ihopps

2008 451 with 185/55r15

6 posts in this topic

Hey all! I'm trying to get the best winter tires possible for my 2008 smart car. I was wondering if anyone with a 451 has had success running 185/55r15 's all around without rubbing or traction control issues? I've done my research with the tire conversion chart, they are 23.0" in diameter, which doesnt seem like enough of a difference from stock to mess with esp, just want to be sure!

Thanks for the help!

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There will be no fitment issues.  ESP will not be affected but your speedo will be slightly.  I would not personally run a tire that wide in the winter.

Edited by Huronlad
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Great. Thank you!! Why not a tire that wide? More surface area = more traction no? 

 

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A narrow tire cuts through snow, making contact with the road, has less rolling resistance.  Contact with the road equals more traction in most situations.  I have been running 145s in the winter for the last 10 years.  I have seen first hand 4x4s with wide tires in the winter get stuck in parking lots with just the lightest of snowfall.

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I agree with Huronlad, being an old OFF-ROADing nut who had those massively large mud lugged tires SuperSwampers on my jeeps.......Unless you have all 4 wheels driving the vehicle it will simply sit and spin. You are after pounds per square inch on the road. The smaller that contact patch is the more PSI you get on the road. So in theory the best tires are the thinnest within reason, stockers are best I imagine. Haven't run a winter yet in a Smart so shouldn't say 100%, but going by my past experiences in Jeeps etc, I needed those Jeeps in 4X4 mode to go anywhere. The Jeeps also had a shorter wheelbase which I'm asuming will act just like the Smart Car seeing as it's so short. It, they wanted to simply do donuts everywhere after the back tires broke loose. But we have safety electronic help where as my Jeeps were old school, no help allowed.

 

 

So stick with the stock sizes width wise imho. MY only issue with doing so is your/our choices for actual winter tires are restricted to almost rain tires if you compare them to actual winter lug tires I'm used to on other vehicles.  This is the only reason I am lifting my winter beater to allow me to buy actual snow tires with bigger lugs for my winter Smart Car. I guess I'll find out if the work was worth it or not after this snow season...lol.  Plus I get 2 extra inches of road clearance to push through deeper snow, living out in the country compared to the city.

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