Does changing rims on my car affect its performance?

Does changing out the stock rims on my car for bigger rims have an effect on anything? (suspension, gas mileage, etc.)

12 answers

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ANSWER #1 of 12

Depending on how much bigger you go. You might need to get new brakes. The stock brakes are designed to stop the stock wheels. Larger wheels are heavier and take more effort to stop. Make sure you look into a brake upgrade also.


ANSWER #2 of 12

Yes. It will affect your gas mileage, your speedometer, your suspension, your ease of turning.
If you put on taller, but not wider, wheels, you may get better gas mileage. Wider wheels you'll get worse gas mileage.
The bigger difference in size from your original wheels the more off your speedometer will be, but it can be recalibrated.
Suspension may be different if your car sits higher or lower than normal based on the size of the wheels. Having a higher or lower suspension puts undo stress upon the struts, shocks, and springs. They will require replacement in about a year of driving. (Assuming they perform like-new).
The taller and wider the wheels the harder it will be for you to turn.
Don't go out and get the low profile tires, i.e. xxx/35, and put them on your new lightweight (assuming you're not putting steelies on) wheels. The first bump, pothole, speed bump you go over you'll bend the wheel(s). Run about a xxx/45 at the shortest.

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ANSWER #3 of 12

To: whatup87
From: joseph1949

I think that filletofspam did a very good job. I would like to add my two cents.

First, in the near future I will offer the following question: Why did we starting making 16",17", 18", etc. tires. Now, if you are under fifty you may not give the correct answer. Please do some research before answering the question. It is tricky!!!

There is no great benefit in going to larger tires. Say you have 13" dia. tires and you want to go to 15" tires. In my mind, this is acceptable. If you go to a 16" tire, not so acceptable. If you go to 18" you will have some real problems. The ride will be bad. You will tramline (follow the grooves) on the interstate. If you hit a curb you will damage the wheel and your suspension. This is because the short sidewall will not absorb the shock. Your tires work like shock absorbers. The force will tranfer to the wheel and then to the suspension. The 18" will not handle all that much better than a 15". How can that be? You just spent a boatload of money. They have to handle a whole lot better!!!

Here is what makes a tire handle better:

1. Newer the rubber the better. Older the rubber the worse it is.
2. The depth of the tread is very important. For autocrossing you should having around 1/8 inch in the dry. In the wet, 1/4 inch would be about right.
3. For street driving do not shave your tires. You need the tread for wet driving.
4. The pressure should be around thirty or more. I would contact Tire Rack for their input on this.
5. The dia. and width of the tire is not that important. What???
With in the same brand and type of tire, a 15" will handle just as good as a 18". You can tell next to no difference, at least for street driving. If you autocross, maybe. Most of the tire tests do not compare smaller tires with larger tires and smaller wheels with larger wheels. We are talking about widths and dia. on the wheels and tires. Lots of combinations. Lots of money. So the tire tests are very limited. The best combination for your car could be a 15" 70 series tire and not a 18" 35 series tire!!!
6. For autocrossing, you may want to put 13" tires on a car that came with 18" tires.
You will lower the car by 2 1/2 inches. You will have less unsprunge weight. The tires will heat up faster-a good thing. The tires/wheels costs a whole lot less. The problem will be finding a 13" inch wheel that will not interfere with the brakes. You will need the correct offset, backspacing, width, bolt pattern, etc. Good luck with this.
7. Where can you take advantage of that $3000 set of tires/rims? on the street-please!!!. Autocrossing-maybe. A $1000 or less set of tires/rims is all you need for the street. Question-can you really use all that horsepower on the street? 300 hp or less is all you need for the street if you are not towing.

As a rule, after market brakes work the best on race cars and cars that see a lot of towing. Car & Driver has done a lot of testing of aftermarket brakes. The stock brakes will out brake the aftermarket brakes on the first time. After this, the aftermarket brakes will not fade as much on the second, third, etc. times. Less fade is what is important on the aftermarket brakes. For street/autocrossing stay with the stock brakes, albeit, they should be in excellent shape. If you race or tow go with the bigger brakes. And remember, it's the tires that actually do the braking. Fresh rubber with just a bit less tread than stock will give you the best braking.

I hope this has helped.

thank you

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ANSWER #4 of 12

look bro if u got money 4 rims u got money 4 gas dont worry about the gas depending on what size ur motor is ur take of and top end will be bad and also depending on what size u go 2 it will scrape ur cars inner wall when u turn and if u need 2 give ur buddies a lift it will scrape 2 but do us all a favour and ask professional ppl at the place where u r buying them 4rm

Can pouring sugar in your gas tank ruin it?

