Choosing New Rims for Your Car? Here Are Some Helpful Tips

  • Jul 01, 2016

Although it is common for several people to continue using the same set of wheels in their vehicles, new rims can provide a brand new look and feel to the old gas guzzler in your garage. While it would cost a fortune if you ever decide to make some body modifications to your old car, changing the rims is far more convenient. New rims on your car can not only add a completely fresh look but can also improve the vehicle’s performance. The ‘Rim’ actually refers to the outer edge of the wheel that secures the rubber tire firmly in place. Hence it is clear that the term ‘rim’ isn’t the same as changing the tires. Even if you like a particular set of rims, that doesn’t mean it would be fit for your car. There are several important factors that one needs to consider before he/she decides to go shopping for new wheels. Even if you’re new at car customization and are confused as to what you should pick for your car, here are some helpful pointers that may come in handy.


1. Wheel and Size

The most important thing even before you start looking for a good design is to know what rim size will fit be for your car. If you use the same size as your older wheels there is no chance you’d go wrong, but why to replace them in the first place if you’re not looking for a size upgrade. Larger rims will certainly be more expensive and might have a considerable effect on your vehicle’s performance. But just because you can buy larger wheels, doesn’t mean they’d be great for your car. Buying rims that fit should be your first priority and for best results, it is always better to use a tire size calculator.


2. Maximum Load

Each set of wheels have a maximum load limit and it is extremely important to know the maximum load limit. Load limit is usually embossed out on the respective rims and all you need to do is multiply the specified figure by 4 and you get the total load limit of your vehicle. Hence, whenever you plan on replacing your older wheels, make sure that the maximum weight limit specified on the rims should exceed or be equivalent to older ones. Larger sized wheels would also mean a slight increase in the overall kerb weight, that can affect your vehicle’s handling. You could also look for alloy wheels that allow you to increase the maximum load without increasing the kerb weight.

lug patterns

3. Bolt Pattern

What if you bought flashing new rims but they won’t fit your car due to a mismatch in the bolt pattern? While this sounds like a detail only an idiot could miss, it is easy to forget what bolt pattern your wheels need to have. The lug patterns can be either 4-lug, 5-lug, 6-lug and 8-lug for various vehicles. E.g. A pattern number of 6 x 5.5 means, each tire requires 6 lugs of 5.5 mm. The distance between the bolt holes also differs for each pattern and one needs to be extremely careful of what pattern they choose. You could also consider replacing your mounting surface, but that would certainly mean an increase in the budget.

backspacing guide

4. Backspacing

Another important aspect that you need to consider is the wheel backspacing. For those who do not know what it is, Backspacing refers to the length from the mounting surface to the back of the wheel. This size will vary based on the offset you choose. A positive off-set will see the mounting surface bolted close to the wheel’s front, while a negative offset requires the mounting surface to be closer to the wheel’s rear. A zero offset, however, requires the mounting surface to be placed right in the center of the wheel’s cavity. This is important as each vehicle model has a different backspacing size and if you buy the wrong size, there are high chances these rims won’t fit your car.

Once you have taken care of these above pointers, all you need to do is choose a spoke pattern that goes best with your car. It would be difficult for us to provide any help with choosing a good design as people’s choices are highly subjected to their personal tastes. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned tips will certainly provide you some degree of know-how on changing your wheels and rims.


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