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OK, this is going to be a stupid question, but I need to see if I have a problem or not. I just got 4 new tires Guardsman Plus P175/65R14 81S put on my 2007 Fit. They seem to seat differently on the rims than the previous tires.
I am used to having the hubcap sit almost flush against the rubber tire, but now I can completely see the outer edge of the rim on all four tires.
Shouldn't the new tires fit the same as the previous tires if they are the same size? Do I have an installation issue that could potentially be dangerous? Or am I worrying over nothing?
I'm pretty sure you're worrying for no need. I suppose that it's possible that the design of the new tires is slightly different right at the bead of the tire than what you had on before and thus you are noticing more of hubcap/wheel rim. But I think that what's going on is that you're simply noticing something that you didn't before. It's also possible that the rims and hubcaps got cleaner around the edge when the new tires got put on and again, it's catching your eye.
The tires have to seat themselves properly on the rim to hold air. You can do a poor job of installing tires, like putting them on a corroded or dirty rim so that they'd leak, but I think it would be really hard to seat them on a rim incorrectly with the machines they use.
Some tires have what is called a "rim protector" - a ridge of rubber near the rim edge that sticks out beyond the edge of the rim to protect it from curb damage. Not all tires have that feature - and not all tires that have the feature have it to the same degree (some are big and heavy, and some are shallow and light).
So, no, the important parts of the tire may sit the same on the rims, but they may look completely different.
Not to mention that wheel covers sometimes don't quite seat the same as they originally did. The plastic and retention ring can get a little softer from being removed and pressed back into the rim, and the wheel cover might not sit as snug to the rim as it used to.
My daughter's 2007 Versa lost all 4 original wheel covers at about 90,000 miles because they simply didn't fit as tight after all the tire rotations.
Good illustration of Tire/Rim Protectors at Tire Rack
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