Owners of Chevrolet Silverado have a question they like to ask. It is: what size tires can I put on my chevy Silverado 1500? The best tire size will depend on the terrain you ride your car on.
If you take your Chevy truck off-roading, you need to do ground clearance. It will keep your vehicle above the ground to protect its mechanical parts from rocks and other hard surfaces.
You achieve ground clearance mainly in two ways. Some use lifting kits, while others fit larger wheels. Both methods work, so it is upon you to find the better of the two.
We have created a guide to help you choose the best tires for your stock Chevrolet 1500 truck.
What Happens When You Put Bigger Tires on Your stock chevy 1500 Truck?
As hinted earlier, many people fit bigger tires on their Chevy 1500 truck to lift it.
Unless you always drive on the road, consider the advantages and disadvantages of putting bigger tires on your Chevy truck.
Here are the advantages to expect:
- Larger wheels modify your truck just the way you want. They lift it higher to create ground clearance.
- Larger wheels and tires perform better on rough terrains with rocks, soil, and gravel. They create more traction and improve braking. When fitting larger tires, you must install a larger brake rotor. Hence, you can enhance your auto’s braking distance and performance.
- Bigger tires can enhance your Chevrolet truck towing ability.
- Large-diameter wheels and tires can add to a truck’s aesthetics. It can appear longer, wider, and lower.
Disadvantages of fitting larger trucks on your truck are:
- You will pay more to have larger truck wheels. They will be more expensive to install, repair, or replace them later.
- Some bigger tires’ sidewalls are thinner. A combination of thinner tires and larger wheels can worsen your ride. In short, your truck may produce noise when you drive it.
- Bigger tires with thinner sidewalls damage faster than normal ones because there is less air cushioning between them and the road. If you buy tires with thicker sidewalls, you might have to calibrate the odometer, speedometer, and tire pressure sensors.
- Bigger wheels can lower fuel economy because they are bulkier. As well, they add strain to the brakes and suspension. If these parts wear down faster, you must replace them often. If you do not fit larger brake rotors also, you may ruin your suspension and brakes too soon.
- A lift kit can help you fit larger wheels and tires. However, it will cost you more to get a lift. Secondly, raising your truck too high increases its center of gravity and chances of tipping over.
So, do you need bigger truck wheels? Note that large wheels and tires are beneficial only if you drive off the road often. If you do not, they are not worth the cost.
What Size Tires Can I Put on My Chevy Silverado 1500?
How to Read Tire Dimensions
What size tires can I put on my chevy Silverado 1500? Before you purchase anything, learn how to pick the correct tires for your Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
Manual or booklet that came with your truck will reveal this information. Even so, you should read and understand what the numbers mean.
The sequence of numbers and letters on every auto tire has a meaning.
We will discuss that here to help you understand. Be careful when purchasing optional tires with larger sizes.
In addition to learning how to read the tire measurements on the sidewalls, consult an expert.
Optional tires require more rim diameter and unique inflation pressure because they feature different load capacities.
It is vital to interpret the following correctly and you can learn more from this YouTube video:
You will find two types of metric sizing on the sidewall of tires. These are the P-Metric and the Euro-Metric. Lightweight pickups often have P-Metric tires.
The first letter in the sequence is P. It is the Standard letter used to identify tires for SUVs, cars, and ½ tone or smaller pickups. Euro-Metric tires do not have any letter starting the sequence.
Both metric size tires, P-Metric and Euro-Metric, are ideal for the passenger autos listed above. To distinguish between heavy-duty light trucks and light trucks, tire manufacturers add a different size designation.
If you have a ¾ ton or larger truck or van, you may require LT-Metric or Euro-Metric Commercial tires.
These tires look like the P-Metric and Euro-Metric tires in structure but have other characters representing tire size. The LT-Metric begins with an LT.
These tires have two load index numbers plus a Load Range. Letters L and T refer to Light Truck tires. Euro-Metric Commercial(C-type) tires look like the passenger Euro-Metric tires, but they have a letter C after the rim size.
C-type tires have two load index numbers, and they fit trucks that can carry bulky loads. Lastly, you can find temporary Spares that begin with a letter T. Some may read ST, meaning they are for a special trailer. Factors to consider when buying a metric-sized tire are:
- Tire Width – The number that comes first in a series represents the width of a tire. Width designation is usually in millimeters. Above, we have discussed various metric sizes. If we consider a P-Metric tire, P225/70R16 91S, the number 225 represents the tire width.
- Aspect Ratio – AR designates the tire’s height. It usually appears as a percentage. In the above number sequence, AR is 70 percent.
- Type of internal construction – Integrity and stability of tires come from what is inside them. The letter that shows the internal construction in the above metric sequence number is R. R means Radial. If you stumble upon D or B, they refer to Diagonal and Bias Ply respectively. Radial tires are more prevalent in the US. The internal components of R tires follow a radial dimension, which is perpendicular to the direction of rotation. If you notice ZR, it refers to the speed rating higher than V. RF, which refers to the run-flat-tire.
- Diameter code – Note that we mean the diameter of the rim in inches. It is the gap onto which a tire can fit. In the same number series shown above, the rim diameter is 16 inches.
