I'm considering replacing all my tires with a set of slightly higher ones — installing 205/60R16 instead of 205/55R16. My incentive is mostly availability of the particular model of tire I'm interested in, but gaining about 0.4" in clearance would also be quite practical. Apocryphal reports indicate that this size of tire will not scrape in the wheel wells.

About.com mentions that Your speedometer, odometer, traction control, torque and gearing settings are all based on the distance that your tire travels over one complete revolution.

This will be about a 3% change in overall radius (10mm added to about 310mm). So 60 on the speedometer will be 62 in real life (actually probably more like 63-64 since my speedometer already reads slow). This does not concern me.

Otherwise, is this a safe modification? How will this affect traction control, torque, and gearing settings?

Is it possible for mechanics to recalibrate those systems to use a different size of tire?

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's possible to recalibrate the systems for a different tire size, but it shouldn't be necessary for such a small change. Most emergency spare tires are smaller than the standard vehicle tires and they don't hurt anything. That said, be careful if your vehicle has a limited-slip differential or all-wheel drive, those can be damaged if you have wheels with different diameters. Obviously not an issue if you're replacing all four tires, but if your car has a full-sized spare because it's AWD, consider replacing that tire too, even though it's probably unused.

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    Recalibration of electronic traction control, ABS, the speedometer, and related systems for different tire sizes is done all the time in the off-roader community using aftermarket "programmers" like these made for full-size trucks by DiabloSport. Depending on the age and model of OP's vehicle there might be something compatible available. Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 18:41

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