Anyone who’s ever suffered from ‘noisy’ tyres will sympathise with the motorist who contact the Telegraph’s brilliant motoring agony aunt Honest John, with the following gripe:
“I need advice on the tyres noise and harshness problem with my otherwise perfect Mercedes C320 CDI estate. The tranquillity in this car is utterly ruined by this idiotic tyre fit, and I am anxious to change from the standard and mandatory 225/45R17 to a 16-inch rim with a 55-profile tyre, either of 225, 215 or 205 width. MB is unhelpful on the subject, and insists that the standard fit is “essential, to handle all that torque”. The lie to this is that both the E- and S-class 320 CDI come as standard with the fatter tyres. Are you aware of any successful resolutions to this problem, and do you foresee problems with insurers?”
Honest John writes back: “While I agree with your sentiments I don’t have a tried and tested cure. You can get a W211 E320CDI on 16in wheels. I’ve driven and enjoyed one immensely round the handling tracks at MB World, Brooklands. However, if you experiment with 16s, you would have to inform your insurer. The dealer argument simply doesn’t hold up. My Focus ECOnetic is on 195/65 R15s and handles better than a Focus on 16- or 17-inch low profiles.
Denna Bowman, Head Office