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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edit - Jump to my conclusion post here: https://www.myjeepcompass.com/forums/140249-post28.html

-------------------------------- Original Post:

We had our first major snowfall, and her and I both drove the Jeep out in it yesterday and declared our stock tires the worst thing we have ever driven in snow. Her civic was driving circles around the Compass, rendered totally helpless by these dumb tires.

Should have gotten those crappy things swapped out for a credit before I had too many miles on them, but they rode OK in the dry and the handling was decent on dry so I didn't expect them to be so bad for winter (although for the record, my father told me on at least two occasions that he could tell by the tread that they were going to be a terrible winter tire).

Live and learn. Anyways, I'm planning to go to the shop soon and spring for some Michelin Defender LTX so my mighty 4x4 can actually get around this winter. Its still mostly going to be driven on the dry highway so rather than deal with the headache of a dedicated snow tire twice a year swapping on and off just going to get one set of tires that are OK in all categories and call it good for 70k miles.

My debate is whether to stick with the stock size 225/55R18, or go up one size to 235/55/R18 ...

We're talking about a half inch wider and a half inch taller, nothing extreme. A fuzz bigger tire is more of a placebo for me, the driver, than anything else.. but I would like to imagine that it will look a tad cooler with an "oversized" tire, and that handling might be improved marginally with the increased width. Obviously the extra height and width doesn't help ice traction but... eh... doesn't help gas mileage either...

Its just one of those dumb things, I know somewhere in the back of my mind the cons outweigh the pros but I don't want to admit it.

I want to look at the side view of the rig with almost imperceptibly larger tires and let my imagination do its thing, you know, the whole:

What everyone else sees:


What I see in my head after adding a half an inch bigger tire:


Can anybody else relate?

I don't care much about gas mileage but I am concerned I will end up buying 5 expensive tires so my full size spare won't be too much smaller than the rest of the tires...

Anyone think I would get away with temporary use of the spare if it had to go on for 50 slow, gentle miles after getting these slightly bigger tires?
 

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I'd agree, on this kind of vehicle wide tires look rugged, capable. Maybe not 35" rugged but hey, every bit helps, yeah?

By the time the tires on my Trailhawk need replacing, I suspect Mopar (or some aftermarket vendor) will have put out a proper but modest lift kit like what they did with the Trailpass (https://www.topspeed.com/cars/jeep/2017-jeep-trailpass-concept-ar176291.html), at which point I'll probably spring for bigger, knobbier tires.

Considering spares are usually donuts anyway, I'd think you can get away with a slightly smaller full-size in a pinch, as long as you're taking it easy.
 

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We had our first major snowfall, and her and I both drove the Jeep out in it yesterday and declared our stock tires the worst thing we have ever driven in snow. Her civic was driving circles around the Compass, rendered totally helpless by these dumb tires.

Should have gotten those crappy things swapped out for a credit before I had too many miles on them, but they rode OK in the dry and the handling was decent on dry so I didn't expect them to be so bad for winter (although for the record, my father told me on at least two occasions that he could tell by the tread that they were going to be a terrible winter tire).

Live and learn. Anyways, I'm planning to go to the shop soon and spring for some Michelin Defender LTX so my mighty 4x4 can actually get around this winter. Its still mostly going to be driven on the dry highway so rather than deal with the headache of a dedicated snow tire twice a year swapping on and off just going to get one set of tires that are OK in all categories and call it good for 70k miles.

My debate is whether to stick with the stock size 225/55R18, or go up one size to 235/55/R18 ...

We're talking about a half inch wider and a half inch taller, nothing extreme. A fuzz bigger tire is more of a placebo for me, the driver, than anything else.. but I would like to imagine that it will look a tad cooler with an "oversized" tire, and that handling might be improved marginally with the increased width. Obviously the extra height and width doesn't help ice traction but... eh... doesn't help gas mileage either...

Its just one of those dumb things, I know somewhere in the back of my mind the cons outweigh the pros but I don't want to admit it.

I want to look at the side view of the rig with almost imperceptibly larger tires and let my imagination do its thing, you know, the whole:

What everyone else sees:


What I see in my head after adding a half an inch bigger tire:


Can anybody else relate?

