Stupid low-profile tires

Any performance-oriented new car I look at has stupid low-profile tires. Where I drive the streets ain’t that good. Don’t want low-profile tires, can’t use them. Can a buyer substitute smaller-diameter wheels and more normal tires? Is there any other work-around? Thanks.

It’s possible to substitute a smaller wheel size and higher profile tire but a lot depends on the vehicle.
If all things are equal as to outer diameter, wheel offset, and so on there’s always the issue of whether or not a smaller wheel rim will clear the brake assembly due to rotor size and/or the calipers.

Very low profile tires are not really my cup of tea either and the roads around here can make mincemeat out of very low profile tires; as a lot of people with 35 or 40 series tires have discovered. The Craigslist ads here are full of listings with oversized wheels and/or very low profile tires for sale; and for a reason.
My personal preference is nothing less than a 50 series.

Sometimes you can find a similar model sans some of the high performance things that transform certain models into " hi-po" with tire size more to your liking-Kevin

Much of the reason for low profile, large diameter rim is the increase brake disc size with traction and stability control. Smaller rims don’t always fit and brake cooling may suffer if they do. I too prefer at least 65 to 75 series tires but find you’ll pretty much have to buy a car that fits the wheel and not the other way around. High performing cars are usually accompanied by much larger brakes…would you want it any other way ? But, I feel your pain.

You can fit a pretty big brake inside a 16" wheel…Or a 15" wheel for that matter…

Are you buying transportation or a trip into Fantasy Land??

Much of the reason for low profile, large diameter rim is the increase brake disc size with traction and stability control

Not to mention the shorter sidewall which will eliminate a lot of sidewall flex and improve handling. Performance-oriented and SUV tires don’t mix :wink:

Caddyman…so you don’t feel that performance cars, which is what OP is talking about, require larger wheels because of larger brake size and increase need for cooling ? Your fantasy land is different from mine, but your’s still exists. I don’t think we are talking about a Corolla but Corvettes, Mustang etc. Neighbors new 2012 vs 2008 pick up, with “same model” GM 3/4 ton diesel increased wheel diameter due to increased brake size, that according to the dealer.


What cars are you looking at? It would help to know the specific models.

You should be able to change to a higher profile tire/wheel combo, but the immediate effect will be loss of braking, handling, and performance. And aren’t you looking at performance-oriented cars?

There are many websites that allow you to enter your car and then present you with options for tire and wheel sizes.

Sometimes the base model of a car comes with higher-profile tires. Most often those will fit, although you still need to double-check on that. If so, a dealer would probably trade yours for those before delivery.

The OP hasn’t come back, but 50 and 55 series tires are common on performance cars and aren’t that bad as far as ride quality. I really don’t know of any production cars with the super low profile tires that I see on a few Cadillac Escalades, but those SUV’s were not shipped from the factory with those wheels and tires.

the Escalade comes standard with 18s, but has 22s as options

Low profile tires are part of the performance deal. They simply handle more responsively, and that’s all there is to it. If the roads are that bad, you may have to take the bumps a little slower, buy a truck, or move to an area where the roads are better maintained.

Thank you everyone.

I think the best work-around is to buy a car that doesn’t come with low profile tires, but then you won’t be buying a high-performance vehicle. If I was buying a high-performance vehicle, I would expect it to have low profile tires, and I’d want low profile tires. I would also factor the cost of these tires into the cost of my maintenance estimates, as I would for any new vehicle.

Well I suppose a person could buy a set of beater rims for bad conditions and save the goodies for cruising,the ones I always despised were the Michelin TRX setup-Kevin

We have a 1970 car and recently tried to find some new wheels and tires for it. Here’s what I found, and I hope it helps you:

1.) Fortunately, our make has a good car club which really helped, and you might investigate if yours does too. Even a car club for a vehicle other than your own may give some good basic info. Enthusiasts for any car are often helpful (and have often learned the hard way, which is easy to do but probably not what you want to do yourself).

2.) you may be lucky but buying non-original tires and wheels can be unexpectedly complicated and take lots of research. Pretty soon you may be getting into things like offset, PCD’s, frame rubbing, compatibility with shock towers, etc. Even a wheel that fits well may cause bearing wear if you get the wrong offset, may compromise handling more than you want, etc.

3.) Rather than try to give yourself a headache about all this you may want to – seriously – consider another car or accept that you will have to choose your roads more carefully. There’s a reason people say it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. Rather than trying to make YOUR fast car slow by changing its wheels, it might be better just to get a less super-performance car. Many good cars today have fun, excellent handling without needing vast sums of money or care, like a Focus or a Miata.

4.) You can find plenty of people trying to sell you something, and again, you may be lucky. Many places like Tire Rack, a good local performance shop, concours auto dealers, or this forum can give you some information, but whether it is accurate enough is another story. There are so many wheel/tire combinations available for sale that even the experts can get confused, let alone the people with questionable or unknown experience. You should really be careful about the accuracy of info you will receive. If you feel someone doesn’t know enough to give you good info, quickly terminate the conversation.

Good luck and let us know how this works.

Someone posted this link a while ago, and it’s enlightening for those that don’t already know this info:

They truly do seem to be of no practical use. Kinda like a Peacock’s tail it’s all show and no go.

That’s what I came away with form the Car and Driver article as well. The idea of getting big alloy rims was supposed to be increased performance from less weight. It never occurred to me they would weigh more. I always stayed away from so-called “performance” rims because I’ve heard horror stories about suspension and drivetrain problems people have had after they installed them. Now I have yet another reason besides being cheap to stick with my old steel rims.