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Tire size substitution

Hello. My car takes 205/55 15 tires on a 7" wide rim. Is there another tire size I could substitute that would fit on my rims? Thanks.


Have you taken a look at your Owner’s Manual? A good Owner’s Manual will usually list acceptable alternate tire sizes.

If the manual is silent on that topic, the Tire Rack website will list the alternate tire sizes for your particular make and model of car.

Try All rims will take various widths of tire, and a proper combination of section with and aspect ratio will give you something usable. The site can explain everything. Except whether it will rub on your car’s other parts.

Why are you asking?

Google “tire size calculator” to at least get the diameter correct. I can’t answer your question with any authority but have done enough to know that a rim for the tire of the size that you posted has some latitude regarding tire sizes. You might need to adjust the air pressure a little up or down to equalize wear across the tread width if you go too far from the original size. The required tire pressure will be a guess. Doing what you want is not normally done so there is little to go by.

i don’t really care why you are interested in changing tire size, but just so you know:

differences in tire sizes impact:


wheel well clearance (tire abrasion inside wheel well)

car handling (performance and safety)

so what are YOUR thoughts?

Key is to make sure your overall diameter is the same if you have abs and suffycient clearance. I used to help in computation for older cars and truck. I would be reluctant to mess with newer cars with electronic traction aids, though your manual may give you some options.

It all really comes down to availability. For whatever reason, I have found the selection somewhat limited, which means “special order” if I want my size from a local tire dealer. I understand what the tire sizes mean, and I am somewhat well versed in physics, so I do know how changes will affect the aspects you mention. Thus in finding an alternative size, I am hoping to find one that doesn’t have a huge impact on the overall diameter. I have the available room for a bit of added width and would not mind the additional stability that might offer. Frankly, this may all turn out to be moot, as I may find that whatever alternative size is equally or more difficult to come by than the current size. But if I don’t ask, then I don’t know, right?

the “” idea is probably the best.

that way you can get honest answers without the influence of a salesman.

just to relate to you what happened to my car; i went to bjs or sams club to get tires. they only had one tire the size and speed rated for my car. (i have a daewoo) darned if i was going to put michelin’s on my daewoo though!

i tried to change sizes. they would NOT let me. after asking around i found out that the tire size, speed rating and traction are all taken into consideration when the manufacturer specifies what tires go on your vehicle.

I think you’ll find a P195/60R15 will fit your needs. Plenty available in that size.

If you want to up-size, a 215/50R15 tire should be fine, it’s only a 1.72% smaller overall diameter from the original size, and fits a 6 - 7.5 inch rim.
For a more narrow tire (and probably much cheaper), a 195/60R15 tire will also fit, only 1.41% larger overall diameter from the original size, and also fits your rims.

But I can’t speak to your specific vehicle or what the manufacturers allow/recommend…the owner’s manual would probably be the best/only authority on that.

Walmart carries two good tires in this exact size. You do need to order on line, and they show up about four days later at the Walmart of your choice. They have the BFG Traction T/A and the Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S. I would not mess around with substitutions, and go for the exact replacement.

Are Walmart tires made in China?

The two tires I refer to are Michelins and BF Goodrich. I believe both are still made in US.

At least you don’t have to worry about the lead content of tires!

Well folks, from what I’ve been seeing any substitutions are either even more difficult to find, or I likely won’t pocket enough of a difference to make the loss of performance worthwhile. Therefore I am likely going to stick with the 205/55’s. I knew this car ('97 Celica GT Convertible) had some costly parts when I got it, so I don’t know why I’m trying to shy away from that now. Thanks for all of the suggestions.

I guess tires are one of the few items sold at Walmart that aren’t made in China. How about that!

A 97 Celica uses lots of Toyota parts from Corrolla, Camry etc parts bin. I found that steel rims from a Tundra would fit my 4 Runner. Do some research. You may be able to go with a smaller steel rim and a taller tire that could have the same overall diameter and give you a softer ride with sacrifice in handling. You’d be surprised what will fit…inside brake cleRANCE A BIG DEAL when going smaller. Talk to a friendly Toyota parts man or knowlegable J yard dealer… If is fun research…

Now that I know what car this is, I’d stick with the stock size. If you could get, say, a 195/60 to work, the dollars you’d save would be insignificant. I think a 195/60 would come very close to working, by the way… But it’s not worth it.