What tyres are people using on their D Model?

At the Citroen Car Club D Rally last weekend, I was curious as to what tyres people are using on their cars. My recommendations are in another article, but what are people actually using?


Of the 20 cars I checked on the Saturday evening, it was pleasing to see the majority were wearing Michelin rubber.  Seven of the 20 had Michelin tyres front and rear and a further two had Michelins on the front only.

The next most popular tyre choice was Vredestein with six cars having them on the front wheels and five having them on the rear. Federals were next with two cars having them on the front and three with Federal tyres on the rear.

Hankook and Kumho were also represented with one car each having them on the front and the same number with them on the rear. Bridgestone 195/80 x 15 were on the front of another car and the remaining rear wheels wore Nankang, Firestone and Courier Driver (185/65×15) tyres.


I say it’s pleasing to see the majority of the cars wearing Michelin rubber and I always quote the Textar brake pad example when people ask why they should fit Michelin tyres when there are cheaper alternatives.

Textar used to make the original brake pads for D models and these were sold via Citroen and later via the aftermarket. They were a bit pricey, but by far the best brake pad available. An inferior alternative came on the market at about half the price and so many people bought the cheap alternative, oblivious to the shortcomings of these pads and only seeing the price, that demand for the good Textar pads dropped to the point where Textar stopped making them. Now people who actually drive their cars and notice if the brakes are working properly or not and who want/need the good pads cannot get them.

It is also possible that this could happen with Michelin tyres. If too many people buy tyres based on price rather than quality, they could be endangering the supply of the good tyres for everyone else. OK, unlike the brake pads, it’s not just Citroen D models that these tyres fit, so the market is much larger and the likelihood of demand dropping below economical production level is much less, but it’s worth thinking about.


I know lot of D owners take their car out only a few times a year and are unable to justify spending more than absolutely necessary on tyres which will likely perish with age long before they are worn out, and that’s fine, I understand. But anyone who uses their car a lot should really be using the good stuff as the more Michelins are used, the longer the price will stay down to an affordable level. They are the right size and have the right characteristics for your car after all.


6 Comments on “What tyres are people using on their D Model?”

  1. Gaz says:

    Hi all
    I was fortunate to have Michelins on the DS when I purchased it. Although they will need changing at some point will I replace them with Michelins maybe maybe not. It all depend on personal circamstanses. Just say i need 4 new tyres and a track rod end and some welding. I could buy the Michelins but that leaves me short for the rest of the work so now the DS is off the road but there’s a cheaper alternative tyre. So that allows me to have the rest of the work done,DS is now on the road, happy days or you could do the welding work and track rod yourself that allows you to buy the Michelins.
    I’ve always believed you should buy the very best you can afford.
    If you can afford Michelins buy them ( they were designed for the car) if you can’t don’t. What’s more important than keeping your DS on the road.

    • Dan Fletcher says:

      Hi D owners – I agree completely with Gaz’s sentiments.

      Once my ID19 had been restored (a couple of years ago) I couldn’t afford to buy 5 new Michelins (180 OR 185 profile). Also, I had decided to run it on the narrower 5″ rims (round centre hole). When I got the car it came with three 5″ and one 5.5″ wheels (and no spare). I acquired some extra 5″ rims (thanks Darrin) and had them all powder coated.

      Tyres – I was keen to run the same size tyres all round (many Ds were supplied with narrower tyres on the back). I decided I was going to run 165s all round (Nigel Wild was horrified). I went to my local cheap tyre depot and asked them what they could supply. There were 3 choices all about the £70 – £90 mark, including Hancook and Federal. I chose to buy 5 new Vredestein T-Trac (not Vredestein Classic) 165-80 at about £70 each. These work well – the wet grip is fantastic (I think considerably better than even the wider Michelins, but I’m not being very scientific).

      There are 2 downsides: the tyre ‘thump’ is much greater than Michelins (they obviously have a stiffer sidewall, but this helps the handling), and the fronts are showing signs of wear after only 2 or 3 thousand miles. But I will replace them 2 at a time at whatever price they are at when I need them. If I’m feeling particularly flush I might even replace the fronts with Michelin (for comfort) – but I suspect I would then get understeer, so it’s unlikely.

