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18 Inch Wheels & Tramlining

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#1 too big wheels

too big wheels


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Posted 11 June 2010 - 07:59 PM

Hi, has anybody else got a problem with 18" alloys on an S-max and having the car steer itself - where you do not want to go - on poorer quality roads (joints, cambers.....)? I understand that this is called tramlining..... caused by wider low profile tyres & exacerbated when tyres are "extra load" with stiff sidewalls.

Car = 2007 1.8TDCi 125hp, bought second hand just before winter. As soon as the snow came I had no grip, so changed the wheels ASAP to winter tyres (215/60/R16) on steel wheels for last 5 months & no tramlining problems - now worried to put alloys back on. Tyres on alloys are 235/45/R18 continental sportcontact 2 which are worn with limited tread (2-3mm) and basically have solid bands of rubber running along the circumference and almost no tread pattern left - that is not helping also.

I need new tyres anyway, need to decide if I buy some new ones for the 18 alloys or fork out a lot of cash for new 17" or 16" wheels + tyres? Michelin Primacy HP sound to be a good choice for tyre. Any experience out there?

Who else has experience with tramlining in an S-max on 18's? Any advice on which tyre make may reduce this? If you don't see it, what tyres do you use?

Hope somebody can advise.....

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#2 cyb


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  • Name: Colin
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Posted 12 June 2010 - 07:28 AM

Whilst not owning a Smax I would suggest the tram-lining is all down to the 235 tyre width. You have both a wide tyre and a low profile rim which does tend to cause this.
You could try to reduce the tyre width but I think with 18” wheels youre not going to get less than 215 wide or maybe not lower than 225 and you’re still going to get some tramlining. :unsure:

#3 too big wheels

too big wheels


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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:36 PM

Well I went for a set of the 235/45/R18 Michelin Primacy HP tyres in the end - relatively expensive but the tramlining is gone. I drove 2500 miles on holiday to Tuscany with pretty much no pulling to one side along the way, despite the sometimes very poor road surfaces in Italy.

I did more research on this subject and tramlining is made worse with having bands of solid rubber treads around the tyre circumference - just like the old tyres that gave me problems.

I hope this information can help another person who may have the same problem.

#4 ernesteng



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  • Name: Ernest
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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:18 PM

I've got a 2010 S-Max Titanium with standard 17" factory alloys and where the tyres will need replacing in the next few months and am considering fitting 18" wheels instead.


Has anybody had any experience or known issues from going from 17" to 18" wheels without sport suspension? (I am not looking to upgrade the suspension, not that I know how to anyway.)


I drive mostly on local roads where the quality is ok, with the occasional 50mile motorway journey once/twice a month. There is of course the cost issue with getting 18" alloys, but I'd appreciate any views and comments received.

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