Replacing 1 Tire With A Smaller Size, Temporarily?

Messages
42
Location
Pennsylvania
Thread starter
Hey all, my friend needs a new tire since he hit a pot hole and blew the sidewall out. I have an extra used tire but it is slightly different size. It will be going on the rear of the vehicle and the car is FWD front wheel drive. (Hyundai Elantra) His tire size = 195/65-15. The spare I have laying around is 195/55-15. He wants to use it for a temp solution until winter but was wondering if this is safe or not?
 
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Messages
35,763
Location
ME
There's a decent chance your load rating will be less than his car requires. Rear axle won't see that, but it's still an engineering/ legal liability. 195-65-15s are stupid cheap, $40, that he'd blow half that paying to mount and unmount.
 
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1,941
Location
Kansas
Originally Posted by eljefino
195-65-15s are stupid cheap, $40, that he'd blow half that paying to mount and unmount.
He's almost better off going to Walmart and buying a cheap douglas in that size. Probably $60ish before tax vs $25ish for your tire.
 
Messages
9,906
Location
USA
Originally Posted by FordBroncoVWJeta
Originally Posted by eljefino
195-65-15s are stupid cheap, $40, that he'd blow half that paying to mount and unmount.
He's almost better off going to Walmart and buying a cheap douglas in that size. Probably $60ish before tax vs $25ish for your tire.
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Messages
4,814
Location
Southeast Texas
I once had a car with 4 different sizes on it. It was not as bad as it seems. All four tires were within one height and one width size. IIRC, they were 225, & 235, and 70 & 75 widths. The car drove and handled perfectly with this mis-matched set on it for the duration. Keep in mind that even exactly same sized tires vary in height a bit, both when new from the factory, and then as tread wear occurs. In fact, when a tire is still usable but worn, it is likely more closer to the next size down. Most vehicles can easily tolerate small variances in tire height.
 
Messages
9,985
Location
Waco, TX
Originally Posted by gfh77665
I once had a car with 4 different sizes on it. It was not as bad as it seems. All four tires were within one height and one width size.
Been there, done that. When you are young and short on cash, you do what you need to. You won't win any autocross races, but.............
 
Messages
14,120
Location
Central NY
That's a temp solution that will end up being a permanent solution. But it will work. People successfully drive a lot of miles on donut spares without issue.
 
Messages
271
Location
Northeast Georgia
Running different sizes on axles that don't have gear boxes is one thing, but running them on axles that pull the vehicle is begging for problems....especially running different diameters on the front of a front wheel drive. Some vehicles may even attempt to engage traction control if equipped. Same thing if running one short tire on the rear of a rear wheel drive. Might be OK with an open differential, but not with a clutch type locking unit.
 
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