      My only comment about the Michelins – I’m sure 90% of D owners would probably buy Michelin for the comfort – if they weren’t so expensive in the first place (even the 165s). The possible exception to this might be in the Netherlands (where I believe most Ds run Vredesteins because they are made there).

      Can of worms?

      Sorry I missed the D Rally this year . . .


  2. David Cherrick says:

    Hello Citroen friends,
    Regarding tires and the practice of replacing two tires at a time, meaning usually the car has two relatively new tires at the front and the two older, worn tires at the rear. Allow me to tell my story. I am a retired Honda (Acura division actually) factory service rep. About 15 years ago, Michelin invited us to hold one of the division’s rep meetings at their tire testing facility in North (or was it south) Carolina. During our non classroom time, they had set up various demonstrations for us on their test track facilities. The one I will never forget is the large diameter, concrete skid pad test. This skid pad had one rainbird sprinkler in the middle which allowed them to wet the pad. For the test, they provided us with two identical Acura Integra automobiles (front wheel drive). One car had 4 new Michelins on it, the other had 2 new Michelins on the front and two older, (not illegal by any means, perhaps 1/2 or 5/8 of the tread still left). The pad had a white line painted around it, probably about a 150 ft diameter. The rainbird was operating and keeping the concrete wet.
    Our job in this test was to drive the car around the circle, and keep it on the white painted line. Gradually increase the speed of the car until you can not keep the car on the circle. When you can’t keep it on the circle, just slow down a bit and get it back on the circle. This was interesting.
    About 50 reps took part in the test. Most reps were men. Many of our reps were drawn to the car business because they liked cars, drove them aggressively, and felt they were pretty good drivers. Let the tests begin.
    Each driver started out in the car with 4 Michelins. The driver’s did as they were instructed, no drama. Then they immediately switched to the car with 1/2 gone tires on the rear. They slowly increased speed, and then, all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, the rear would let go and they would spin the car off the pad. Out of 50 drivers, only 3 had reflexes fast enough to catch the car before it looped off the pad!
    The lessons here are two fold. (1) With a front wheel drive car, you should not run two new tires on the front and two used tires on the rear. (2.) If you do run two worn tires on your car, put them on the front and put the new tires on the rear. I know, number (2) is counter intuitive as the front does all the braking, steering and accelerating, but if you drive in wet, or snowy conditions, the more controllable car is the one with the worn tires on the front. With the worn tires on the front, as you go around a curve, if you are carrying too much speed, the front of the car will start to deviate from your desired path around the curve, and the natural reaction is too lift up the gas pedal. This transfers weight and traction to the front, and slows the car down to a speed that is “ok” for the curve. At that point you can just steer the car back to the desired line around the curve, no spin out, no drama.

    • Gaz says:

      Gaz again
      I think I’m right that the DS runs with 180 front and 165 rear this would mean if the fronts wear out you would be unable to transfer the rears to the front and put the new tyres on the back, has anyone worked out mileages on non Michelin tyres. I was chatting with a chap on Saturday at the D rally and he said that he had done 20000 miles on his Michelins and there still as good as new.

      • Originally European market DS’s had the narrower tyres on the rear (except fuel injected models), whereas most export models had the same size all around. These days it’s more practical to have 180’s or 185’s all around so you can shift the rears forward when the fronts wear out. Cheers, Darrin

  3. AlGrayson says:

    On any car, FWD or RWD, your best, newest tires belong on the REAR. Rear end skidding (oversteer) is much more difficult for the ordinary driver to detect and recover from than front end “plowing” (understeer). If the car does lose control on a slippery road it is preferable to crash with the front straight-on than to collide with the side of the car. Pick-up or lorry trucks exhibit “swapping ends” severely when running empty.My 1990 Chevrolet/GMC 3500 1 ton pickup has a sort of antilock brake applied to the rear only to reduce rear end skidding danger.
    A few SMs had the brake master valve incorrectly plumbed. The pressure that was supposed to supply the front brakes went to the rear and the pressure from the rear suspension supplied the front brake valve. A recall was supposed to have corrected this extremely dangerous defect but there may be a possibility that a few were missed. NHTSA (USA) recall history goes back only 15 years.

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