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Just bought my first honda. I was wondering on what size of rims and tires I should go with for winter season. I was planning on going with 235x45/17. Any advise out there? I also have little knowledge on cars. :)
 

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Just bought my first honda. I was wondering on what size of rims and tires I should go with for winter season. I was planning on going with 235x45/17. Any advise out there? I also have little knowledge on cars. :)
The Civic has TINY brakes, so clearance shouldn't be an issue. Stock wheel sizes go all the way down to 16", and looking at those brakes - don't just trust me on this and go for it, but I swear 15's look like they'd clear. Maybe even 14's like Civics used to come with. Tiny.

Personally, I happened to luck out and have 16" snow tires from my last car... it came with 16" factory wheels that I put snow tires on, and then bought an aftermarket set of 18's and summer rubber to swap on for summer. The lucky part is - the rolling diameter of the snow tires I already have is exactly the right size for my Civic Sport.

So I picked up some gunmetal 2010 Civic wheels in 16" size to mount my snow tires on, and will run the stock Sport 18's with the Contisport tires for summers.


If you want to price-compare across sizes, the size I have for my snow tires is 215/60R16.




Advantages of smaller rim snow tires:
  • narrower tires work better in the snow - less float (like hydroplaning).
  • Better ride quality and pothole tolerance - taller sidewalls.
  • Although narrower, just as much grip as your summer tires - winter tire rubber is a far softer compound.
  • Less expensive.
  • Lighter - makes the suspension more responsive.
Advantages of larger rim snow tires:
  • Looks more upscale
  • More clearance for big brake kits.
Tire comparison calculator shows these sizes as ideal best matches to the stock 235/40R18:
  • 235/45R17
  • 215/50R17
  • 215/55R16
  • 165/60R16
  • 205/65R15
  • 215/60R15
Those are the sizes with less than 1% overall diameter difference (read: throw off your speedometer by less than 1%).



Personally in the winter I also have a roof rack on my car for the snowboards, which simply makes it look like a purpose-built snow machine, as opposed to some car on cheap tiny wheels. But here in Buffalo, NY lots of people have snow tires... it's not necessarily a good "look" to have big, flashy wheels as you slide around with the snow-performance lie of "all season" rubber, all covered in salt... it ends up being THOSE cars that look like the cheapskates. ;)
 
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