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Can I change my tire size?

Hi… I love my 2009 Honda Fit…except for the fact that it uses an “off” odd sized tire. That my local places don’t keep on hand for immediate use. Twice I’ve needed a brand new tire, & have had to wait a day or 2 for a new tire. One local “discounter” place told me in a “too friendly” way… “oh you can easily change the tire size only barely, the next time you get a whole new set (this would have been occurring soon) & it won’t make any difference”; & they keep the other size in stock . My “regular” place (with a very crabby guy) told me that "those other guys were just trying to get a customer…you can’t change the size of the tires, your car was set up for this size. Changing it will muck up something… & will throw off the “low tire pressure” indicator that is built into the car. A 3rd place (not trying to sell me anything) said the discounter place was right. I’m not sure who is telling the truth & who is trying to make a sale! Any ideas?

Tire size or rim size ? You are always able to increase the size of the rim and adjust the tire size to keep the overall diameter and circumference the same. Though all manuals suggest you use original tire sizes and rims, it’s possible in many cars to increase tire size circumference and diameter to a point as long as fitment isn’t affected. Your computer doesn’t care about small changes but many tire companies will balk for liability reasons putting on non approved sizes. So, tire size alone or rim size and tires. There is a difference and we can’t tell or advise without getting explicit.

Be ware of this as a general guideline. Because performance can change, never go “smaller” and stay within the parameters of width being the same or larger and circumference being the same to be safe. This assumes the wider tire will fit. has en excellent site that discusses tire sizes, tire upgrades, and even has a consumer reviews section. I recommend a visit.

Is it a Fit or a “Fit Sport?” According to Tire Rack (the site mountainbike mentioned) I’ll have to assume the Fit Sport. The spec size on a Fit is 175/65-15 which is not an uncommon size. The spec for the Sport is 185/55-16 which is probably a less common size. In any case, specify the model and the tire size as that could help. (The tire size is stamped in big print on the side of the tires).

But, in general, here is what I would suggest - to avoid hassles and potential problems stick with the same tire size. But each time you get new tires, save the best one among those you are replacing. Stash it someplace in case you need it. Obviously this isn’t a good option if you wear your tires bald before replacing them, but you shouldn’t do that anyway.

Thanks all 3 of you… I have a “Sport” & have the more uncommon size apparently; I called at least 8 places; no one had my size in stock. “Cig” when this occurred, I chose to do what you had suggested & went with the recommended size. Was just wondering for the future. Both “hyper-friendly-I-am your-pal” guy & “crabby guy” had plenty to back up their respective stances. I Will probably hold on to best tire the next time I change out. I don’t like the little so called tire that comes with it. PS… I do love my bright red Sport…fun to drive, except in wind storms!

Lizzz, I have gone to carrying a full-sized spare in my cars. They often mostly fit where the little donut spare goes. So my spare is always the best from my last set of tires when I got them changed. You could explore that for your Fit. Those tiny little things are about cutting weight and the storage space. On my escort, the weight difference is all of 10lb and it actually fits perfectly in the spare tire well.

The board’s true tire expert, IMHO, goes by the screen name CapriRacer. Hopefully he will stop by sometime soon. My experience here tells me that I would accept his advice as very solid, whatever it happens to be.

I don’t think you should mess with it. Having to wait a couple of days to get the right size from the warehouse is not a problem unless you make a habit of destroying tires. Just buy the tires you want on an evening after work and then make an appointment to have them installed on the weekend or after work another night. I know it is inconvenient to be without your car when a tire bursts, but if this occurs more than a couple times during the life of the tires, maybe you should figure out how to avoid the problem. We have a production facility at work that is next to a scrap metal processor and nails/screws/bolts end up on the road outside his loading dock. Most of us find another way to get to parking spots, or at least pay extra attention to debris on the road when we drive by.

The tire stores have run out of Shelf Space…Too many types and sizes of tires to stock…


According to Discount Tire, a 205/50R16 will fit. It’s more or less the same rolling diameter, so there shouldn’t be much of a change in the way the speedometer reads. - BUT - there is some variation between tire manufacturers so it would be a good idea to check after making the change. (BTW, this is good advice for everyone that makes a new tire purchase.)

The one concern I’d have with the 205/50R16 is width - it might rub on something.

CapriRacer… that’s the place I went to that told me this was ok. To all of you: THANK YOU! Your help has been appreciated.


don’t despair. Just plan ahead and have the tire shop order and intall the correct tires

My brother had the same problem with his Highlander a few years ago. Apparently, only that car used the tire size. Every time he needed tires, he had to preorder them

Fast forward a few years, and several tire shops stock that size, and there are also many different brands to choose from


Discount Tire is one of those few places that actually measure the clearance available in the fenderwells. That’s why I use them for fitment advice. The only 2 caveats are that they do NOT check the original wheel width and compare it to their list - AND - they don’t seem to suggest anything over 3% larger in diameter.

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