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Old 08-08-2012, 03:48 AM   #1
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Tire Size vs Wheel Size

Having trouble figuring which tires I want to replace the OEM on my 2012 SE Sport (with 17" machined/painted wheels).

First, I have no idea what the stock wheel width is. I assume it to be 7", but I'm not certain. Stock tire size is 215/50R17.

Second, what are the effects of using a tire outside the "recommended" wheel width? How will this effect my vehicle's handling and wear the tire? Will using a tire that is slightly smaller in diameter have much effect on acceleration? Will a wider tire wear poorly or handle poorly?

The two tire sizes I've been looking at (outside OEM size) are 225/45 and 215/45. The 215/45 seems to be a good fit for the wheel (assuming OEM size really is 7"), it's just a little smaller in diameter then the stock size. 225/45 is a little bit wider then recommended.

If I were to choose either of those two sizes, what negative effects would I see?

FWIW the main reason I'm looking at different sizes is because there isn't a huge selection of OEM size tires.


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Old 08-08-2012, 05:27 AM   #2
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All I have to say is if you're looking at specific tire brands, Hankook Ventus V12 EVOs are the best tires I've ever driven on, they grip wonderfully, they're amazing in the rain, and they come in 215/45RZ17.

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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Clarification, I believe the 2012 Focus SE with Sport Package came with 215/50-17 tires as the stock size.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
Clarification, I believe the 2012 Focus SE with Sport Package came with 215/50-17 tires as the stock size.
You're right...I was dealing with so many different sizes last night I couldn't keep them straight.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #5
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There is a plethora of options in either 215/45 or 215/50, seem to be very common sizes.

From what I've seen, most tires have an acceptable range of wheel widths, and a car manufacturer isn't going to spec a tire that is on the edge of these ranges. So going +/- 10mm in tire width is pretty insignificant on a stock car
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Are you looking to change wheels as well as tires, or just tires?
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #7
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Just tires.

I figure if I'm getting performance summer tires, might as well think it out a bit and get the size that works the best with my wheels. I realize most this crap doesn't matter...but I'm weird like that.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:43 PM   #8
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Use this to figure out what different sizes would work without messing up your speedometer:

http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:45 PM   #9
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^^ Yep that's a good guide.

A smaller diameter will mean a bit faster acceleration, a taller will give you a softer ride.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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the 225 width tire will just fit on a 7" wide wheel, although it will be a bit pinched. It's not dangerous, its just that you may not be able to take advantage of the full width. its also 2% smaller than stock.


215/45R17 is quite small, by 3.3%. it would help acceleration, but at the cost of fuel economy (engine has to turn more revs per mile) and your odometer would be off by the same 3%.

short answer, u can go with the 225 tire if you want a little bit extra accel, and a wider looking tire, else stick wit hthe 215/50R17
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