A lot of drivers have already heard about Plus sizing, but most drivers do not know what the minus sizing is.
The Minus sizing is a practice of mounting taller profile tires on smaller diameter wheels. This is the reverse concept of plus sizing and accordingly, it is called the minus concept or the minus sizing. Minus size winter tires is the best way to reach optimal winter tire performances, especially in deep snow driving.
The Plus concept is a method for improving driving performances and appearance of the car by replacing the original wheel with a larger one and mounting a lower profile tire, while maintaining approximately the same overall tire diameter and circumference as the original tire.
Usually in the summer, the inner diameter of the tire and the wheel diameter increases by 1, 2, 3 or more inches. But in winter, low-profile tires do not perform well in snow, slush and icy roads, so they are often replaced by narrower, high-profile tires.
Why to use minus sizing?
The basic feature of the narrower, high-profile tire in winter is that it passes through deep snow and slush more easily and performs better on icy roads. Next advantage of tires with taller sidewall is that they improve traction and quality of ride at all.
Another advantage of wheels with a smaller diameter and higher sidewalls of the tire is that they provide better damage protection of expensive aluminum wheels and suspensions from holes and striking curbs. They are more resistant to potholes that appear in the early spring.
Economic benefits of minus sizing
In addition to the advantages that a narrower tire shows in snow, we should not forget the economic moment. Minus sizing is popular when buying winter tires because it's much cheaper to buy a 15" winter tire than a 17" one. You can save money by buying a smaller alloy wheel.
The significant savings can be made if alloy wheels are replaced with steel wheels as well. Expensive alloy wheels are exposed to salt in the winter, which is sprinkled on the roads. This is an additional saving as the steel wheels are far cheaper than the alloy wheels.
If you are looking for the best economic solution, then these are two sets of wheels, summer with alloy wheels and winter with smaller diameter steel wheels. It is not necessary to change the tires in the spring and autumn, but only changing complete sets. Storing sets of the wheels is not a problem as they occupy the same space as sets of tires.
What wheels and tires fit to your car?
The tires and wheels that come with the vehicle as original equipment (OE) are not the only ones, there are a few more suitable dimensions that you can find in a vehicle owner’s manual. You have the option to choose sizes that safely fit your car because the manufacturer has already specified wheels and tire sizes. The best recommendation is the recommendation of the car manufacturer.
For example, the Toyota Camry IX (XV70) (2017 - 2021) comes with 16”, 17” and 18” and matching 205/65 R16, 215/55 R17 94V and 235/45 R18 94V tires respectively so you can choose one of the recommended tire sizes for minus sizing.
The owner’s manual is the best source, but useful information about optional tires for the new wheel can also be found on our website.