- Load Index – Next to the rim diameter code, the load index figure follows. Load index represents the weight that a tire can withstand when inflated. The load index number does not reflect the actual pounds a tire can handle. Instead, it matches a given load capacity shown in the load index list. It starts with 1 and ends with 150. All numbers in the load index symbolize the carrying capacities of between 99 lbs. to 7,385lbs. Standard Load passenger tires do not have load index marks. In contrast, Extra Load tires will show an XL mark at the end of several series. P-Metric and Euro-Metric passenger tires have one load index number. Other kinds, LT-Metric and C-Type, have two load index numbers split with a slash. Another thing to note is that two tires with the same load index number could handle a different maximum weight in pounds. That is if you have P-Metric and Euro-Metric tires. If this gets so confusing, consider asking your mechanic or Chevy vehicle dealer for advice.
- Speed Rating – In any tire size series, there will be a figure indicating the speed rating. If you notice a letter S after the tire’s load index, the correct speed rating is 112. If you see a letter R, the speed rating for that tire is 106mph. When replacing your Chevrolet 1500 tires, choose those showing the original tire’s speed rating. Remember that having tires with different speed ratings affects the auto’s top speed. The speed rating of the slowest tire will determine the truck’s maximum velocity.
When answering what size tires can I put on my Chevy Silverado 1500, consider the floatation sizing. Although metric sizing is more common, floatation sizing format is also available.
Tires featuring this format are ideal for SUVs and light trucks. However, you cannot use these tires in dual applications the way you can with LT-Metric tires.
Secondly, the load capacities of a floatation-sized tire and LT-Metric tires can vary even if the wheels have a similar size. Unlike metric-sized wheels where the first number shows the tire width, the first number on flotation-sized wheels shows the diameter.
The next number shows the tire width, while the third letter indicates the kind of internal construction. The next code represents the rim diameter, and the LT (light truck) letters will follow. In metric sizing and flotation sizing, Load Index and Speed Rating figures mean the same. See the correct sizes below:
Steel or Aluminum Wheel – 17-inch by 8-inch
- P255/70R17: All-season
- P265/70R17: All-season
- On the LT, RST, Custom Trail Boss, Custom, and WT
Aluminum Wheel – 18inch by 8.5-inch
- P265/65R18: All-terrain or all-season
- On the LT, LTZ, Custom Trail Boss, WT, LT Trail Boss, High Country, Custom
Aluminum Wheel – 20-inch by 9-inch
- P275/60R20: All-terrain, All-season
- On the RST, LTZ, LT Trail Boss, WT, LT, Custom, High Country, Custom Trail Boss
Aluminum Wheel – 22-inch by 9-inch
- P275/50R22: All-season
- On the High Country
How Big of a Tire Can I Fit on My Silverado?
Stock Chevrolet Silverado 1500 owners want to know if they can fit a tire larger than 33 inches. The best tire you can fit on your Chevy Silverado 1500 with a leveling kit or wheel spacers is the 3-inch wheel.
If you need higher ground clearance, you should fit a larger tire. Nevertheless, a higher lift of two to three inches will demand a suspension upgrade and perhaps new aftermarket rims.
All in all, you need to do slight wheel modifications when fixing 33-inch tires on your Silverado 1500. Chevy manufacturer does not leave enough wheel arch clearance, making it harder to fit a 33-inch or a larger tire.
So, you must cut and trim the plastic fenders. Here you might need professional help if you cannot cut and modify your truck well.
The following YouTube Video shows how to install a big tire on a 2-wheel drive Chevrolet Silverado. Check it out:
How much does it cost?
When thinking about the cost of a tire, consider the purchase price and the cost of installation.
If you need a bigger tire, you might have to do tire modifications. Someone may have to help you and charge you a particular price.
Cost of buying a tire depends on the brand, the type of terrain you cover, and whether you will install it yourself.
Roughly, you may need to pay a maximum of fifty dollars for tire installation. To get an idea of how much you can spend on a tire, here are some Amazon links:
- Michelin Defender LTX – All-Season Radial – 265/70R16 112T
- Firestone Destination LE3 – 235/60R18 103H
- Yokohama Parada Spec-X
Should I use leveling kits with the biggest tires on Chevy?
Yes, wheel spacers are ideal when solving suspension issues. They can enhance backspacing, which may help increase tire width.
Spacers may improve the beauty of your truck. For ground clearance of the upper inside of your wheel arch, you need a leveling kit.
Although installing this kit may not boost auto performance when driving off-the-road or carrying bulky stuff, it will elevate your truck.
After installing the kit, do only slight wheel modifications to ensure your 33-inch wheel fits well.
More Question On Chevy Silverado 1500 Tire Size
Should you buy thin tires? Are they efficient at all?
When you purchase tires with a thin sidewall, you do not have to cut and trim your plastic liners or mud flaps.
Unfortunately, you might damage your thin tires too soon and need an upgrade. They are efficient and safe, but they wear down quickly.
Do you need a suspension leveling kit if using a 33-inch wheel?
Yes, you can get a kit for your Chevrolet Silverado 1500 to avoid doing severe wheel modifications. It is costly but super helpful.
What happens to fuel economy when you use larger tires?
When you fix larger wheels on your Silverado 1500, it will consume more fuel. These wheels and tires are heavier, and the stock suspensions are not fit for them.
Buying the correct size tires for Stock Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is easy if you know what to do. When searching for the best largest tire to put on your truck, select the 33-inch wheel.
Make sure you have it professionally installed if you cannot do the wheel modifications by yourself.
Using larger tires than normal has its merits and demerits, as we have explained above.
If you drive off-the-road most of the times, consider installing larger tires on your Silverado 1500. Do not install them if you always drive on highways.
What size tires can I put on my Chevy Silverado 1500? We hope you will use the information in this article to find answers for this question.