Is it ok to ride with one tire smaller than others?

Tiny
BRIANNA_B
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 BUICK ROADMASTER
I have a 95 buick roadmaster. Recently went and got front right tire replaced. Well the guy put a 215/70 white wall when my tires are all 225/75 white walls. He can replace Tuesday(4 days away)when his truck comes in. Well I have to travel a long diatance between now and then. Is it ok to ride on that tire?
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 1:11 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
BRIANNA_B
  • MEMBER
*distance
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 1:13 AM
Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
I would not go. Go somewhere else and have the other guy re reimburse you for the wrong tire.

Roy
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 1:18 AM
Tiny
BRIANNA_B
  • MEMBER
I have to take my husband for annual training which is about a 45 minute drive there. We only have 1 vehicle and I work about 22 miles away. So constant driving.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 1:27 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Both tires should have nearly the same circumference. That is critical if the car has anti-lock brakes. Then all four tires must be the same. Even if your car has anti-lock brakes and the tires are mismatched, the computer will detect that, turn on the yellow ABS warning light, turn the system off, and you will still be able to drive like normal. The base brake system will not be affected.

What you might notice, if you care to make the observation, is the car might drift to one side of the road when you let go of the steering wheel. That is not only a result of different tires sizes, but also of different tire brands and models. They will have different rubber compound and develop different rolling characteristics. The car should drive fine, just be aware that there could be minor handling characteristics that you never noticed before.

Very often we have to tell people we can't align their car properly because they have two, three, or four different tire sizes. They were driving like that for a long time without complaint.

Keep in mind my recommendation to drive the car doesn't mean you should leave that mismatched tire on the car, but it isn't going to hurt for a few days. Braking traction and handling response in emergency maneuvers will be different but there's a good chance you won't even notice. Look at the mini spare tire that comes with most cars today. Now THERE'S a different tire size, but the circumference is still the same as the regular tires.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 4:00 AM
Tiny
BRIANNA_B
  • MEMBER
Thank you. Its only staying on for 4 days and He's gonna replace it with the right size.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 7:48 AM
Tiny
BRIANNA_B
  • MEMBER
By the way they are all r15 even the smaller tire.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 8:06 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That means it's a 15" wheel. Ya gotta put a 15" tire on it. A smaller tire won't stretch that far and with a bigger one the air would fall out!

"R" just means it's a radial tire. That's what almost everything is today for cars and light trucks.
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 8:12 AM

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