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#3352670 - 04/25/14 10:08 AM Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ?
99Saturn Offline


Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1189
Loc: NY
Have to get tires for an '06 Cobalt LT in the future (before either inspection in July or next winter).

The stock size the car came with is 205/55/16. As I understand, the LT and the LS model also came with a 195/60/15 option. I've been debating switching the size when I buy to either the 195/60/15 or was considering (not sure if this is a reasonable option) 185/65/15 to save some cash (and the wheels that on there now are pretty beat up).

Looks like the speedometer and odometer would be closer to what's on there now with 185/65/15 over the 195 option (not 100% sure what tire size the car is calibrated to) but I am wondering if:
1. 185/65/15 is too much of a change in size to the handling of the car?
2. 195/60/15 are worth it to save some cash versus the potential impact on handling?

Not driven overly aggressive but will be a daily commuter.

Thoughts? Thanks everyone.


Edited by 99Saturn (04/25/14 10:18 AM)
Edit Reason: typo in tire size - correct 195/60/15

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#3352685 - 04/25/14 10:16 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 27515
Loc: Great Lakes
I wouldn't do it strictly from a load rating perspective. You should never go down in load rating. All 185/65/15 and 195/60/15 tires have a lower load rating than 205/55/16 tires.

Also, 205/55/16 is a very common size and tires are pretty cheap in this size. Not sure you'll be saving much by going down to something in 15" size.
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#3352687 - 04/25/14 10:20 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
99Saturn Offline


Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1189
Loc: NY
Sorry I had a typo in my OP stating 195/65/15 once - I meant 195/60/15, updated to 195/60/15 - just wanted to call it out to cut any confusion.

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#3352694 - 04/25/14 10:28 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
rslifkin Online   content


Registered: 06/27/10
Posts: 2292
Loc: Stamford, CT / Rochester, NY
205/55R16 is a pretty common size, so it's fairly cheap and has lots of choices. Personally, I wouldn't bother switching.
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#3352702 - 04/25/14 10:34 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
surfstar Offline


Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 4532
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
My old Mazda used 195/60/15s and at the time, they were far cheaper than 205/55s. I'd go with whatever's on sale at the time (but not going down to 185 - that's a bit skinny).
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#3352708 - 04/25/14 10:38 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5980
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I wouldn't think twice about going to any one of the sizes on the door sticker. Also I don't see the problem going even to a 185/65R15 as the load rating can be the same as the 195/60R15.
You won't notice anything significant in normal driving, and if it feels a bit mushy, bump the pressure a couple pounds.
There are probably more differences in tire performance levels in the same size across different tire types and brands, than there is between the two sizes in the same tire line.
I would assume a skinnier tire should be a bit quieter as well, but maybe Capriracer has some insight on that.
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#3352713 - 04/25/14 10:42 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: IndyIan]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 27515
Loc: Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
I wouldn't think twice about going to any one of the sizes on the door sticker.

I guess that's the key question: does his door sticker list any of these sizes that he's considering?
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#3352717 - 04/25/14 10:45 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 7887
Loc: Onondaga County
185/65-15 are same load and speed rating as 195/60-15. I switch between the two for winter and summer.

Despite the fact that speed and load are the same, no tire shop will go within 50 feet of the car with the 185s on
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#3352732 - 04/25/14 11:01 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: Miller88]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5980
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Miller88
185/65-15 are same load and speed rating as 195/60-15. I switch between the two for winter and summer.

Despite the fact that speed and load are the same, no tire shop will go within 50 feet of the car with the 185s on

I run 185/65's for winter too, but no one here gives them a second look.
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#3352764 - 04/25/14 11:33 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
99Saturn Offline


Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1189
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
I wouldn't think twice about going to any one of the sizes on the door sticker.

I guess that's the key question: does his door sticker list any of these sizes that he's considering?

Door sticker is 205/55/16.

---

As I understand it the LTs came with two sizes, 195/60/15(likely the steelie size) and 205/55/16 was the upgrade size/option (maybe another Cobalt owner can confirm/deny this). I didn't think there was much (if any) weight difference between the base/LS model and the upgrade LT model(s). In my past experience, the upgraded models are often the options if you want the power locks/windows, maybe to get the sunroof or something along those lines.

Not trying to convince anyone/justify my logic here (if it ends up being a bad idea, that's fine, not trying to compromise safety for what I save in $$) but one of the things going through my mind is there are 3 other cars in the family that could easily take the 15 inch sizes above (Saturn SL2 - 185/65/15 is equipped, 195/60/15 was an optional size; 99 Cavalier - 195/65/15; and an 06 Cobalt LS which has 195/60/15) so I was thinking keeping everything in the 15 inch similar might have an advantage.

195/60/15s vs the 205/55/16s based on what I priced seem to save between $80 and $100, nothing that will break the bank if its not a good option, but a few bucks. More of my motivation is around the compatibility with other stuff in the family.

Add: Also, I am sort of curious if the LT might be calibrated for 195/60/15s already. I remember reading (about a different Chevy model all together) that the speedometer/odometer are actually set for the original stock size, I've been poking around for info but have yet to find anything conclusive one way or the other.


Edited by 99Saturn (04/25/14 11:39 AM)

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#3352773 - 04/25/14 11:39 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 8842
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
I just bough some Hankook ventus V2 for $70 bucks for the Honda fit in 185-55r16 83H. No report yet.
Ive just see FALKEN Zeix even cheaper around this size and had good luck with Falken in the past on my Zuk Aerio Sx, tjough I just wanted a better mileage than the criminally miserable, One year serviceI got out of the O.E. Dunlop sport 7000.
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#3352783 - 04/25/14 11:46 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
eljefino Online   content


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 25472
Loc: ME
I'm seeing a lot of 185/65/15s with an 88 load rating which is within static of the 89 of 205/55/16s.

Yeah it's lower but...

when you go skinny and get a taller sidewall funny stuff happens and gains load rating. Sigh, not quite enough, unless OPs B-pillar decal specs an <=88 rating.

Check out what they were putting on the base saturn ions that year; they shared a platform and lug pattern.

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#3352791 - 04/25/14 11:54 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 5980
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I think there is no actual difference in safety between the proper 15" size for the Cobalt and the 16" size your sticker says, given GM outfitted both those tires to the same car... Personally I would just bring in the 15" rims off the car and have them mount up your tires, and pocket your $100 for something more important, becase you have better odds of winning the lottery IMO, than any negative consequences...
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#3352883 - 04/25/14 01:29 PM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
FFeng7 Offline


Registered: 06/01/04
Posts: 340
Loc: Va
I believe that you are correct because my Cobalt LT has the 205/55/R16 and my Cobalt LS has the steel wheels and hubcaps has the 195/60R15 tires on it. Between the two I really think that the 195/60R15 on the LS ride slightly better but it could be the brand of tires. However, the 16 inch aluminum wheels and 205/55/R16 tires are much better looking on the car.
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#3353536 - 04/26/14 04:48 AM Re: Changing Tire Size - 205/55/16 to ? [Re: 99Saturn]
Char Baby Online   content


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 8008
Loc: Rochester NY
Personaly, I'd stay with the 205-55-16 since you already have the wheels. Buying new/used wheels and 195-65-15 may in fact cost you more money OTD.

The tires available in the 205-55-16 is vast and you can get a really good tire for your car that will not only help it ride/handle really nice along with(possibly) better MPG and, you can buy'em at a really good price with a little online searching and the help of members here smile

And, the 205-55-16 will just look better on the car!


Edited by Char Baby (04/26/14 04:51 AM)
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