When buying new tires for your car, the extensive array of options might confuse a potential buyer. Especially if you don’t know a lot about car tires and it’s the first time you are trying to buy tires for your car, it might be hard to determine the right size.
Generally, bigger tires offer more stability and control, especially when driving over difficult terrains. This might make you wonder what’s the largest tire size that can go on a stock 17-inch rim. Thankfully, 17-inch rims have quite a decent tire size range, and can accommodate tires with a diameter of up to 54 inches.
What’s the biggest tire you can put on 17 inch rim?
17-inch rims are extremely common as default car wheels. Car manufacturers themselves choose the right tire during factory production, keeping in mind the vehicle’s specifications and build for optimum performance.
However, when replacing the factory tires, you may either go for exactly the same tire size or choose a size of your preference. A 17-inch wheel is compatible with a wide range of tire sizes, ranging from 22 to 54 inches. This means you can put any tire with a diameter ranging between 22 inches and 54 inches in a 17-inch rim.
Switching to a bigger tire will grant your car better grip and more control, as bigger tires offer higher traction than smaller ones. However, changing the tire will also alter the way your car feels while driving. The size of the tires affects the calibrations of the stability system, the anti-lock braking system, and the speedometer.
Hence, getting accustomed to driving with larger tires might take you some time. Changing to a different tire size can also confuse the odometer and the speedometer, causing them to give inaccurate readings.
Can you put 35s on a 17 inch rim?
You can put tires of size 35 on a 17-inch rim. In fact, 35s are among the most common aftermarket tire options for 17-inch diameter rims. Moreover, the 35s actually need a minimum rim diameter of 17 inches.
You should be able to drive with 35s equipped on a 17-inch rim without any issue as these sizes go very well together. Especially if your vehicle is a jeep or an SUV, size 35 tires should be perfect. However, as mentioned earlier, switching to a different tire size can impact the driving experience.
What are the Common Tire Sizes for 17 Inch Rims?
Around 100 different tire sizes are compatible with 17-inch rims. Among these, 225/45/17 and 225/40/18, are the most popular and common.
These two are ideal tire choices for rims of the said size, and deliver great performance. Other common tire sizes for 17-inch rims include 215/55R17, 225/65R17, and 265/70R17.
However, feel free to upsize if you would like to drive with bigger tires. Especially if you live in a region with heavy rainfall or snowy roads in winter, switching your default tires for a bigger size might be a good idea. As larger tires offer better grip and traction, they are much safer to use on slippery roads.
How to evaluate your car’s Tire Size?
Tires usually come with a long string of numbers and a few letters on their side, which carry details such as the tire’s size, speed rating, etc. However, it might look like gibberish to a person who doesn’t have a lot of experience with cars or doesn’t know the meaning of these numbers.
Car mechanics and other technicians who handle tire replacements are well-versed with these numbers, and can easily decipher them to reveal their meaning.
Here’s a quick guide to how you can evaluate the size of your tire from the codes inscribed on their sides:
- The letter at the beginning specifies the type of vehicle on which you can equip the tire. For example, passenger vehicles have tires marked with a P. Light trucks and special trailers have ‘LT’ and ‘ST’ markings respectively.
- Right after the letter specifying the vehicle type, there’s a number for the tire width, in millimeters. Also known as ‘section width’, this is the tire width from side to side, when you’re looking straight at it.
- A forward slash separates the width from the next number, which is the tire’s aspect ratio. For example, if the number says 65, it means the tire is 65% as high as its width. A higher aspect ratio means the tire would look thicker from the front view.
- After the aspect ratio, you will find a letter that signifies the construction type. Therefore, it shows how the makers developed the tire.
- The tire’s diameter follows the construction type, in inches.
- Next comes the load index of the tire, i.e., how much load the tire can bear. A small space separates the load index from the diameter.
- Finally, it closes with another letter at the end: the tire’s speed rating.
Here’s an example to help you better understand the method described above. If the code on the side of your tire says P215/65R15 89 H, it means:
- The tire would work for passenger vehicles.
- It has 215 mm. width.
- The aspect ratio of the tire is 65%.
- The tire manufacturer used the Radial-Ply method to build the tire.
- It has a 15-centimeter diameter.
- This tire comes with a load index of 89, which means it can support up to 1279 pounds.
- Your tire has a higher speed rating of up to 130 MPH, and is therefore quite resistant to friction from the road.
Should you switch to a bigger tire?
You might be trying to decide whether it is a good idea to swap your default tires for bigger ones. Well, while it might potentially be a good idea, you should definitely consider all the perks and downsides before you go ahead with it.
Let’s start with the perks first. As we mentioned earlier, a bigger tire offers greater stability and security by providing more traction. As a result, you can comfortably drive your car on snowy and icy roads. Larger tires do not bounce as much as small tires on hitting bumps, which ensures a smoother ride for you.
Installing larger tires on your car will make it more noticeable. If you like to stand out from the crowd, replacing your tires with bigger ones is a subtle way to do it. Moreover, it will increase your car’s value and help fetch a better price when you sell the car.
While the perks of using bigger tires are great, you definitely shouldn’t overlook the disadvantages either. As bigger tires use more materials than smaller tires, they are also costlier.
Your car will drive a little differently after changing the tire size, so you’d want to be particularly careful until you get the hang of it. As described earlier, components calibrated to wheel rotation, such as the odometer, can also give inaccurate readings after changing tire size.
You do have quite an impressive range of options when choosing tires for a 17-inch wheel. However, unless comfortable with the changes that come with the installation of a bigger tire, it’s best to stick to the tire size provided by the manufacturer. However, switching to any other size of your choice is definitely viable, as long as it falls within the range of tires compatible with 17-inch rims.