Last post on Nov 28, 2013 at 9:19 AM
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Honda Fit, Tires, Wheels
#157 of 212 Got new wheels & tires, not what I expected
May 28, 2011 (6:47 am)
After a year of thinking about it I got a new Fit Base. I planned on purchasing alloys & different tires from the start. Nothing fancy nor expensive, but just wanted lighter wheels & read so many rotten reviews of the OEM Dunlop A31 A/S tires. I am used to Hondas - have had 8 Civics from 85 to 97 (most were 92s - 97). So I understand they don't win award for their smooth, quiet ride. I have almost always upgraded the OEM tires & been happy for it (the one exception was some very stiff BFG Radial T/As which I took back).
I just got back from Discount Tires with my new shoes. I got MB Seven X 15 x 6 wheels w +55 offset. They weigh 1.2 lbs less than stock. I got 195/60 x15 Hankook 727 T rated tires (OEMs were 174/65 x15 R rated). The Hankooks are the highest rated Standard Touring Tires on both Tire Rack & Consumer Reports. I expected better smoother ride, less noise & better handling with some minor mpg loss (1-2 mpg?).
Before I was out of the parking lot I realized the new set up was noiser & stiffer. I can definitely feel the irregularities more on what are pretty smooth blacktop roads - overall there is just a lot more road feel. On the highway up to 70 mph there is no suggestion of a balancing problem, Not what I expected & not real happy about it.
I immediately check the tire pressure - right on at 33. The noise is basically a soft but noticable whiring sound, perhaps due to the fact there is about a 1/2" more rubber on the road than before. Also I realize that the sidewalls of a T rated tire are going to be a bit stiffer than an R rated tire.
So, where did I go wrong with this set up? I am half tempted to go get the Dunlops put back on!!! Any suggestions from the experts here short of spending 50% more for rims & tires? Might a going with the same tire in 185/60 size make much difference? HELP!
#158 of 212 Re: Got new wheels & tires, not what I expected [204meca]
by PFFlyer@Edmunds HOST
May 29, 2011 (4:17 am)
It's not so much that you went wrong, but the lower aspect ratio (60 vs 65) will move you towards a rougher ride. Add in the stiffer sidewalls from the speed rating and I'm sure that's your answer.
#159 of 212 Re: Got new wheels & tires, not what I expected [pf_flyer]
May 29, 2011 (10:22 pm)
Based on your response, which I suspect is correct, I assume going down to the same tire in 185/60 size would probably make little noticable differnce in the ride quality & road noise. Correct?
Sounds like I am unlikely to find the elusive goal of bettering the ride, reducing the noise & improving the handling that came with the OEM tire all in one replacement tire. Any other thoughts or suggestions?
#160 of 212 Re: Got new wheels & tires, not what I expected [204meca]
May 30, 2011 (4:20 am)
Just so you know:
Better ride and better handling are opposing characteristics.
But you should also be aware that there are several schools of thought regarding inflation pressure when you change tire sizes. One says to match the original load carrying capacity at the specified pressure. If you follow that one, then the load capacity of a 175/65R15 at 33 psi equals what a 195/60R15 does at 28 psi.
#161 of 212 Got new wheels & tires, not what I expected
May 30, 2011 (7:28 am)
In the past I have made similar changes w/o significant penalty. E.G., our 2010 Outback went from Continentlal OEM 60 series tires to Michelin MxV 55 series with no ride or noise penalty. Perhaps those OEM Dunlops on the Fit are a better choice than most think for a quiet, smooth riding, high mpg tire. I
Your description of load capacity makes sense. So I assume that if if I had tires at 28 psi I would have the same load carrying capacity & a smoother ride but would also be penalized in handling & mpg.
I am still wondering if going to a 185/60 would result in a quieter softer ride with improved handling characteristic over the 175x65 OEMs.
#162 of 212 Not surprised...
