When I was in my teen, I used to think, ‘wider tires are the best thing ever!’ And now when I look at the teenage drivers of today, it seems like things have not changed much. It is a common trend among new car buyers in Pakistan to replace the tires as soon as they get the car. There are few reasons why people do that, first and most important is people believing the stock tires in their cars are of inferior quality. Secondly, if they change those tires well in time, they can sell them at a good price. Tires lose their value with every thousand kilometers they are driven on the roads. Used 15” General tires off your Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic sell for PKR 18000 for a set of four. The price is provided you take your car to a tire shop as soon as you can after the delivery. Also, the third point is to replace those heavy steel rims base models usually come with. So people prefer to change the rims along with the new expensive tires in one go.
The point of a tire is to make sure you are stuck to the road with as much grip as possible. Those few square inches are your lifeline. How your car will go, stop and corner, all depends on that tiny contact patch the rubber has with the tarmac. And wider tires help you improve all that. But there is a lot more to it than just slamming in larger tires.
You need to find a sweet spot when you are looking to increase the tire size. Tire size can be increased in width or length. Longer tires will increase the ground clearance of your car. Whereas increasing the width of your car tires will give you better-stopping power and cornering.
But the most important thing you need to keep in mind is that how wide and how long you should go when replacing your OEM tires. The secret is to strike a balance. Because yes, wider tires will look great on your car, but the upsizing comes with a cost. And the cost of tires is the major part of that cost and the first one in the list. Locally made tires are far cheaper than your Bridgestones and Yoko’s and Continentals. So you need to keep the cost of new rubber in mind before upgrading.
Secondly, it takes more effort to rotate larger/wider tires than stock size tire. So you will see an increase in the fuel consumption of your car. And increase will be far more especially if you drive within a city in start-stop traffic.
The third thing is that suspension of your car is made to withstand a certain beating with the stock tires. Increasing the size will also increase the impact of beating on your suspension parts (bushings etc.) and in return shortening their actual life.
The fourth thing is that if you are increasing the length of your tires, it will increase the road clearance of your car. That in return can cause slight instability at high speeds (on motorways etc.). Your car won’t feel planted.
So yeah, these are few of the things you should keep in mind if you are looking to upgrade to a bigger tire size. If you have more points to add, please feel free to add in the comments section below.