Magnetoreluctance wrote:I don't really need TPMS either since I regularly check the pressure, but most shops aren't willing to mount tires without them. Probably a liability thing.
I looked into this. It's not a liability thing it's illegal for a shop to install wheels/tires w/o a TPMS onto a car that is originally equipped with TPMS. The work around is to bring the wheels in off the vehicle and then put the wheels on yourself.
I also dug into things further. The Focuses with 15" wheels have stamped steel control arms up front. The Focuses with 16"+ wheels like the FFE have a cast aluminum front control arm. So there's the difference! I also discovered an unpleasant little surprise. When your ball joints wear out you have to replace the whole control arm. Apparently ball joints on the aluminum control arms are not replaceable
I would still try a 15" wheel if I could find a shop to allow me to test fit the wheel but I'll likely buy my wheels online and it isn't worth the hassle if it doesn't fit.