I don't care much about gas mileage but I am concerned I will end up buying 5 expensive tires so my full size spare won't be too much smaller than the rest of the tires...

Anyone think I would get away with temporary use of the spare if it had to go on for 50 slow, gentle miles after getting these slightly bigger tires?
What tires did yours come with? I landed the Firestone Destination LE2s. The girlfriend had these factory on her Cherokee Sport and they were fine in the winter for her. I'm going to touch snow for the first time tomorrow, so we'll see how they do. I have always ran Wrangler Adventure All-Terrain LR E tires with the mountain snowflake, so this will be the first time in over a decade I don't have snow tires. But, if I find they suck, I'm going to get a set of these: https://www.toyotires.com/tire/pattern/celsius-cuv-variable-conditions-tire-0 The Toyo Celsius CUV as they seem to have decent reviews on YouTube. And if YouTube says they are good, you know they are :glasses:
 

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This past Monday I had 4 Firestone Winterforce2 tires installed. Will see how they work out this winter. They are stock size 215/65-17
If you check out drdirt200 garage on this forum he has pictures of 225/65-17 BFG KO2 they look real nice.
Maybe this spring I will be putting on some Pirelli ATR Scorpions 225/65-17 and some after market rims.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I want to stick with my stock rims but I have the 18 inch rims and I am finding this limits the availability of a lot of nice tires for me vs 17 inch. Michelin doesn't event make the defender LTX in my stock size, just the next size up (which would still fit).

I am now leaning kinda towards some Geolandar A/T G015 225/55/R18 since they are 3PMSF rated (better than M/S), a bit cheaper than the defenders, and to be honest they just look better. I dig the aggressive tread pattern that blends into the sidewall. Not sure if this is a bonus or not, but they actually make the Geolandar in the stock size so if I'm sticking with that, then that is also a plus.

The next size up Geolandar G015 is much taller, more than an inch, not sure I would get away with that because there is hardly any clearance on the rear tires at the back of the passenger doors... nope I'll prolly just have to stick with stock size and as nobrake said maybe in the future by the time I wear these out there may be a nice minor lift kit available. That would be more appropriate for us anyways, we try to keep things close to stock until the warranty is out or almost out.

These are the tires our Limited came with: Continental ProContact TX They don't rate well in TireRack's reviews, especially not in the winter performance and thats a kicker for us living here in northern Minnesota. Also no way we are going to try to take these worthless donuts up into Snoquamie pass in the mountains in winter.

I still think the Michelin Defender LTX would have been a good all around tire, for a high-end passenger tire, but I think I'm willing to take a small hit in noise, tread life, and dry handling/ride in order to have an all-terrain tire with a superior snow rating. These Geolandars look like they are about as good as it gets before you slip into full on dedicated snow tire territory, and I just don't want to deal with storing a second set of tires and having them punched on and off twice a year.
 

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While not an offroad tire, I've been running Nokian WRG3 SUV tires on my SUV's for a while and have been very impressed. They're basically a winter tire that you can run year round. They're a little stiffer than a dedicated winter tire so you don't lose cornering abilities during dry weather. I haven't done much offroading, but they did eat up the trail to my camp with 6"+ of snow in my old ford edge without any issues at all. I haven't put them through any mud to speak of. I'll likely put them on the Compass once the stock tires wear out, unless the stock tires (firestone LE2) are really awful in the snow. I also have the passenger car version on my RWD manual transmission caddy and I haven't gotten stuck in the snow yet.
 

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While not an offroad tire, I've been running Nokian WRG3 SUV tires on my SUV's for a while and have been very impressed. They're basically a winter tire that you can run year round.
Tire technology definitely seems to be progressing towards the true all season tire. On the other hand, dedicated winter tires keep getting better too so the bar keeps getting set higher. Long time ago now, but at one point I used Michelin Cross Terrains year round on my XJ. At that time they were as good as typical winter tires were in ice and snow. Since then however the concept has seemed elusive, mostly because winter tires have improved so much.
The term "winter tire" itself may mean different things to different people. My main interest is ice traction, since ice is what causes the most mayhem on the roads. Not as concerned about snow in respect to the tires, if it is so bad that I can't get through the snow with a Jeep 4x4 then no one is going anywhere regardless.
 

