I always use narrower snow tires (and often narrower wheels) in the
winter, but I've never found the need to use taller tires. How much snow
do you guys drive in? I've never had problems driving in a foot or so
with the normal ground clearance of any of the cars I've owned.
Realistically, how much ground clearance are you going to gain with
taller tires, perhaps 1/2" (or less)? That seems unlikely to make much
of a difference.
No, narrower tires, with their longer, narrower contact patches, are
superior at cutting through the snow and slop to reach the pavement
underneath. Wider tires, with shorter, wider contact patches are more
prone to float on top of snow and hydroplane in slush.
That's why off-road rally racers use narrow tires in snowy, slushy,
No, in snow you want the tires to sink down and grip something firm, not
float on top and slip around. In sand, you want floatation, but in snow
you don't. Yes, there is less resistance also with narrower tires, but
I think that is a second order effect.
I've driven in well over 2'. The ground clearance isn't a big deal in
fresh snow, but with packed snow in the center of a rutted road, even
1/2" can be the difference between making it and not. And with my
pickup, I can easily gain well over 1" in ground clearance with a tire
change. I agree that 1/2" is probably the max you can achieve with a
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.