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I drive a 2004 Nissan Maxima SE, the tires are an R18. I recently bought replacement tires and the dealer installed R17 tires. What is the impact of this? Should I complain? Does it really matter?

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How'd they manage to get R17 tires onto an R18 rim? They're completely different sizes and should not even come close to fitting... –  Brian Knoblauch Mar 3 at 21:28
    
Perhaps dealer replaced tires and rims together. Anyway, we need more info to be able to answer better. What exact dimensions you had and have now? Usually that's written like so: ###/## R## –  Krom Stern Mar 4 at 5:54
    
I verified the OEM tire size for this vehicle is supposed to be 245/45-18 (for OP's sanity sake). Seems rather curious they would or could do this. –  Paulster2 Mar 4 at 13:17
    
@Joe, how did it end up? I'm curious what happened when you went back to the dealer? –  SimpleSimon Mar 26 at 1:23

2 Answers 2

The impact is that you have been downgraded to cheaper rims (and possibly tyres) without your permission. As others have said, 17" tyres do not fit on 18" rims, so the rims now on the car are smaller than what you had.

You should ask for an explanation and, yes, probably complain that the rims were downgraded without your permission. I shouldan't make allegations, but it might be worth checking the mechanic's staff carpark for cars with rims that look like your old ones ;)

Does it matter? Well, if the 17" tyres are good quality, the performance could be about the same. However, if the outer diameter (also known as rolling diameter) is different, your speedometer will read incorrectly. Also, there may be issues with your insurance policy if your tyres are a non-OEM size for a 2004 Maxima.

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I agree with most everything you state here, except the premise that the outer diameter would be different. More than likely it's different, but this is not a given. Wheel size has little to do with the rolling diameter of the tire. For instance, on the Camaro I used to own. It came with 16" wheels stock. I put 18" rims on it with corresponding tires which had the same rolling diameter (OEM=245/50R-16 v. new=275/35R-18). Like I said, while it is probably true, it's not a given. –  Paulster2 Mar 4 at 13:33
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Thanks Paulster. Indeed, a different outer diameter is a possibility, not a certainty. –  SimpleSimon Mar 5 at 5:34

How in the hell did he manage to get the tire on the rim in the first place? There's a whole inch difference between the two rims. But be that as it may, the impact is that your traction control system is going to freak out because the tires aren't the same diameter, and to the traction control system it's going to look like the R17 wheels are losing grip. Unless all four tires were replaced, in which case the TC won't notice.

Yes, you should complain. The R17 tires are narrower than the R18's, which makes them slightly more dangerous because you lose a tiny amount of contact surface (on paper anyway), but mostly there is a huge price difference between 17 inch and 18 inch wheels (for some reason). If you paid for 18's, you should get 18's.

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