Question about 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Just bought a 97 Cavalier...didn't notice till later that it has 3 tires that are P215 60R16 and 1 tire is P195 65R15...is this going to hurt anything...and what is the normal size tire and rims for this car?

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215 and 195 are the tyre width in millimeteres so one is thinner.
60 and 65 are the profile as in 60% of the width or 65% of the width
16 and 15 are the rim diameter in inches

so one tyre and wheel is smaller, the car could possibly run either size, but I suggest buy one wheel and tyre to match the other 3, maybe the spare is the same.

as for damage, the car will not track straight, the tyres will wear uneven, it can wear the differential, it is dangerous and unroadworthy, the police\traffic branch can fine you.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011

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It shouldn't hurt anything as long as the "strange" tire is on the rear. It may not hurt on the front either since these cars aren't limited slip or anything. But to be safe I would put it on the rear since the rear is independent suspension. In the meantime, there should be a sticker on the inside of the drivers side door that will tell you the original tire size. I wouldn't know because I don't know if your car came with the Chevrolet alloy wheels, or the standard steel wheels with hubcaps. the sticker for the tires should be there. It will also explain your weight and some other stuff. let me know. Thanks.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011

  • tim_in_nz Mar 16, 2011

    The instability will arise due to the fact the 16 inch wheels have an overall diameter of 664mm, while the 15 inch wheels are 634mm. This can affect the braking over an axle, with one wheel stopping quicker, as it is rotating slower.

  • Alan Conner
    Alan Conner Mar 16, 2011

    The cavalier came with 15inch steel wheels with hubcaps, and 16inch alloys. If you have three 16 inch wheels I would locate another and match it with the rest. The odd ball wheel you have may also be the original spare so I would look into that as well.

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It should not do any damage to the vehicle, but for safety's sake I would be swapping the odd one to the same size as the others. The last thing you want is instability when having to stop in an emergency. The correct tyre size should be on the tyre placard, a sticker usually found on the drivers door jam somewhere.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011

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