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Tire technology definitely seems to be progressing towards the true all season tire. On the other hand, dedicated winter tires keep getting better too so the bar keeps getting set higher. Long time ago now, but at one point I used Michelin Cross Terrains year round on my XJ. At that time they were as good as typical winter tires were in ice and snow. Since then however the concept has seemed elusive, mostly because winter tires have improved so much.
The term "winter tire" itself may mean different things to different people. My main interest is ice traction, since ice is what causes the most mayhem on the roads. Not as concerned about snow in respect to the tires, if it is so bad that I can't get through the snow with a Jeep 4x4 then no one is going anywhere regardless.
I learned winter driving from my old '88 5.0 mustang through the adirondacks on old school snow tires only on the rear. That had to be worst handling vehicle in snow I've ever driven. It was a squirrely ride to say the least, but made it 4 years without incident. My first set of blizzacks was an eye opener. Regardless, anything with AWD/4WD and over 4 inches of ground clearance just feels like cheating. grin:

Over the last few years the proper all weather tires seem to have made a jump from the all season garbage tires to something that is pretty solid in the snow. For me they are so close in performance to dedicated snow tires that I can't justify buying the extra set of rims for snows. In terms of weather we get the full mix from heavy wet snow, to the nice cold dry snow, as well as some ice. Haven't had issues making a beer run even in a solid nor'easter (aside from finding an open store). I'll be interested to see how the stock firestone LE2's do, but from the looks of the tread I think they'll be decent.
 

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I've been reading reviews for snow performance, and now I'm wishing I had even the Firestone LE2's.... not my ContiProContact tires. Which seem to have universally dismal snow review.
 

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In being up North for deer camp, I've learned the Destination LE2 tires are okay in the snow. They don't suck, they aren't rock stars. They do suck on ice. Ice covered roads, going straight, they are okay. Stopping is a big issue. I stopped on a couple of hills covered in ice with no cars around and just spun all four tires. I'll be buying the Toyo tires I linked to above in a week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had another bad experience yesterday going in to work from overnight snow, which made me mad enough to write to both Jeep and Continental online to complain.

Continental basically said they recommend winter tires when the temp drops below 45 and that they simply provided the tires Jeep asked them for, Jeep said my dealership ordered this vehicle specifically with these tires and that the dealer would have had an option of Yokohama All-Seasons when they ordered instead but Continentals is what they ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Back on topic, more for future use now than anything, I'm curious as to what the absolute largest tire size is that will fit stock without rubbing issues. I peaked a little over at the renegade forums to see what they have crammed in there, but hard to tell because all the big tire guys are running lifts already.

My main curiosity now is whether we could cram a 255/55R18 in there at stock height and get away with it.
ALL-TERRAIN T/A KO2 - SIZE: LT255/55R18

This would be 1.3 inches increase in overall diameter from stock, 0.65" closer to fender walls which when you put it that way doesn't sound too bad.
The more likely issue would be the width, a full 1.1 inches wider, but then again like with the diameter you divide this in half to get a tire that sticks out 0.55" wider left and right from rim center.

So, if its only 0.65" closer to the fenders and 0.55" closer to the front struts... maybe we could squeak by on this seemingly massively larger tire? Just think how nicely the fenderwells would be filled by these, and a world of good tire options open up for me when you start including the 255/55R18 sizes but the KO2 would be epic.

Just looked up the weight tho, 18 pounds heavier than stock ... thaaaats probably a non starter :(

I know the safety nazis and warranty peeps will carry on about the diameter being too much of an increase (4.7% vs the normally recommended 3%) but all that aside... it would be pretty cool. Probably a terrible loss in MPG and acceleration but it would look really cool =D

Sorry to keep focusing on the 18 inch rim sizes but thats what I've got and I like the rims it came with, but feel free to interject some smaller size rim/tire ideas as well.

Anyways what do you guys think? 1 inch larger and wider too much or within the realm of possibility?
 

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arudlang,
Those T/A KO2's are excellent tires. I have them on my Cherokee and are the best general off-road traction tire I've had.
Pic here with the Cherokee next to my Compass.

