Does anyone know if you can purchase regular tires (michelin - or general - or goodyear)
for front and back of the SmartCar? What about rims? Can they bought online?

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Yes you can put different brand Tires, and other size wheels on your Smart...
Tire Rack
http://www.tirerack.com/index_w.jsp?s_kwcid=TC|5428|tirerack||S|e|3991798183&
Thanks to you both for the info - i appreciate it.
RB

Brabus007 said:
Yes you can put different brand Tires, and other size wheels on your Smart...
Tire Rack
http://www.tirerack.com/index_w.jsp?s_kwcid=TC|5428|tirerack||S|e|3991798183&
I was at my favorite tire store yesterday getting an oil change on our minivan, and I asked the manager about tires for the smart. He looked it up on his computer, and the only tires available in the OEM size were the ones from Continental. Nobody else makes a tire in the size of our front and rear tires. (Except for a possible snow tire.)

It's probably possible to change rims and switch to a more popular tire size. However, that might sacrifice handling and/or fuel efficiency.

The tire store manager told me that the front tires would cost me $91 and the rears would cost me $110 each. So, about $400 for a new set of tires. I thought that was kind of expensive for such tiny tires, but he said that's pretty common for "specialty" tires like this. (He gave me examples of BMW and Porsche tires that made me feel a lot better!)
155/60R/15 ~ 175/55R/15 ~Snows ~ Pirelli Winter 190 Snowcontrol
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSearchResults.jsp?autoMake=smart&...

175/55R/15 ~ Good selection if you Get & Put two rear rims on the front like I did ~ Then you can rotate your tires, and you have front tires for spares...
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSearchResults.jsp?autoMake=smart&...

Vredestein makes a good tire (the Quatrac 2) in the 155/60-15 size that smart mounts on the front rims. Personally, I think that the Vredesteins are better tires than the Contis installed at the factory. Of course, you can use non US OEM sizes if you know what you're doing. smart itself sets up cars sold in non-US markets with alternate sizes.

The 175/55-15 size mounted on the rear is not as hard to find and is available from a bunch of manufacturers.
Thanks to you all for your suggestions. Lots to think about.
Bob
What is your experience with how the Quatrac2 wears? I have had Conti's on a couple of cars and they didn't wear very well. I switched over to Goodyear on our Jeep three years ago and they wear like iron. It would be really great to have an alternative to Conti.

jackb said:
Vredestein makes a good tire (the Quatrac 2) in the 155/60-15 size that smart mounts on the front rims. Personally, I think that the Vredesteins are better tires than the Contis installed at the factory. Of course, you can use non US OEM sizes if you know what you're doing. smart itself sets up cars sold in non-US markets with alternate sizes.

The 175/55-15 size mounted on the rear is not as hard to find and is available from a bunch of manufacturers.
I ordered four 15x6 Rial wheels, TPMS sensors, and Yokohama AVID 195/50 tires from Tire Rack almost 20,000 miles ago. I prefer the ride, handling, looks, ease of cleaning, and the ability to rotate over the stock setup. My mileage has been unaffected. But, YMMV.
Hi Fred,

The Quatrac 2 is pretty grippy, and I think outperforms the stock Contis in hot turns and hard braking. Even if you are not into "spirited" driving, that ability to grab the road can be critical in a small vehicle where your best safety system is still the car's ability to do what you tell it to do and get out of the way of trouble. They're particularly good (for all-season tires) in cold, wet/slushy conditions. Dedicated winter treads are still the best ticket, but if you don't want to go that route, Quatrac 2 is a good choice for crappy weather where winters are moderate. But if wear longevity is your thing, the soft compound used in the Vredesteins probably won't be your best choice.
I just bought a set of Continental snow tires for the winter. They are the standard sizes as the oem tires. Boy what a difference they have made. The ride is sooo much better now, I could not believe it. Can't wait for the snow to start. It appears that Continental tires are it for my area. They had to order them but they came in a couple of days. The pricing was not much different from the tirerack site when you add in the mounting.

So far I'm very happy.
Love my Contis

For Brabus 007, tell me about your gas door cover please, I like the MB emblem.
Thanks Jack. I had no trouble with the Conti's last winter and we had a lot of snow in Boston. It's just that they seem to wear out pretty fast as compared to the Goodyears. i appreciate the heads up!

jackb said:
Hi Fred,

The Quatrac 2 is pretty grippy, and I think outperforms the stock Contis in hot turns and hard braking. Even if you are not into "spirited" driving, that ability to grab the road can be critical in a small vehicle where your best safety system is still the car's ability to do what you tell it to do and get out of the way of trouble. They're particularly good (for all-season tires) in cold, wet/slushy conditions. Dedicated winter treads are still the best ticket, but if you don't want to go that route, Quatrac 2 is a good choice for crappy weather where winters are moderate. But if wear longevity is your thing, the soft compound used in the Vredesteins probably won't be your best choice.

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