Tire Size Basics
Understanding the tire code is essential for making informed decisions. In a standard tire code, the first number represents the width of the tire in millimeters, and the second number indicates the height of the tire as a percentage of its width. For example, in the code 205/65/16, 205 is the width, 65 is the height percentage, and 16 is the wheel diameter in inches.
Changing from 205/65/16 to 205/55/16: A Cautionary Tale
It’s generally not recommended to switch from the manufacturer-recommended tire size, such as moving from 205/65/16 to 205/55/16 on a 2003 Nissan Altima. This alteration results in a smaller overall tire diameter, impacting the accuracy of speedometer readings and affecting vehicle systems. The new tire will be about 4.1 cm shorter, making the car sit approximately 2.05 cm lower.
Effects of the Change
The alterations in tire size lead to a speedometer reading about 15% faster than the actual speed. While this may save you from speeding tickets, it could impact gas mileage, dropping from 20 mpg to 17 mpg. Additionally, the reduced tire circumference results in shorter tire lifespan, with an expected 34,000 miles instead of the original 40,000 miles.
Considering 215/60/16 as an Alternative
If you’re contemplating using 215/60/16 tires instead of the recommended 205/55/16, there are factors to keep in mind. The new tire’s width and wheel diameter match the originals, but the tire is 10% smaller. This change may lead to a lower top speed, and while your speedometer will be slightly off, no damage will occur.
Potential Issues and Compromises
Changing the second number in the tire code may introduce potential concerns:
- Rubbing Against the Body: Larger tires might rub against the car body, especially during sharp turns.
- Speedometer and Odometer Accuracy: The car will cover a slightly greater distance for each wheel revolution, affecting speedometer and odometer readings.
- Performance and Gas Consumption: Acceleration might be slightly worse, and gas consumption could increase marginally.
- TPMS System Adjustment: The tire pressure monitoring system may need resetting after changing tire diameter.
Exploring 2013 Nissan Altima Tires
When it comes to 2013 Nissan Altima tires, the choice depends on driving needs and preferences. For city driving, softer tread compounds may be suitable, while performance-oriented driving may benefit from harder compounds and aggressive tread patterns.
Upgrading to 235/55/17?
Considering a change to 235/55/17 tires from 215/55/17? The larger size may fit but could impact speedometer accuracy. Additionally, potential rubbing issues and altered gear ratios might affect acceleration.
Dealing with TPMS Issues
If your 2013 Nissan Altima displays a TPMS error, there are steps you can take without being a mechanic. While checking the tires is essential, resetting the system can often be done without professional assistance.