CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Tire Size and Transmission Issues

In March 2012 we bought a 2003 Jeep Liberty Ltd Ed as a tow vehicle for a motorhome. It had 225/70 tires on it even though the car’s specification is for 235/70s. We’ve had problems on and off with the 4-wheel drive, and I’m wondering if it could possibly be related to the tire size.

Would appreciate any comments.

Not if they are all the same diameter.

A Jeep Liberty is not really a recommended tow vehicle, except for a small trailer. Read the manual for “maximum towing capacity”, and you may find you have been overtaxing the drivetrain. The tire size in this case is of no consequence, unless you mix different sizes.

What size motorhome do you tow?

Do you tow your Jeep behind the motorhome? If you do then you need to read the Jeep owner’s manual carefully. Most Jeep 4WD’s can be towed safely with all 4 wheels on the ground and never on a tow dolly with both front wheels up. This can cause transmission damage according to my Jeep owning friends who are avid RVers.

Now let me get this straight, you tow amotorhome with a Jeep Liberty. The smallet diameter tires should do better.

My read is that the Jeep is towed behind an RV, The 10 MM difference in tire size would not cause any problems.

It’s a 10 year old Jeep so who knows what kind of tires were on it previously, how it was driven and maintained, etc, so it could be an inherited driveline problem.