going crazy finding snow tire rims-- 15" for 19 AWD-e

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Technical Discussion' started by eljefino, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. eljefino

    eljefino New Member

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    Hey peeps, just got the wife an AWD-e. One of the first 7000 made, going off the VIN. Have had several 2nd gen prii before this, am well versed in them.

    Going nuts trying to find some good snow tire rims though. I'd like to add the sensors and be set for 10+ years. Have my own tire mounter, balancer, and Techstream.

    Current set up are some subaru rims that are showing their age. They mount lug-centrically due to a larger hub bore. Not a deal breaker for me. I also have the proper steel acorn lug nuts to go along with these.

    I accidentally bought some universal lug pattern rims... they look like the "Pacer" brand sold on ebay for a reasonable $33 in my size. The universal patterns on mine are 5x110 and 114, useless, of course. Oops.

    But while they're here, I test fit a 2006 era TPMS sensor. This rim's valve hole is drilled at an angle such that the sensor hits and wouldn't pull its washer evenly flush with the hole. I know the 2019 sensors are different part numbers from the 06s but the form factor at least looks similar-- can anyone confirm?

    This brings me to my next option, some used corolla steelies or some used 05-06 era prius rims. The prius rims being TPMS compatible, corrosion-resistant aluminum, and taking the same washer lug nuts are all a plus. They're a bit more expensive.

    A caution to others-- the 05-06 prius is rather picky with caliper clearance in the front. It doesn't like subaru forester rims (the flat "starfish" style) or Pontiac Sunfire rims. I shamefully stashed these on the rear drums, but of course, the AWD-e has 4-wheel disc brakes making these rims completely incompatible. I haven't test fit my variety of lame rims on the '19 yet but caliper clearance visually looks the same. I should also like to be able to rotate at will among my four positions.

    Finally, I wound up with some American Racing rims. Their hub flange is so thick I only get 8 turns of the lugnuts torquing them down. This is barely acceptable.

    Point of this thread? It's a jungle out there, man!
     
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  2. LewLasher

    LewLasher Member

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    I feel like I'm missing something here.

    When I got snow tires (the first time) for my 2006 Prius, I paid no attention to the rims that I got for them. I just ordered some indifferent quality, generic 185/65R15 rims from Tire Rack, and they shipped them to me, with the snow tires mounted on those rims. I did not bother with tire pressure sensors, but just checked the tire pressure myself every once in a while. I don't think I had any problems with brake calipers.

    And now, I just got a 2019 AWD-e Prius about a week ago. I intend to get snow tires for it. Fortunately, because it is July and because I am in the northern hemisphere, it is not the last minute. I was thinking of going back to Tire Rack and ordering a set of indifferent quality, generic 195/65R15 rims upon which they can mount the new snow tires. (I am vaguely aware that it is possible to get snow tires narrower than the all-seasons, but I am afraid of screwing things up.)

    Am I being naïve, just considering the tire size, getting generic rims, and ignoring the subtle additional factors? Am I asking for trouble?
     
  3. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Get some junkyard wheels off a Prius or some cheap steelies from Tire Rack. I have snows on steels from them, came mounted and balanced. I skipped the TPMS and we just ignore the warning light all winter.

    Avoid the cheap Tire Rack (or other) alloys - these corrode very badly from road salt. I know from experience - had a set of these on a Honda Civic and they were ugly after four seasons.
     
  4. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    No. All you need is a metal wheel to hold the tires, and you're set. TPMS optional. If you match the OEM size with the tires, you'll be fine. I had OEM size snows on a VW, and -1 sizing on both a Honda and a Subaru. Both options work fine, but the -1 sizing has a narrower tread which is generally desirable in a snow tire.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    These are working fine for me, no hub adapters needed:

    Corolla 15" black steel rims p/n: 42611-02471
     
  6. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    It's a plus if your snow wheels use the same lugnuts as the wheels that are currently on the car. Less hassle swapping and remembering to put OEM lugnuts in with the spare (if you have a spare).
     
  7. LewLasher

    LewLasher Member

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    I saw that on Tire Rack, and "generally desirable" sounds good to me.

    Please bear with me, because I am not fully knowledgeable about tire sizes.

    What would be the "-1" sizing for a 2019 AWD-e Prius, given that the regular size is 195/65R15?

