Tires Speed Rating

I have a 2004 Chevy Impala SS it came with 235/55R17 98W tires. It is time to replace them, and I was wondering if it would have any adverse effect on the vehicle if the tires were replace with 235/55R17 98H. the W’s are rated to 168 and the H’s to 130 mph this car will never see 130 mph, besides it has a speed limiter on it of 110 mph. I was just wondering about the braking, cornering, responsives, and so forth of lower speed rated tires.

H rated tires would be fine with me, they often have the same tread pattern of the higher-rated tires. Good quality H rated tires will be indistiguishable from most V/W rated tires at normal speeds. Most of the tires recommended by Tire Rack for your car are H rated.

Just wondering would there be any more give in the sidewall between the H rated compared to the W rated

That’s more a function of one brand/model vs. another, rather than speed rating (once you get to H rating or faster).

W rated tires are for exotic cars. I think that GM was exercising a little marketing ingenuity by putting them on an Impala SS. These tires are meant for a Corvette or CTS-V. I’m sure that a decent set of H-rated tires will be fine.

I see Goodyear has the Assurance Comfortred Touring they come in a 235/75/17 99H with a thirty day ride pledge think I’ll try those for a couple of weeks to see if there is any difference. They said you can try them for thirty days if you don’t like them bring them back and get a different set of GoodYear tires at no extra cost. Thanks for the help I appreciate it.

Yes, as a general rule, the higher the speed rating, the more responsive the tire is to steering input - AND - this also results in worse ride qualities.

But the increased speed rating also translates into a tire with greater capabilities - which also means it is safer. So you have to take that also into consideration.

H rated tires will be fine for your car, and may in fact ride better. A legitimate tire shop will be willing to sell you such tires. If you go to Walmart TLE, they will insist on W or Z rated tires for this car. My sister recently tried to buy a set of H rated tires from Walmart for her Grand Am GT, but they refused to sell them to her, even to carry them out of the store due to “liability” since her car originally came with Z rated tires, which are completely unnecessary on a Grand Am.

On thing no one has mentioned yet is that the higher the speed rating, the shorter the tread life. This is due to the softer rubber and shallower initial tread depth of the higher speed rated tires. Also, many higher speed rated tires are dry pavement only tires. If you ever drive in rain or ice and snow, pay close attention to that.

Costo is another vendor that is anal about not mounting tires with a lower speed rating than the car came with, regardless of speed limiters or common sense.

I use Michelin X tires on a 328 BMW which is a flagrant abuse of speed rating. They handle great under normal driving in all weather and they wear like iron. They don’t keep their tread as flat on the road under hard cornering, but for a commuter car, the benefits outweigh the drawback.