Question about different front & back tire sizes on 1986 Honda Civic


Old 09-12-02, 10:29 PM
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Question about different front & back tire sizes on 1986 Honda Civic

Hi everyone. I have very much enjoyed visiting this great forum and resource over the last couple of years and have learned a great deal by reading the Q&A. I now have a question that I need a little help with...

Yesterday a friend of mine was over with her 1986 Honda Civic and I noticed the front tire on the right side was low, so I went over to look at it out of curiosity. When I got up close I was horrified; her front tires have absolutely NO tread left on them. After giving her some grief for driving her car like that, she told me she knew they were that bad, but can not afford to buy new ones right know, as money is extremely tight. Anyway, I rambling here, so I'll get to my question.

Another friend of mine has two tires, on rims, with about 85% tread left on them for $10 bucks a piece. OK, now here's what I'm wondering: the size of the tires that are on her car now are P175/70R13 and I'd like to know if it is safe to replace the bald tires on the front with P155/80R13's. Will this cause speedometer problems, gas mileage problems, or safety concerns? I'm kind of an idiot when it comes to stuff like this, but putting these tires on has to be safer than driving around with tires that are ready to blow.

Any help you people can throw my way is appreciated.

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Old 09-13-02, 03:49 AM
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Mixing sizes of tires is not a good thing. Affects handling, can cause rubbing problems, throws the speedometer off and in some cases fools the computer (not on something this old).

Stick with the stock tire size to avoid problems. On a shoe like this, tires are dirt cheap. If the subject person cannot afford tires
(can even get used ones at a yard for about 15 bucks each with rims), then I suggest holing up (storing) the car until she can afford new ones. Part of the responsibiity of owning a car is keeping it safe. If this is not the case, it should not be driven as you rightly pointed out.

You're talking 300 bucks (Max????) for new tires for this. A worthy investment for preventing blowouts and saving your own if not other's lives.
Old 09-13-02, 07:04 AM
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While I am no expert, these tires are very similar in size. I do not have experience with this car nor car tires for it, but......

The new tires are roughly 3/4" skinnier than the original tires. There is minimal (1/10") height difference, with the new tire being larger.

As long as the load capacities are the same, and the only other choice is to drive with unsafe tires, then I would definitely switch them out with the different size. Please note that you should make sure that both front tires match and both rear tires match.

As for the problems associated with the speedometer and gas mileage, there will be little to none since the overall diameters of the tires are so similar.

I am not trying to undermine Joe_F, but since these tires are very close then I would switch them out for safety sake.
Old 09-13-02, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,915
Technically as long as long as both front tires are the same size the spedometer won't really care (as long as it's close enough to the original size). The narrower tire will decrease the stability a bit, but it's better to have a narrow tire with thread then a wide tire with no thread. When you start going into newer cars with ABS, traction control and such then all tires should be the same.
Old 09-13-02, 01:26 PM
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Thank you all for your replies. I ended up going and buying her a couple of new P175/70R13's for the front. But, I will keep all your advice in mind for future use.

Thanks again,
Old 09-13-02, 04:30 PM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: corona Ca.
Posts: 471
You are a real nice guy Rocko. I am sure she appreciates having someone like you for a friend!!

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