would be greatly appreciate I have a 2017 Corolla xse- I want to use my old winter tires this season - the current tires I have on the 2017 Corolla are 215/45 R17 will my winter tires size le 235/60 R16 be ol to use ?

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