Get the Right Tires for Your Chevy Tahoe

January 24th, 2020 by

A close up of a discount tire, which is similar to discount tires in Cincinnati, OH, is on a 2018 Chevy Tahoe.

When trying to figure out the right-size tires for your Chevy Tahoe, it’s important that you know the model year and trim of the vehicle you have, as well as the size of the wheels. Every trim has had multiple wheel sizes available, so you need to know all of this information in order to make sure you get the right tires for your vehicle. Once you know what you’re looking for, then you can shop for the best discount tires in Cincinnati and know that you are getting the right ones for your vehicle.

We’re going to look specifically at the fourth-generation of the Chevy Tahoe, which includes models from 2015 through 2020. The good news is that essentially every year has been the same during this generation, so you won’t have to worry too much about the model year, as long as it’s within this time frame. The trims have had different wheel sizes available, but if you know the wheel size, then the tire size will be right regardless of trim.

What Size Tires Does Your Chevy Tahoe Take?

For most years, fourth-generation Chevy Tahoes have had the same three wheel sizes for the LS and LT trims, including 18-inch, 20-inch, and 22-inch wheels. If you have 18-inch wheels, then you need 265/65R18 tires (we’ll explain what that means down below); if you have 20-inch wheels, then you need 275/55R20 tires; and if you have 22-inch wheels, then you need 285/45R22 tires. 2016 models with the LS trim had only 18-inch and 22-inch wheels available, but the tire sizes remain the same.

The LTZ trim for 2015 and 2016 had two options for wheel size: either 20-inch or 22-inch. Fortunately, the tires are the same as for the other trims: 275/55R20 for 20-inch wheels and 285/45R22 for 22-inch wheels. Starting in 2017, this trim was renamed “Premier,” but the wheel options and tire sizes are exactly the same, so just see the above information for LTZ if you have a 2017 or later Chevy Tahoe Premier.

Pretty simple, right? Now you know what size tires you should look for when shopping discount tires in Cincinnati for your fourth-generation Chevy Tahoe. But what do all those numbers and letters mean? Well, keep reading, and you’ll find out.

A close up of a tire on a silver Chevy rim is shown.

Understanding Tire Size Codes

At first glance, all of those numbers and such just seem like gibberish, but they actually relate directly to the size and class of the tires your Chevy Tahoe needs. Technically, you don’t need to understand what those numbers mean. You can come to us at McCluskey Chevy, and we’ll take your Tahoe and make sure you get exactly the right tires on it. But when shopping for the best tires, knowing what you need and why can empower you as a customer so you can make sure you got exactly what you need.

So let’s take a look at the size code that you’ll find on the side of any tires and break down what each of the numbers and letters mean. A typical size code will look something like “P265/65R18.” That first letter, “P,” just indicates that you’re looking at passenger tires like you would use on a Chevy Tahoe or any other consumer vehicle. Other codes are used for tires for commercial trucks and similar vehicles, but since every Tahoe tire you find starts with “P,” we left it out in the codes above.

The first number, “265” in this example, tells you the width of the tire from one sidewall to the other measured in millimeters. So, the tires you need for 18-inch wheels on a Chevy Tahoe measure 265mm in width. The next number, after the slash, is the ratio of the height of the sidewall of your tires to their width, in millimeters, indicated as a percentage. When you see “265/65R18” that means the height of the sidewall is 65% of the width; in this case, that would make them 265mm wide and about 172mm in height. You don’t really need to figure this out, but now you know what those numbers mean.

The “R” that follows the height ratio simply means you need tires with radial construction. Pretty much all consumer tires are radials, so you’ll typically only see “R” in this spot when looking at tires for your Tahoe. Finally, the last number indicates the diameter of the wheel that the tire is designed to fit on. So in the previous example of “265/65R18,” those are tires designed to fit on 18-inch wheels. 285/45R22, on the other hand, would be tires that are wider from sidewall to sidewall and are designed for 22-inch wheels.

Choosing the Right Tire Type

Tire size is important, of course, when shopping for good tires in Cincinnati, but you also want to be sure you pick the right type of tires for your vehicle. There are quite a few different types available, often designed for particular types of vehicles or road conditions. You wouldn’t use the same tires for racing a Camaro around a track as you would for taking a Chevy Colorado out onto an off-road trail.

A row of four tires is shown.

With the Chevy Tahoe, we generally recommend all-season tires for your vehicle. These are designed with fairly deep grooves and wide tread that gives them good handling and control when driving in a wide range of weather conditions. They are not the very best for handling rain or snow, nor the absolute best for sunny summer days, but they work well in all seasons (hence the name) and are a great choice when shopping for tires.

Of course, since we can get some pretty rough winters here, we also strongly suggest that our customers get winter tires for the appropriate cold-weather months. These tires are designed to work better in cold conditions and have deep grooves that are ideal for driving in snow and slush. Standard and all-season tires can often get snow packed into their grooves quite easily, which greatly reduces control when driving in poor weather and can leave you without the traction you need for handling bad road conditions.

In general, we like to recommend that our customers use all-season tires for most of the year, since they are good for rain or shine, and switch to winter tires around November or December through the first few months of the new year. If you are particularly concerned about poor weather, there are also studded winter tires available, with metal studs on them to help with driving on ice. If you live in an area around Cincinnati that does not get salted very well and you often encounter treacherous ice on the road, then these might be right for you.

When Is It Time to Replace Your Tires?

Tires should be replaced when the tread on them begins to wear down. You can check this by placing a penny, head-down into your tire’s tread grooves. If you can see any of the top of Lincoln’s head, then it is time to replace your tires because the tread has worn down.

You should also replace your tires if there is visible damage to them or if they show signs of excess wear on the inner or outer sidewalls. Even if there is no damage to your tires, the rubber still breaks down naturally over time. You should replace your tires once they are six years old, even if they look fine, to avoid a catastrophic blowout or another disaster.
Come visit us at McCluskey Chevy for all your Tahoe and tire needs. We can help you with finding great tires.