ANSWER #5 of 12

You don't say what size of rims and tires you have now. You speedometer is calibrated for a particular diameter of tire. If you go up one size of rim many times you can fit a wider and lower aspect tire to end up with the same or nearly the same diameter. Going with a larger rim and a lower wider tire is called "plus" sizing.

There are a number of reasons people go with plus sizing. Wheels look better than tires so most people think that larger wheels look better. Shorter sidewalls are also stiffer so they can improve handling.

Most of the larger aftermarket wheels are very heavy. They may look cool but the extra weight is what auto enthusiasts call "unsprung weight." Unsprung wieght is bad for handling, acceleration, and braking. If you go with a heavy aftermarket wheel you are unlikely to improve your car's handling. If you just want your car to look cool than that may be fine with you.

Like I said before shorter sidewalls can be stiffer and improve your car's handling. If you go with a light weight wheel and the combined wheel/tire weight is about the same or less than your old wheel/tire than you may indeed improve your car's handling. Also higher performance tires often only come in low profile sizes so going to a plus size may give you better options in rubber.

There are a few other drawbacks to plus sizing with low profile tires. You have to be more careful about inflaiton. If you don't check your tire pressure for months with high profile tires your tires will get a little soft but no big deal. With low profile tires if you let one get soft you will probably ruin it. Tires that delaminate or wear quickly due to underinflation will not be covered by waranty. Wide tires also get worse traction in the rain where they are more prone to hydroplaning and in snow/ice where the wider patch doesn't dig in as well. Some auto enthusiasts who live in the north keep their OEM rims with winter or all-season tires for the winter and have a Summer set of wheels with low profile three-season tires.

Lets say that your car came with 185/60-14 rims. You could actually go to a wider tire without changing rims. 195/55-14 is pretty close in diameter but gets you a little wider rubber on the road. This is called "plus 0" sizing.

If you see some nice 15" rims you like that fit your car you could run 195/50-15 or 205/50-15; the first is will make your spedo read a little high, the second a little low (about 1 MPH), many new car spedos read a little high already so the larger size might make it more accurate). This is called "plus 1" sizing.

Now you see some really cool 16" rims that fit your car that you can't live without. With these wheels you can run 215/40-16 tires. This is called "plus 2" sizing.

Even "plus 3" sizing may be possible. 215/30-17 has about the same diameter as your original tire.

If improving your car's handling is your priority another thing that can improve it is lowering it. Sometimes the combination of lowering your vehicle and going to a wider rim may cause clearance problems. In this situation you have to decide which will improve your handling more.

To improve your car's handling also consider stiffer sway bars for flatter cornering and adjustable shocks that you can fine-tune to your liking. Even something as small as replacing soft rubber bushings with stiffer urethane ones can improve your car's handling. If your car is popular among tuners you should be able to find information about what upgrades provide the best bang for the buck.


ANSWER #6 of 12

YES !!!



ANSWER #7 of 12

Ok I have a motorbike so forgive me if info is a bit out. Wider tires will give you more grip (assuming same tires thinner) but will be more expensive with increased fuel usage. I have never heard of anyones speedo going off due to the tires being different. If you get aftermarket rims and thinner tires I heard its more efficient in the long run because ties are cheaper (cant confirm this though) plus often it is easier to get higher performance tires that are thinner. Again, I am a motorcyclit and dont drive a car so I dont really know, Im just saying what I have heard.

Just my 2c


ANSWER #8 of 12

yes it does. specially if your car is a 4 cylinder and you add too big of a rim. if you drive a 4 cylinder you can drive with 17" rim with hardly any difference. but you will be able to feel your engine stress a bit more then usual. if you drive a 6cylinder you can go with some 19". and v8 you can go as far as 24" wheels. it also makes a big difference if your car is a front or rear wheel drive. rear wheel drive gives you better performance. I hope this comment was helpful to you.



ANSWER #9 of 12

According to Consumer Reports, dry handling will improve a little, but only after the first inch-ish increase. After that you don't get much. Too much bigger and the heavy wheels will worsen handling. Wet handling may worsen. Road bumpiness will get a little worse. Fuel economy will probably stay the same or maybe slightly worsen.

Going from steel to aluminum is all win because it's lighter, sometimes even if it's bigger. Lighter wheels help because unsprung weight hurts handling (think about it: anything below the springs has no suspension).


ANSWER #10 of 12

It depends on what type of modifications you add to the car that will affect its performance.


ANSWER #11 of 12

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ANSWER #12 of 12

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