What size tires would give me the best handling and traction on ice and snow?

I live in northern Michigan and I need good snow tires real bad. I have a 2014

4 wd Jeep grand Cherokee and it slips and slides all over the road with my all season radials. It has 20 wheels and the snow tires that would go on those wheels are 9 inches wide. The tire store told me I should change to 18 Inch wheels and put on narrower snow tires (8 inches wide). They said I would get better handling and traction with a narrower tire. Any tire guys out there know about that? Thanks.

9 Answers

Relevance
  • 6 months ago

    The tire store wants to sell you stuff. You can switch off the rubber each spring and fall for less than buying new rims. What I did was kept my rims and put on off road tires with a real aggressive tread and keep those on the car year around. That way I have an aggressive tread for the snow but unlike snow tires, the rubber is not soft and will not wear away in the summer. And I can go off road without worry about having street tires on it.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 8 months ago

    not much snow here where I live   --  I have Michelin Defenders

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 8 months ago

    The narrower tires will handle packed snow and ice better than the wider ones. The smaller the surface area, the less the tire will need to "cut" through the packed snow. That said, you'll also need to change the computer to adjust to new tire sizes or your speedo/odometer will be off. You do not need to get smaller tires, but it will be easier to get a second set of rims you can dedicate to winter tires.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 8 months ago

    It is normally accepted that wider tires don't bite down through the snow as well, but there is little reasoning to justify buying smaller wheels except maybe total price if mounting snow tires on a separate set of wheels..

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Ron
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    The tire store is trying to make a sale. Slap some snow tires on the existing wheels and go for a drive

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 8 months ago

    If you have factory wheels on the Jeep then stick with the size Chrysler installed at the factory. The correct size to install is 265/50R20

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 8 months ago

    Yes, narrower tires are better in the snow as they will dig down to the road surface more easily.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • arther
    Lv 5
    8 months ago

    the more side wall a tyre has the better it is for off road conditions low profile tyres are for High speed on flat roads.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 8 months ago

    Believe I would contact a Jeep dealership. They have the specs and recommendations for this vehicle.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.