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It's that time, I'll finally need to replace the front tires on my 451. Do I just purchase replacement tires or should I upgrade the wheels and tires? Been toying with the idea of purchasing two rear wheels and join the "4 wheel rotation" club/help with driving stability. Saying that, I am underwater on my 451 and am approaching 100k. I was driving 200mi/day for work, but that's finally! reduced to only 20mi/day. Saying that, my drive is very windy with my car driving unsteadily on the highway and sometimes not able to maintain speed. With my 451 being underwater and mileage being so high, I figure I'll be driving my smart into the ground. At this time, I'd absolutely purchase another 451. Again the question, do I "invest" in my current 451 or just maintain stock? I was looking at the Genius Darwin wheels as I can't find the Passion V2 at as low of a price. I'd move my two rear Passion V2s to the front and the Darwins to the rear, then keep one of the front Passion V2s as a spare. Sorry for the odd wording... Thoughts? Suggestions?
 

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I have had 3 mishaps since 2008 with regards to smart and flat tires. My commute is 150 a day (but 2-3 times weekly) during the two college semesters. I have kept my tires staggered most of the time until now, and I carry a random spare behind my seat. What I can tell you is that I always worry about needing the 'correct'-sized spare to match the blown tire. Peace of mind would be having five matching wheels on my smart, while not as classy as a Brabus, would be the more logical option for that 3 hour plus daily run.
 

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It's that time, I'll finally need to replace the front tires on my 451. Do I just purchase replacement tires or should I upgrade the wheels and tires? Been toying with the idea of purchasing two rear wheels and join the "4 wheel rotation" club/help with driving stability. Saying that, I am underwater on my 451 and am approaching 100k. I was driving 200mi/day for work, but that's finally! reduced to only 20mi/day. Saying that, my drive is very windy with my car driving unsteadily on the highway and sometimes not able to maintain speed. With my 451 being underwater and mileage being so high, I figure I'll be driving my smart into the ground. At this time, I'd absolutely purchase another 451. Again the question, do I "invest" in my current 451 or just maintain stock? I was looking at the Genius Darwin wheels as I can't find the Passion V2 at as low of a price. I'd move my two rear Passion V2s to the front and the Darwins to the rear, then keep one of the front Passion V2s as a spare. Sorry for the odd wording... Thoughts? Suggestions?
I tend to drive my cars into the ground, when I am done with them they are little more than raw materials for recyclers, but I tend to keep my cars until they are 20+ years old. I have another set of rear rims, but I haven't put tires on them yet so I can't comment on the 4-wheel rotation club, though I hope to join someday. If the car is in otherwise good shape, I would maintain what you have or upgrade only where it makes financial sense, such as a tire that will last longer or get better mpg; even then one has to be mindful of false economy. I am of the opinion that cars are terrible investments as they depreciate quickly, so do you think the expense of new rims (new tires you'll eventually need anyhow) will add anything of value to you? I myself don't put much value in appearances, but you might.
 

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I think investing in larger/wider tires is a good thing. I have upgraded rims and tires and there are pros and cons. Con, it's expensive for wider wheels and wider tires. Con, if you hit some deep water on the interstate with wider tires it is going to hydroplane if you don't drive slower. Con, larger tires reduce gas mileage. Pro, the Smart handles so much better and is more stable at faster speeds with wider tires. Taller tires makes the speedometer closer to being correct at highway speeds. Pro, certain size tires are easier to find and can sometimes be had for less money. Make your car comfortable and safer to drive now, high mileage or not. A well maintained car can last a long time. A brand new car could blow up tomorrow just as easy as an older car, it's just a chance you take. DCO
 

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Often, you hear of 4 rear 5.5Jx15 ET22 rims being used in the 4-wheel rotation club. However, you might also want to consider using 4 front 4.5Jx15 ET23.5 rims instead. With these narrower rims you won't be able to use wider tire sizes such as 185/55R15 and 195/50R15, but you could use 155/60R15, 155/65R15, 165/60R15, 165/65R15, 175/55R15, 175/60R15, and 185/60R15.

Out of those tire sizes, I would go for either 165/60R15 or 165/65R15. You shouldn't have any trouble finding a tire fitter to fit up to a 165 tire size on a narrow 4.5J rim, but a tire fitter could refuse to fit the wider 175 and 185 sizes from that list, as those are not officially approved sizes for the narrow 4.5J rim. You officially need at least a 5J rim for those wider tire sizes.

Vulcantire list both Vredestein Quatrac 5 (four-season tires) and Vredestein Snowtrac 5 (winter tires) in both sizes 165/60R15 and 165/65R15. 165/60R15 keeps the gearing close to standard. 165/65R15 will raise the gearing, but you would benefit from a softer and more comfortable ride. However, even the 165/60R15 will give a better ride than standard.

The limiting factor for grip on the Smart car when cornering is generally the front tires, and the 165s should give you a little more grip than the standard front 155/60R15 tires.

Vredestein Quatrac 5 and Vredestein Snowtrac 5 in size 165/60R15

Vredestein Quatrac 5 and Vredestein Snowtrac 5 in size 165/65R15

I would stick to the Vredestein Quatrac 5 unless you have problems in deep snow. However, in deep snow you might be better off with a high ground clearance car and four-wheel drive.

Saying all that, I prefer a staggered setup such as 165/60R15 front and 185/55R15 rear on standard 4.5Jx15 ET23.5 front rims and 5.5Jx15 ET22 rear rims.

Vredestein Quatrac 5 185/55R15

165/60R15 front tires and 185/55R15 rear tires on standard rims, gives a noticeable improvement in ride comfort over the standard 155/60R15 front tires and 175/55R15 rear tires setup and a little more grip.

The Vredestein Quatrac 5 tires have a non-directional tread pattern, so can be rotated left to right and right to left. Nowadays, most four-season tires and winter tires have a directional tread pattern so can't be rotated left to right and right to left.
 
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