Can I change my low-profile wheels within the warranty?

This Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 file photo shows the Mercedes logo in the grill of a Mercedes 2016 GLE SUV.
This Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 file photo shows the Mercedes logo in the grill of a Mercedes 2016 GLE SUV. –The Associated Press

People have suggested using snow tires or installing regular tires. I don’t want to do anything that could void the warranty, so how should I proceed?

Q. In February, I traded my 2011 Mercedes wagon for a 2016 Mercedes. I purchased this new model because it had all the latest safety features, which I hope makes it a safer car to drive. The car only had 26 miles on it, and it had a four-year warranty and great financing. The problem is that it has low-profile tires. I have had to replace the right-side tires twice due to poor roads and potholes during my frequent drives to Connecticut and New York. People have suggested using snow tires or installing regular tires. I don’t want to do anything that could void the warranty, so how should I proceed?

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A. The tires are most likely 40-Series low-profile tires, which are susceptible to damage from poorly maintained roads and bumping curbs. An optional tire with a smaller wheel or a larger tire that keeps the same overall tire diameter could help. Changing all four wheels and tires, however, will be an expensive solution that may only offer a marginal improvement. As you vary from the factory recommendation, you start to re-engineer the vehicle, which can have a negative impact on overall handling. It could potentially affect the warranty, too.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to jpaul@aaanortheast.com.