But the extra sidewall reinforcing means they are HEAVY and you will definitely see a hit in fuel economy around town.
I also ended up swapping out to better struts/shocks because of the extra weight.

Unless you are running trails all the time and blowing sidewalls (which I was doing in the desert in my Cherokee) then I'd suggest there are better options out there than them.
 

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I want to go bigger and better than the stock 28" 215/65-17 Falkens that come on my Trailhawk, especially with winter on the way, so from what I'm reading (and assuming similar specs as the Renegade) it seems you're not going to fit much more than 28.5" diameter tires. Width-wise, supposedly some folks could fit 235/'s on their Renny Trailhawk without any modification but that could be pushing it. I know the suspension on the Compass trims are different so 225>235 might be doable on a Limited but 215>235 on a Trailhawk might not (without mods). If it's one or the other I'd prefer taller over wider myself (for ground clearance); a 0.5" increase (0.25" effective lift) just seems like small potatoes, but even the Trailpass concept I linked above needed a lift kit to fit 29". 225/65-17 is about as big as I can probably get. Eh, every bit helps, I guess.

To get that aggressive, oversized wider look you're really going to need wheel spacers, and if I'm going to do that I might as well wait for the inevitable lift kit, and if I'm going to do that (whenever one comes out) it's probably best to stay stock for now until the warranty is near out, like Arudlang said. By then I'll probably need new tires anyway.

The KO2s look awesome and by all accounts perform as good as they look… but the weight is a killer. 10+ lbs more per tire is a lot, especially considering the Compass is rather underpowered to begin with. I looked at the Continental TerrainContacts (featured on the Trailpass concept) but there didn't have any 225/65-17 and they're heavy, too. So I think the Yoko Geo's that Arudlang mentioned (A/T G015) are the way to go. Lot of Renegade owners went with them. Truth be told I'll probably never use or need what the KO2 can do while in a Compass, it was just peace of mind (and looks); the Geolandars are probably the perfect balance of on/off road capability, plus they've got the 3PMSF rating, plus they only weigh a few pounds more. And they're a lot cheaper.

Only questions is: white letters in, or out?
 

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I want to go bigger and better than the stock 28" 215/65-17 Falkens that come on my Trailhawk, especially with winter on the way, so from what I'm reading (and assuming similar specs as the Renegade) it seems you're not going to fit much more than 28.5" diameter tires. Width-wise, supposedly some folks could fit 235/'s on their Renny Trailhawk without any modification but that could be pushing it. I know the suspension on the Compass trims are different so 225>235 might be doable on a Limited but 215>235 on a Trailhawk might not (without mods). If it's one or the other I'd prefer taller over wider myself (for ground clearance); a 0.5" increase (0.25" effective lift) just seems like small potatoes, but even the Trailpass concept I linked above needed a lift kit to fit 29". 225/65-17 is about as big as I can probably get. Eh, every bit helps, I guess.

To get that aggressive, oversized wider look you're really going to need wheel spacers, and if I'm going to do that I might as well wait for the inevitable lift kit, and if I'm going to do that (whenever one comes out) it's probably best to stay stock for now until the warranty is near out, like Arudlang said. By then I'll probably need new tires anyway.

The KO2s look awesome and by all accounts perform as good as they look… but the weight is a killer. 10+ lbs more per tire is a lot, especially considering the Compass is rather underpowered to begin with. I looked at the Continental TerrainContacts (featured on the Trailpass concept) but there didn't have any 225/65-17 and they're heavy, too. So I think the Yoko Geo's that Arudlang mentioned (A/T G015) are the way to go. Lot of Renegade owners went with them. Truth be told I'll probably never use or need what the KO2 can do while in a Compass, it was just peace of mind (and looks); the Geolandars are probably the perfect balance of on/off road capability, plus they've got the 3PMSF rating, plus they only weigh a few pounds more. And they're a lot cheaper.

