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Winter Tires for Smart 2017 - 165/65 R15?

4506 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  gogiddong
Hi there,
It's my first winter with my Smart fortwo 2017 (pure) and I'm having trouble finding winter tires for the front - size 165/65 R15. I saw a thread from 2016 with a partial answer but the forum hadn't landed on an answer. What are others doing? I have no troubles getting the rear tires - 185/60 R15.

Many thanks in advance for your comments!
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You can use four 185/60R15 tires on your standard 15" rims, but you won't be able to rotate your tires with this option. However, not everyone rotates their tires so this may not be an issue for you.

Here's a listing on Vulcantire for Vredestein Quatrac 5 in size 185/60R15 88H:

So much depends on what good quality matching tires are available. If matching tires were available, there would be other options such as:

175/60R15 front, 195/55R15 rear

185/60R15 front, 205/55R15 rear

Hello, Big 453.

I have purchased the winter tire and the size is

175/65R15 front, 185/60R15 rear.

However, my friend who has 2017 fortwo said he has stability control warning issue with this size.

If I change the front one to the same size, do you think I would not get the warning issue?

Thank you in advance.
If you have gone up from 165/65R15 front to 175/65R15 front and kept the same 185/60R15 rear, then you have changed the percentage difference between the outside diameters of the front and rear tires.

The outside diameter of new 165/65R15 tires is 595.5mm. The outside diameter of new 185/60R15 tires is 603mm. The outside diameter of new 175/65R15 tires is 608.5mm.

The outside diameter of 165/65R15 tires is 1.2% less than the outside diameter of 185/60R15 tires.

The outside diameter diameter of 175/65R15 tires is 0.9% more than the outside diameter of 185/60R15 tires.

So you have gone from having front tires that have an outside diameter of 1.2% less than your rear tires, to front tires that have an outside diameter of 0.9% more than your rear tires.

So the rear tires are now turning faster than the front tires, whereas before the rear tires were turning slower than the front tires. The car's ESP/traction control now thinks that the rear tires have lost grip and are spinning...hence the problem.

This is why carefully matching front and rear tire sizes is important.

You might get away with fitting rear tires that have an outside diameter of 0.9% less than the front tires, but this is a percentage based on when the tires are new. If the rear tires wear down quicker than the front tires, then this percentage difference will increase.

I would suggest that you look at changing from 175/65R15 front and 185/60R15 rear tires, to 175/65R15 front and 195/60R15 rear tires. An alternative would be to use the standard 165/65R15 front and 185/60R15 rear tire sizes.

It would be possible to use 185/60R15 front and rear, but I'm not a fan of using the same front and rear tire sizes on a rear engined car such as the Smart...much preferring to use 20mm wider rear tires than the front tires. This makes the car less likely to oversteer...which makes the car safer. Losing your rear end and spinning 360 degrees is a very dangerous life threatening situation. For this reason, it's also important to match the front and rear tires. You don't want a situation where your front tires have more grip than your rear tires...or that dangerous 360 degrees spin is just waiting to happen.
Thank you so much for your clarification!!
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