    For example, I just happen to have a set of 4 rims in size 185/65R15 (with snow tires of that same size mounted on them, in fact). As I understand the sizing numbers (e.g., from page 770 of the 2019 Prius Owner's Manual) the 185 means that the tire width is 10 mm less. However, because the 65 is the same, which is the aspect ratio, does this mean that the tire height would be too low? By comparison, the Owner's Manual shows a smaller width number and a bigger aspect ratio for the spare tire (125/70), but that's a lot less width.
     
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    In a nutshell, yes but within reason.

    You want to maintain the same outer circumference of the original tire, ±2%.

    Given a 195/65R15 starting point, you are dealing with a 25" circle diameter. A 185/70R15 yields a 25.2" circle- A good substitute at 0.8% difference. It's slightly narrower, probably lighter, but it is an uncommon size. The math can lead you to tire sizes that don't actually exist, or are stupid-rare and expensive, so check a few. The 185/65R15 gives a 24.5" circle, which is a full 2% smaller- at the limit, but still legit. With the 70 being taller than your target and the 65 being shorter, you get to decide which direction you want the error.

    There are many tire size calculators available on the internet. I like this one.

    Re-reading your post though, I think you might not comprehend the difference between rim size and tire size.

    Wheel sizing (relative to the tire) is diameter x bead width, and it is normal for a variety of tire sizes to fit a given rim size.

    All three of the tire sizes I listed above could be mounted on the exact same 15x6 rims.
     
    #8 Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Jul 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  9. LewLasher

    LewLasher Member

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    I have mounted different width bicycle tires in the same rims, so it is not surprising that there is some flexibility there. However, I would not have wanted to assume that flexibility, so thank you for pointing that out.

    What is the significance of the 6 in 15x6?

    It sounds like it would be plausible for me to just keep using the old rims with the 185/65R15 snow tires, unless there is some deterioration in the old rims that would make them undesirable.

    And then, when the old snow tires need replacing (which will probably be sometime during the coming winter), I can just have new snow tires mounted on those same old wheels.

    So long as I am not risking some damage to the car, I don't think I care about a 2% discrepancy. (Unless there is something else that I should be thinking about.)
     
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    inches of width from bead-to-bead on the rim. Rim sizing expresses the bead diameter x bead width.

    I would just keep the existing tires, but check the date codes. After 4-5 years most snow tires have naturally hardened to the point where they offer no advantage over all-seasons.

    A 2% reduction in overall size will have other minor effects. The car will accelerate better. The speedometer and odometer will read 2% higher than reality. The wheels will be turning slightly faster RPMs for any given speed, meaning slightly higher engine RPM- which usually means a little more noise and a little less MPG. These are minor effects- you'll be able to measure them but they probably won't ruin anyone's day.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    The OEM lugnuts can hold a rim in two ways:

    1. With the captured washer on the nut's shoulder. (applicable with the regular rims)
    2. With the conical base. (applicable with the temp. spare)

    The latter is also how the Corolla rims I mentioned are held. When I got those rims (through a dealership) they also sold me plain, open-ended nuts, only about 3/4" high:

    lug nuts p/n: 90942-01007 (utilitarian, open-ended, galvanized)

    You can use the OEM style lugnuts, but they stick out, look kind of odd.
     
  12. eljefino

    eljefino New Member

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    I have no issues buying the 195-65-15 tires-- they're cheap as dirt, common, and if I get flat in February I should be able to get the same tread pattern.

    I don't want to lose ground clearance by going narrower. I'd go oversize, if anything, but they don't make a 195-70-15 that I know of.

    I don't like the narrow acorn part of the OE lugs-- they're only around 1/8" across and I don't think they have enough "bite" for steel wheels, they'll get chewed up. I also don't like that many aftermarket lug nuts are 19mm, meaning another lug wrench rattling around the trunk. (Though I'd have to have a spare tire to change into, LOL)

    My 05 and 06 rims are just starting to bubble through the clear coat-- I bet they'll look awful in 10 years even if they remain functional. They do practically guarantee TPMS fitment and reusing the OE lug nuts are assured. I would compromise on the sensors if I had to but I'm up for the geeky challenge of making them work. Car-part.com shows some junkyard ones for $50 which matches new steelies from tire rack etc.
     
  13. jb in NE

    jb in NE Senior Member

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    Particularly now. Tire Rack has Blizzak WS80 on clearance for $82 each and $70 off a set of 4 Michelins.
     
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