Only questions is: white letters in, or out?
I like black side walls. Word of caution, remember that the Compass is not built like a Wrangler...to be heavily modified and adapted. I'd be careful running spacers. It might cause you problems down the road. I am sticking with the stock tire size. I go on Saturday morning to have the Toyo Celsius CUV tires mounted. I'm bringing the OEM Firestone tires home. I need to find a set of take-off wheels. I really like the Jeep factory 17" rims that are painted granite color as they look sharp and match my Jeep. Not sure how much luck I'll have finding some. Dealer wants $450 a rim!! Plus TPMS sensors. Doing crack is cheaper.
 

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Word of caution, remember that the Compass is not built like a Wrangler...to be heavily modified and adapted.
*Sigh* Yeah, I'm still coming from a Renegade mindset, as that's what I was originally planning on getting for a long time. But that's why I figure on waiting a couple years before doing any serious tinkering -- besides riding out the warranty, I'll be able to learn from others' successes... and failures ;-)

$450/rim? Ooouch.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I wish I could rename this thread to "stock tires woes?" or something like that, someday in the future droves of 2nd gen compass owners are going to find this thread while searching for info about larger tires and be angry that I didn't actually do it... :hiding:

But anyways, I have a new theory to run by you guys. I've been so zoned in on the idea that the OEM tires are probably crap that I never entertained the possibility that perhaps my brand new jeep came right out of the gate with an alignment issue. Seems unlikely, right? But it could explain everything. Excessive negative camber or some way out of spec toe-in could be creating some significant lateral thrust that isn't noticeable on dry pavement but shines when one or more sides of the vehicle hit ice :think:

Honestly I think it would make more sense than just bad tires, because bad tires alone should still probably go straight over ice until someone starts shaking the wheel excessively, but what I have experienced is that the instant one or both sides of the vehicle hits ice, the whole vehicle moves left and right. Its not a twisting motion (as I have experienced in other cars with bald tires), its the whole vehicle staying pointed mostly straight ahead but strafing left and right rapidly. So if both sides have a lot of camber thrust, or toe is excessively in/out, it would make sense the car would push left and right on a low traction surface.

Like I said on dry its not an issue. Handling on dry pavement is amazing, almost too good to be true compared to the S10 blazer this Jeep replaced in our household... I think I'm going to ask my dealer if they will cover checking the alignment because if that solves the puzzle I'd be so happy to not have to buy new tires the first year. I'd also be happy not to buy new tires and still have the exact same issue happening on ice if it really was an alignment problem all along... :pat:
 

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I wish I could rename this thread to "stock tires woes?" or something like that, someday in the future droves of 2nd gen compass owners are going to find this thread while searching for info about larger tires and be angry that I didn't actually do it... :hiding:

But anyways, I have a new theory to run by you guys. I've been so zoned in on the idea that the OEM tires are probably crap that I never entertained the possibility that perhaps my brand new jeep came right out of the gate with an alignment issue. Seems unlikely, right? But it could explain everything. Excessive negative camber or some way out of spec toe-in could be creating some significant lateral thrust that isn't noticeable on dry pavement but shines when one or more sides of the vehicle hit ice :think:

Honestly I think it would make more sense than just bad tires, because bad tires alone should still probably go straight over ice until someone starts shaking the wheel excessively, but what I have experienced is that the instant one or both sides of the vehicle hits ice, the whole vehicle moves left and right. Its not a twisting motion (as I have experienced in other cars with bald tires), its the whole vehicle staying pointed mostly straight ahead but strafing left and right rapidly. So if both sides have a lot of camber thrust, or toe is excessively in/out, it would make sense the car would push left and right on a low traction surface.

Like I said on dry its not an issue. Handling on dry pavement is amazing, almost too good to be true compared to the S10 blazer this Jeep replaced in our household... I think I'm going to ask my dealer if they will cover checking the alignment because if that solves the puzzle I'd be so happy to not have to buy new tires the first year. I'd also be happy not to buy new tires and still have the exact same issue happening on ice if it really was an alignment problem all along... :pat:
Yours wouldn't be the first that is out of alignment from the factory, every one I test drove when buying mine and troubleshooting issues with mine was noticeably out of alignment. I think Mudman1 had the same issue as well.

Jeep is replacing mine so I haven't messed with asking them to do an alignment I imagine it would depend on the dealer but most would at least check it for free around here.
 
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