Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - Advocate

Hi. My recently purchased car comes with the correct 'special edition' 17" wheels and 205/45 17 tyres.

The 'standard' version of the same car comes with 15" or 16" wheels (not sure) - and a somewhat softer ride.

Swapping the wheels isn't an option - the alloys are colour-coded to this edition, and replacement would in any case be too expensive.

So, a couple of options occur to me! The first is to go slightly wider at 215 at the next change, whilst retaining the 45 profile. Yes this will mean the over diameter will increase by a few percent, but this should still keep the indicated speed within the required range ( currently reading the same few % high). I'm thinking that the slightly increased width - and height - of the tyres will lead to two benefits; (1) the side walls won't be as 'vertical' as they currently are (on 7" rims) so will be more 'cushioney', and (2) my alloy rims won't be as mangled by kerbing as they currently are...

Thoughts on this, please?!

Another Q - most of the replacement tyres I'm looking at are rated 'XL' as in 'extra-load' as if this is a 'good thing'! Does anyone know if XL tyres will also tend to be 'stiffer' than standard tyres - ie, for me a 'bad thing'?!


Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - bolt

By putting 215`s on you are only making the tyre wider, the 45 means sidewall is 45% of tyre tread width so your not gaining diameter,

to do that you need to go up to 50% 55% or more but you need to make sure you have the clearance on both locks of steering left and right in case the tyres hit inside wheel arch

also check with insurance co to make sure they cover the change of tyres spec

If I remember rightly C3 standard tyre is 175mm 65% 16" poss sr, you could check online about that to confirm

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - quizman

Bolt, if you fit wider tyres with the same aspect ratio they will have a larger diameter.

45% of 215 is 96.75

45% of 205 is 92.25

So the diameter of the tyre will be 4.25 mm more and the ride hight will be 2.125 mm more. Not much but there is a difference.

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - quizman

And of course, if you fit tyres not specified for your car, the insurance will be invalid.

The XL tyres will make the ride firmer as the other poster has said.

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - Cyd

My saab 9-3 Aero comes with 235/45/17 tyres. When I bought it, it was fitted with Continental Sport Contacts in XL rating of 97Y. I checked the manual and found the rating required to be 94Y (ie not XL). I changed to Goodyear Eagle F1s in 94Y (though the tyre dealer tried to tell me that I must have XLs on this car - till I showed him the manual).

I can report that the Goodyears are superior to the Contis in just about every respect and that the ride was much improved. there was a very slight loss of steering precision (which I was expecting) but it is only slight and the other benefits are worth it. BTW I've had 31k out of the set and will need a new set in about 2k time - well pleased with that on a 260 horse, 1625Kg FWD car!!

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - gordonbennet

Going one size wider alone i doubt you would even tell the difference.

You might by changing brand and type of tyre make a small difference, but not enough to write home about, road noise and grip vary far more than ride differences between the brands.

TBH 17" 45 aspect is a ludicrous size on such a light car, bound to end up a boneshaker ride.

I suspect the standard versions of your car are softer sprung too.

Edited by gordonbennet on 30/11/2014 at 16:02

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - Peter.N.

I think the only way you will make a discernable difference is by fitting smaller wheels, you need to increase the sidewall height considerably to get a decent ride.

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - S40 Man

Have you priced up alloy wheel tyre combo's on-line? A set of tyres and alloys could be around £420 at wheelbase alloys. Not too much more than 4 new tyres. Maybe £30 each extra for each wheel. I got set a while ago and they look ok. My my Mondeo can with ugly steelies and these were same price for me as 4 new tyres. They were 205 on alloys vs 215 existing tyres which are a lot more.

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}

You need not mangle wheels. Many tyres have rim protectors built in to them. I always something I look for when changing tyres.

Doing a wheel swap with another owner/the garage may be a possible way to get different wheels.

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - Advocate

Many thanks everyone for you thoughts - all good stuff.

Yes, I don't expect a transformation with such a small tweak, but just wondered - since the tyres will need replacing some time soon anyway - whether it would be worth it.

And, yes, the increase in diameter will be marginal - 45% of the extra 10mm width. I wondered, tho', whether having the sidewalls perhaps not so 'vertical' as they currently are might help? Ie - at the moment the tyres are almost exactly the wheel width, so the sidewalls are pretty much straight upwards, so hardly 'cushiony'!

The other issue was the mangled wheels - the OE Michelins do have a rubber ridge around its perimeter designed, I guess, to protect the wheels, but needless to say they are useless - the gentlest brush with a kerb still allows the alloy to make contact, and this was clearly a specialism of the previous owner. I'm hoping an extra 5mm of rubber will help there...

The XL issue is interesting. A C3 Picasso is a lightweight little beast, so trying to avoid XL would make sense for a fractionally softer ride. And, yes, the other issues are also important, as the road noise level inside the car can be dreadful on some surfaces (my poor old Zafira was whisper-quiet in comparison...)

Sadly, swapping the actual wheels ain't an option as they are cosmetically design-specific to this 'Ltd Ed' model. An irony I can't get over is that for 'large' 17" wheels on what is a small/medium-sized car, the wheels still look stupidly small in the arches...


Edited by Advocate on 02/12/2014 at 13:36

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - gordonbennet

If road roar is bugging you, then this thread started by me some time ago might give you some ideas, our C2VTS HDi and yes that was fitted with idiotic tyre sizes (195/45 x16) was unbearable, doing this simple cheap DiY soundproofing exercise quietened things down a lot.

The OE Michelin Pilotes on the C2 were awful, noisy and prone to torque steer, refitting with Vredestein Sportrac 3 proved quieter and cured the torque steer, might have been a slightly better ride but only insomuch that you lost 4 fillings per 10k miles instead of 5.

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - tads

at last someone who has the problem sorry,i brought a c3 picasso sellection in 2015 having the 17"blade alloys .The ride and handling is terrible also the gearing is all wrong when doing 30 mph in 4th the engine is labouring because the revs are only about 750rpm and thats tickover.Took it back to Citroen twice and they found nothing wrong.

Citroen C3 - How to 'soften' a low-profile ride! - dadbif
I have had my c3 Picasso since Jan 2010, same wheels and tyres, I have just fitted Kumho tyres tgat have revolutionised the ride. 30 in 4th? Use your gearbox, you should be in 3rd!!!!

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