When people upgrade the wheels on their car, it is generally to improve performance and aesthetics. Installing a new set of wheels and tires will significantly change the looks of your car. It can also enhance its performance, depending on the type of wheels that you install.

Things to consider before upgrading your wheels

(Pixabay / SHRAVANKUMAR)

Before deciding on a new set of wheels and tires, consider the following:

  • Understand your tires – You may have taken note of that set of numbers and letters on the sidewall of your tires but not known exactly what it means. Those identifiers are important in helping you understand what your tires can do for your car. The smallest tire available for a typical sedan, such as a Honda Civic, displays “215/55R 16 93H.” The 215 figure refers to the section width of the tire, or the sidewall-to-sidewall distance, measured in millimeters. The number 55 refers to the aspect ratio of the sidewall against the section width of the tire. R stands for radial construction. The number 16 refers to the interior diameter that is designed to fit on a 16-inch wheel. The number 93 refers to the load index. The letter H refers to the tire’s speed rating, which is good for 130 mph.
  • Hub size – To decide on the size of wheel you will use, you can measure the width and diameter. You also need to consider the bolt pattern to determine if the wheel will fit. The sizes of the wheel’s hub depends on the vehicle’s make and model. A typical 16-inch wheel has a five-lug bolt pattern. Bolt pattern is expressed in terms of measurements such as 5×100, which simply means that there are five wheel studs with a diameter of 100 millimeters. Make sure you have the right hub size and bolt pattern before you purchase a new set of wheels.
  • Fitting in – You may have considered size and bolt pattern, but you’re not off the hook yet. You also need to consider the offset and backspacing. Offset refers to the distance from the wheel’s dead center to its mounting surface, while backspacing refers to the distance from the wheel’s back to the mounting surface. You must ensure that there is sufficient space in both the offset and backspacing.
  • Plus sizing – Installing a set of wheels that is larger than the stock is popular among car owners. It provides a sporty, luxurious look to the car, plus it lends more grip on the road.

Upgrading to a new set of wheels may be quite expensive, and some people try to work around it by buying used wheels. Note that this can be quite risky because they may purchase abused or stolen sets. Get your new set of wheels and tires from reputable Utah auto repair shops. Get Utah tire shop recommendations from other consumers who are happy with their wheel purchase and the customer service they received.