For car owners, choosing the right tire size often turns out to be a dilemma. While the car’s factory tires that come by default are perfect, one can always have personal preferences.
If you aren’t a fan of your default Nissan Frontier tires, you might consider switching to a different tire size. Getting a bigger tire size might seem like a particularly good idea, as bigger tires do offer certain benefits.
Regardless, it is necessary first to find out which tires you can put on a Nissan Frontier. Not all tires fit well on every car, and you certainly wouldn’t want to invest in the wrong tires.
What size tires can I put on my Nissan Frontier?
You do have several options when choosing tires for your Nissan Frontier. The most popular tires for this car are P265/65SR17, P265/70SR17, and P265/70SR16, because these are the default tires.
We listed three tires as the default tire because it varies from one build to another. A Nissan Frontier 2022 with a 16-inch rim comes with a P265/70SR16 tire, while one with a 17-inch rim has either a P265/70SR17 or a P265/65SR17. However, you can always choose to dump the default tires for bigger alternatives, going up to 31.6 inches maximum.
The largest tire you can safely put on any Nissan Frontier is 265/75/16, which is of size 31.6”. This tire size does not result in any rubbing or require you to trim the fender liners.
However, you do have to use a spacer of around 2.5 inches to use this tire. While a 3-inch leveling kit will allow you to go for a slightly bigger tire of around 33 inches, the tire may potentially rub against the fender. Especially if you have a second-generation Nissan Frontier, a 33” tire may be a good choice.
Can I put different size tires on my Nissan Frontier?
Yes, it is possible to use a tire of a different size in your Nissan Frontier. In fact, larger tires look great on this car due to its design. The car has a square and masculine build that is easy to enhance by upgrading to a larger tire kit.
While car manufacturers pick the default tire keeping optimum performance in mind, there is nothing wrong with swapping them for larger tires instead. Just make sure not to install an oversized tire that can rub against the fender and force you to make modifications.
However, before you decide to put a different tire size on your Nissan Frontier, you should weigh the advantages and the downsides to see if it is really worth it.
- Higher ground clearance: A bigger set of tires will grant your car increased ground clearance. This means you can safely drive on rougher roads and terrains than usual. Installing bigger tires, in fact, is one of the easiest ways to increase a car’s ground clearance.
- Aesthetics: Generally, bigger tires make a car more eye-catching and help it stand out from the rest. Thanks to its powerfully-built design, this is more applicable to the Nissan Frontier. Larger tires complement this design style perfectly, and make a great combination.
- Improved control: The bigger your tires are, the better will be the car’s handling. This is because bigger tires offer more traction due to having more rubber in contact with the road, and consequently, a better grip. Especially if you plan to drive your Nissan Frontier on icy or wet roads, installing bigger tires might be helpful.
- More fuel consumption: When you get a bigger tire, that usually comes with deeper and wider tread as well. While this increases traction, the tire also faces increased rolling resistance. The car naturally has to stress itself out to get over this resistance. So, you would notice a compromise in the vehicle’s fuel-economy. As a result, you may notice a drop in your car’s fuel economy when you switch to bigger tires.
- Incorrect readings: Remember, your car’s manufacturer calibrated instruments such as the TPMS, the odometer, and the speedometer as per the specifications of the default tires. When you switch to a different tire size, the data received by these instruments would change and result in inaccurate readings.
- Altered handling: While we listed the change in the car’s handling as a benefit, it can also be a downside depending on how you see it. You may need some time to get accustomed to it, as increasing your car’s height can cause a slight shift in its center of gravity.
- Additional costs: Depending on your chosen tire size, you may have to install a leveling kit to increase the gap between the axle and the body. Moreover, your speedometer, odometer, and advanced driver assistance systems might need recalibration.
Ultimately, you can always go for a different tire size – just ensure you are fine with the potential downsides. Bigger tires suit the Nissan Frontier better, so it is a good idea. Even if you have to shell out some money on recalibrations and other adjustments, it’s worth it.
Will the Speedometer get Affected?
Yes, changing to a different tire size on your Nissan Frontier will always affect the speedometer. The speedometer measures the speed of the wheels by the revolutions they make per minute.
It is calibrated with data regarding the distance covered per revolution and gives an accurate reading. However, a bigger tire covers more distance per revolution, which the speedometer doesn’t reflect. This leads to inaccurate readings.
Until you get the speedometer recalibrated, it will continue measuring the speed based on the distance covered per revolution by the default tires. It implies that the car’s speedometer would reveal a figure lower than the actual value.
Although the difference isn’t too much at lower speeds, it grows more prominent when you drive fast. It can cause you to get a ticket for speeding if you unknowingly exceed the speed limit based on inaccurate readings from the speedometer.
Let us, for example, assume that you have replaced the stock tires with 30.5-inch diameter tires. Your speedometer will read 20 mph when your car is moving at 20.7 mph.
In this case, the difference is less than 1 mile per hour. However, when you drive at 93.2 mph, the speedometer will read 90 mph. This is why it is crucial to get your speedometer recalibrated if you get bigger tires.
Will the mileage get Affected?
The biggest disadvantage of switching to bigger tires is probably the decrease in your car’s mileage. While your Nissan Frontier will look much better and offer greater control, it will also burn more fuel. This is primarily due to two reasons.
Firstly, the same increased tire surface area that helps your car get more traction will also be causing more resistance. Your engine will have to run harder to overcome the extra resistance and thus burn more fuel. Although the difference isn’t much, it all adds up in the long run.
Secondly, bigger tires are also heavier. However, the increased weight of the tires also causes a difference in torque.
Both these factors force your car to work harder and consume more fuel to cover the same distance as compared to smaller tires.
As long as you are fine with the increased fuel consumption and change in handling, feel free to go for a bigger tire for your Nissan Frontier. For tires of up to 33-inch diameter, you won’t have to make any major adjustments besides installing a leveling kit and recalibrating the instruments. However, tires larger than 33” will require major modifications like fender trimming and regearing.