Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Should I get smaller rims for winter tires?

My 2012 Ram has 20-inch tires but I want to go to with 18- or 19-inch winter tires with steel rims. Is this advisable? – Dave

"Minus sizing" takes advantage of smaller-sized rims that are used primarily for winter tire applications. Tire-size calculations have to take place in order to maintain the correct ratios and keep your speedometer accurately reporting your speed. This was once a manual process – now it's easy to find online tire size convertors that perform the necessary arithmetic. Three per cent variance in the overall tire diameter is the maximum allowable when changing to a different size rim and tire.

The stock tire size for your truck is P275/60R20, but unfortunately there are no readily available 18- or 19-inch steel wheels for your specific application. If you are keen to keep the look and stance of a larger wheel, you will have to purchase aluminum alloy wheels.

Story continues below advertisement

In your case, Dave, there is an easier option as the base model 2012 Dodge truck came equipped with a stock size of P265/70R17. This presents the most cost-effective solution as there are many steel rim and tire packages available for this sizing.

Low-profile winter tires will always out-perform their all-season counterparts, but keep in mind that improved deep-snow traction is possible when using narrower, taller-profile tires.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail, placing "Lou's Garage" in the subject area.

We've redesigned the Drive section – take a look

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