A Guide to Upgrading Wheels and Tires

A Guide To Upgrading OEM Wheels And Tires


Whether looking for OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or aftermarket (not designed for a specific vehicle) wheels and tires, it is essential to have the right sizes or functionality in mind. While OEM wheels/tires more readily fit, there are still some things to check when upgrading.


Wheel Diameter


Getting the right sized wheel or tire is important. Measure the current wheels and get the same sized one. Wheel diameter is the distance from one end of the wheel to the opposite end or top to bottom. The face, or the part of the wheel that can be seen, is what takes the measurement. 




Wheel offset is the distance between the wheel centerline and the hub mounting surface. This is measured in millimeters and is positive when the wheel is pushed outward towards the street, negative when the wheel is pushed inwards toward the car, and zero when the wheel is even with the centerline.


Determining the offset of wheels is important for the balance of the car’s suspension, especially around bumps. A positive offset is more common now because it gives better handling, but pushing too far in or out can be bad for the handling.


Hub Size 


The hub is at the center of the wheel. The wheel bore must be at least the same size as the hub to fit over it. If the bore is larger than the hub it may not be centered when bolted, but it can be fit using hub centric rings which tighten the grip. 




Wheels are important, but much of the feel of the car comes from the tires. Well-fitted tires aren’t necessary, but a loose fit can cause damage from becoming unseated.


Staggering is another aspect of wheels that need to be taken into account. Vehicles with front-wheel drive will want heavier tires in the front and those with rear-wheel drive want heavier tires in the back. This is also affected by how the force of braking wears down tires. Average cars will wear down the front wheel more based on the force of inertia. Trucks will have more weight placed on their rear wheels when braking because the center of gravity is tilted more towards the back.


Hole patches can be dangerous when buying used tires. A patch on the inside of the tread can be fine, but one near the side can be dangerous. The sides expand when pressed and can create extra pressure on the patch which will end up popping.


Wheels Direct provides OEM rims including wheel/tire sets which remove the need for measuring the tires since they already are measured to fit on the wheel. Visit www.oemwheelsdirect.com to browse our 100% satisfactory rated eBay inventory and get wheels, tires, or parts shipped for free to the U.S.

Changing your tire size can be confusing at the best of times, especially if you’re on the lookout for a new car or looking to change your tire size on your existing vehicle.