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I have a tire that is very worn and just got a flat so I would like to get a tire sooner than later. I called up 4 tire shops Big-O, Les Schwab, dicount tire etc. and none of them have the tires in stock and in addition the tires cost about 50$ more per tire than more common sizes.

How large of an affect would switching to 205/60 R16 tires be? I understand that the speedometer would be off by a small amount but are there any other affects such as ware on the engine, gas mileage etc. that would make it worth spending the extra money and waiting a couple weeks to get the 195/60 R16 tires?

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Tirerack.com has an excellent page explaining how tires react on different width rims.

The summary version is that tires can fit on a variety of rims, and thus rims can accept a variety of tires. The best approach is to determine the rim's width and ensure that it is within the specification of the tire. There is also the concept of "plus sizing" where a tire with a smaller aspect ratio is chosen to balance out the wider width.

While I encourage you to check the specifications (I haven't), I strongly suspect that a move from 195 to 205 will be just fine. From the research of one poster on Scionlife.com:

Here is a list of acceptable 16" sizes for Scion XD, according to Discount Tire Co.:

  • 205/55/16
  • 205/60/16
  • 215/55/16
  • 225/50/16
  • 225/55/16

I think the 205/60/16 would look great, it would give the XD more of a mini-SUV appearance. The allowed rim width for that tire size is 5.5"- 7.5", so you are good to go with the factory 16x6"steel wheel.

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Tirerack.com shows an optional 16" tire size of 205/55-16, but not 205/60-16.

The wider tire (205 refers to the width, in mm) will likely use a bit more fuel, though you may never notice.

A 205/60-16 is larger in diameter than your tires, so the speedo would also be off (it would read a bit slow).

All this said, you should be able to get tires in the original size sooner than 2 weeks, and at a reasonable price unless you're in Alaska or Hawaii or something.

I'd go with the original size, unless you want the wider tire for looks or whatever.

Here's a list of options from Tirerack.com. They will deliver to an installer near you. I've used this service, and would use it again.

NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with TireRack, similar offers may be available from other retailers.

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205/60R16 has a ~5% larger diameter than your 195/60R16. Assuming that they fit in your wheel arches, here are the effects you should be looking at:

  • Your speedo will be off. You'd be driving 5% more than what it reads. So your actual speed would be more like 53mph when your speedo reads 50mph
  • Your gas milage should decrease a bit due to more friction caused by the wider tires
  • Your acceleration would be slightly worse due to the larger diameter of the tires.
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