Temecula Auto Repair and Radiator / 2001 Tahoe LT
  2001 Tahoe LT

I am looking for some advice. My 2001 Tahoe LT is in desperate need of tires. (The local tire store) cannot replace the tires with the same size that is on it right now. The previous owner of the Tahoe changed out the rims and put on larger 265/75/16 tires. The recommended tire is a 245/75/16. The larger tire exceeds the 3% difference over manufacturer's recommendation (the tire store) is allowed to work with. However, the smaller tire will fit on the custom rim, but is at the limit. I'd like to put the Michelins on my truck, but I'm afraid the smaller tire might look silly on those rims. I plan on driving this truck for a long time. I'm now wondering if I should find original rims and put the recommended size tire back on the truck. I trust your opinion! I have been so pleased with the work you've done on our cars
Name Icon Admin
2010-11-19 19:30
This is a darned good question, but I'll warn you early that you might not like my answer! The short answer is yes, you should find original rims and put the original factory-size tires back on the Tahoe. The long answer goes back many years into the engineering archives at General Motors. Despite what many folks like to think, the engineers employed by the auto manufacturers are awfully smart people. They've considered every possible use for your vehicle. They've designed the suspension, the tires, the brakes, the vehicle weight distribution, the shocks, the interior, the sway bars, THE SPARE TIRE, etc., all with maximum performance in every situation in mind. Then, the first thing the proud new owner does is throw all that work out the window by changing what are probably the most important items on the car... the tires. Not to mention the wheels! The width, the offset, the flex, EVERYTHING about those wheels and tires are considered and accounted for. Are aftermarket wheels going to work like original? Nope. No way. In fact, you really shouldn't get me started on aftermarket wheels! Handling problems, tire wear, brake pulsation, shoot there just isn't anything bad that they won't contribute to. Here's what it boils down to; If you're really sure you like the look of the wheels and larger tires, and you're willing to sacrifice some performance, mileage, and handling, then with some searching you can no doubt find someone willing to mount them. But if you'd like the rig to run, drive, ride, and handle like it did when it was new... put on the factory stuff. You'll thank me the first time you drive it afterward
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Basics of California Smog Check Program

What is a Directed Vehicle? In order to comply with state law, the California Department of Consumer Affairs along with the Bureau of Automotive Repair (DCA/BAR) directs a portion of the vehicles registered in Enhanced Smog Check Areas of California to Test-Only and Gold Shield stations. These vehicles are called Directed Vehicles. Enhanced Areas are those parts of the state with "serious" ozone pollution problems.

What is a Test-Only?
 Test-Only facilities are licensed Smog Check stations that, by law, are only allowed to test cars; they cannot repair or service them. Any needed repairs must be performed elsewhere at either a Smog Check station designated as a Test-Repair or Gold Shield station.  Because of this unbiased status, test only stations are certified to smog all vehicles in Califronia.

What is a Gold Shield station? A Gold Shield station has met certain performance criteria and is now authorized to inspect Directed Vehicles. Gold Shield stations can perform State-Subsidized repairs under the Consumer Assistance Program (CAP). So basically Gold Shield stations perform the same test inspections as a Test Only station but, if your vehicle fails at their shop, they can charge for repairs.  If the state of California finds that a Gold Shield station is doing anything illegal or dishonest, there directed vehicle status will be pulled indefinetely. 

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