May 31, 2011 (7:12 am)
Not surprised to see other people having trouble with their Fit Sport tires. I have a 2010 fit sport, barely over 9k miles, and have already had 2 flats. My first one was when I picked up a nail on my way to vacation - I saw the TPMS light come on but was thrilled when I saw a Firestone store a half mile away. Needless to say, they didn't have my size - this was around 5 on a Saturday night - we weren't able to get to our destination until Monday because the only place in town that had the right tire size was a Honda dealership that didn't open til Monday.
My second flat happened this past Sunday night - I ended up with a leaky tire that couldn't be fixed because I hit a pothole at about 15 MPH. This time I was able to find a Honda dealership that had my size - NINETY miles from my house. I had a Saturn LS1 and a 2001 Accord before this and haven't had a flat in the last ~10 years - I have had two in the last two months in my Fit. Obviously the nail is not Honda's fault and maybe the pothole would have caused a flat in other tires, but the difficulty in buying new tires for this car is absolutely absurd.
I have liked my Fit but after this latest flat, I really wish I had got something else. For a car marketed around practicality, this is ridiculous.
#163 of 212 Re: After market wheels and tire pressure monitor [mcocorochio]
May 31, 2011 (10:56 am)
I have 4 15" steel wheels I bought for the Fit Sport. You can buy tire pressure monitors for these rims that work fine with the Sport's TPMS. Note: you also have to buy some expensive nuts to install them. All in all I think it was about $15/wheel
#164 of 212 Fit Sport tires
May 31, 2011 (4:25 pm)
My 2009 Fit Sport (manual w/nav) has 25k miles and the Bridgestone Turanza tires are about worn out. Even when they were new, they performed poorly in snow. I was dismayed to find out that there are only three tires made in the stock size, and they all have poor reviews. My mechanic recommends against putting a different size tire on the wheels the car came with. So, my choices for new all-season tires boil down to 1) pay about $600 total for four poor-quality tires that will probably need to be replaced again in 25k miles, and are terrible in snow, or 2) pay about $1300 to get new wheels in a different size, along with good-quality tires of my choice. I was happy with my Fit until now, but this has me really upset with Honda, and I am telling everyone I know about it.
#166 of 212 Alternative tire sizes to Honda Fit OEM tires
May 31, 2011 (6:49 pm)
Contrary to the last several posts, there is a wide selection of alternative tire that you can get other than the OEM size. You have to be willing to get a different size, but as long as it is within 2% of the diameter or revolutions (rpms) of the OEM, no problems.
If the tire is 1-2% larger your acceleration & in town mileage may decrease slightly, but your highway mileage will probably increase slightly unless the tire is significanly heavier than OEM.
If the tire is 1-2% smaller, your acceleration will probably increase slightly as well as your mpg - at least in town, due to lighter weight.
For example. OEM tire on 2009 -2011 Fit Sport is 185/55x16. Going to Tirerack's website, put that tire in, click on a tire of that size, & click on the specs tab. There you will find the RPMs & diameter of the tire (a few tires don't list that info & it can take a little hunting). I like to use the RPMs - in the case of the 185/55 x16 the rpms is 863.
Then go to a popular tire that has a wide variety of sizes such as General's Altimax HP. Click on it & open up the specs window. Scan it for a 16" tire that has Rpms within +/- 2% of the OEM tire. Low & behold I find that the 195/50 tire has 853 rmps. If then take that tire size & search by it, I find there are 49 tires in that size. Surely one is just right for your driving preferences.
Another way to do this can be found at Discount Tires website. Type in your vehicle & it will bring up the OEM size. It will also show "optional/plus sizes" & has an icon that you can click on to explain what that means. Regardless or your OEM tire sizes there are reasonalble optional sizes to be had without changing rim size.
OR just ask your tire guy, but don't get stuck with a crummy tire or buy a different set of wheels or car just because Honda for some reason picked a unusual size tire for their Fit. Admittedly it takes a little poking around & if you aren't into research, just ask a tire guy at a good shop.
I have bought tires from Discount for decades, they know their stuff & will match anyone's prices 9just have to present them with a quote) & provide great products & service. Because all they sell is tires & wheels you don't find yourself hearing about your "worn out" shocks or brakes.