Plus Sizing for Tires

Tires-Easy Tire Safety, Tire Sizes

Plus sizing is a quick way to dress up your vehicle and to increase its ability to grip the road.

Your vehicle comes with tires that have a certain diameter, a certain height. When you move into plus sizes, you keep the same tire height, but with wider tires and shorter, skinnier sidewalls.

Notice in the diagram how the tire gets wider but the diameter stays the same.

How does Plus Sizing Tires increase performance?

When your tire is wider, your tire’s footprint, the “contact patch,” is wider too, which means a stronger grip on the road.

When your tire’s sidewall is skinnier, otherwise known as a lower aspect ratio, your sidewall is less flexible which creates better lateral stability because it reduces tire squirm.
All in all, you get increased stability and better handling.

Plus Sizing Benefits:

  • A sporty, fashionable look
  • Increased performance, stability and handling

Plus Sizing Negatives:

  • Poor traction on snowy roads
  • Especially for SUV’s and Trucks that add the largest possible plus sizes, the tire and wheel combination will be considerably heavier, which can mean longer stopping distances, lower gas mileage and faster brake wear.

Plus Sizing Details:

  • Plus Zero – You change only the width of your tires, no increase in wheel diameter.
  • Plus One – You increase the wheel diameter by one inch.
  • Plus Two – You increase the wheel diameter by two inches.
  • Plus Three – The maximum recommended, you increase the wheel diameter by three inches.

The performance benefits gained by Plus Sizing Tires are mostly achieved with Plus One. As you go larger, the beneficial effects only minimally increase, and negative affects might increase.

It is widely recommended that you stay within 3% of the diameter/height of your vehicle’s OE tires. Further increases can cause brake failure, false odometer readings and other serious problems.

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