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My 453 makes it possible to park in 10' parking spots in Brooklyn. No more parking woes. I love it. However, with just 2-4 inches of wet snow on the ground last night, it was a struggle. I needed to find a much larger spot on a side street in order to get over the snow. My rear, nearly new, Conti 185/60's spun and the car rotated in response, nearly causing a low speed collision.

My local tire places scratch their heads when I ask for 165/60 winter tires for the front. What would the likely result be if I put 185/60 R15's winter tires on all around? Would it be bad to only swap the rear tires for winter tires?

Does anyone have experience with temporary tire chains (strap chains) to get in or out of a parking spot on a 453?

Thanks in advance
 

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Winter Tires

The Smart 453 comes with 185/60R15 rear and 165/65R15 front tires as standard. ie. not 165/60

If you can't get a matched pair of winter tires in these sizes, simply fit 185/60R15 winter tires all round. They fit fine on the 5" front rims.
 

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Vredestein Quatrac 5 four-season tires are available in Smart 453 sizes.

205/45R16 83H


185/50R16 81H


Although four-season tires are not full winter tires, compared with summer tires these have a lot more grip in the snow. Vredestein Quatrac 5 tires have the 3PMSF symbol, which means that they have passed a test for traction in the snow.

Information about Snow Tires and the 3PMSF symbol on Wikipedia

 

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What about for the 16” wheels? What size staggered snow tires fit?
Winter Tires; Staggered Sizes; Ugh.

The tire stores all recommend getting all four the same size for a good reason-Winter Traction.
You don't want different rolling diameters that are unavoidable with staggered sizes.

My 2016 Edition #1 came with the 'Sport 8Y' 16" rims.
Stock Conti's were Front 185/50/16 (23.3" Diameter) and Rear 205/45/16 (23.2" Diameter).
They are pretty close - 0.1" difference.

But there are no winter tires available in the front size.

There is one 'All Weather' tire available in the stock sizes though - Vredestin Quadrac 5 from:

Getting back to 'all four the same size' in true Snow Tires on the stock 16" rims (F 6", R 6.5" wide).
There are two sizes that would work on 16" rims - 195/45/16 (22.9" diameter) and 195/50/16 (23.7" diameter).
I'd get four of the 195/45/16 for more wheel well snow clearance :)
 

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Whatever you get, you might want to ask the seller if either size has a rim protector. Tire manufacturers will often use different terms to "rim protector" but it's all the same thing. It's extra rubber moulded into the sidewall that is supposed to help protect the rims from kerbing damage, but often they are not very effective unless you use a minimum rim width for that tire size. By using a minimum rim width for a particular tire size the tire's sidewalls will bulge out more so that if you gently graze a kerb you might get away without damaging the rims.

I don't like rim protectors and try to purchase tires without rim protectors. The reason being that they make the sidewalls flex less easily and therefore make the ride harder. This is however disputed by the tire manufacturers who will often claim that thick rubber rim protectors moulded into the sidewall will make no difference to ride comfort. I suspect that this is just PR on their part so that it doesn't affect their sales.
 

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I too am looking for snow tires for the Ohio winter, but can't shell out that kind of money for them, might have to get zip chains for bad days instead, since they are just $20
 
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