Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Dunlop Direzza ZII

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Dunlop Direzza ZII Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.12
 
 

1999 Mazda Miata
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 400
Location: Poulsbo, WA
Driving Condition: Spirited
 

Initial Review, 400 Miles on Tires
May 05, 2014

I picked these up from Tirerack knowing I wanted an extreme summer tire. I had them delivered with a set of silver TRM C1M 15x7 30 offset wheels. Both the wheels and tires look fantastic. While I have had limited opportunities to experience the grip, I fully expect them to perform beautifully. A 20 minute track session in the rain was actually enjoyable as I felt supremely planted even with the wet conditions. And one autox in the dry with the tires barely scuffed went well with little drama. My '99 Miata is running on new Tein coil overs so it will be interesting to see how the tires perform this summer as the various track days that are coming up. But, I am very pleased with the tires except just one little thing....they do tend to sing a bit around 65-70 mph. So the comments regarding noise are spot on. Sad to hear they are being replaced with new versions from Dunlop, but I would buy them again in a heartbeat. Very satisfied!

What is Rim Offset and Backspacing? How Do They Affect Fitment?

Thursday, June 26, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Have you been told your Honda needs a high offset wheel or that your new Jeep wheels must have the right backspacing?

Many drivers are familiar with rim diameter, bolt pattern and centerbore, but not offset and backspacing.

Offset is the distance between the mounting pad and rim's midpoint. The diagram to the right shows a wheel with a positive offset. Every contemporary Original Equipment wheel has a positive offset, however O.E. offset varies. For example, my old Honda Prelude SH has 16x6.5 wide, 55mm offset wheels while a 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport comes with 16x7 44 mm offset wheels.

What happens when you get a new wheel with a different offset?  A higher offset results in the wheel and tire moving more in (towards the hub). A lower offset causes the wheel and tire to move out (towards the fender). 

What happens when you replace the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport's 16x7 44 mm offset wheels with the 17x8 6 mm offset MAMBA MR1X wheels? The 38 mm offset difference pushes the outside edge 38 mm out towards the fender and the additional width adds another 12.7 mm. Therefore, compared to Original Equipment, the outside edge is 50.7 mm further out towards the fender. Relative to the O.E. wheel, the MAMBA MR1X provides 25.3 mm additional inside clearance.

Backspacing is the distance between the mounting pad and the back of the wheel. Offset and wheel width will be marked on the back of the original and aftermarket wheels, but backspacing needs to be measured.

What does this all mean to you? Since we have already checked to see what fits your vehicle, all listed wheels have a compatible offset and backspacing specification. If you've lowered your car or you're running an oversized custom fit tire size, a higher offset wheel will allow for better fender clearance and a lower offset wheel will create additional inside clearance.

Shop by vehicle to view the wheels that are available for your application.

OG by Axis Oldskool Wheels for BMW, Honda and VW

Friday, May 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Are you the proud owner of a classic BMW 3 Series or Volkswagen Golf from the 1980s or early 1990s? If so, you may have found that some of the modern wheel styles do not look quite "right" on these cars. Available in a 15x8 size with a machined with black accent and gold with machined lip, the Axis OG Oldskool wheel is a great option to give your vehicle that classic look.  

 OG Old Skool by Axis Black Machined
OG by Axis Oldskool Machined with Black
Accent
 OG Old Skool by Axis Gold Machined
OG by Axis Oldskool Gold with Machined
Lip


The OG by Axis Oldskool is available in size 15x8 only, with a 25mm offset with a 4-100 bolt pattern. These wheels can fit more than just BMW and VWs, some other common vehicle fitments include:

  • Acura Integra
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda CRX
  • BMW 2002tii
  • 1977-1991 BMW 3 series
  • VW Cabriolet
  • VW Golf
  • VW Jetta
  • VW Rabbit
  • VW Scirocco 

Please note that while these wheels will bolt up to many of the vehicles listed above, some fender modification and/or suspension changes may be needed due to this wheel's width and relatively aggressive offset. Visit our Upgrade Garage to see if the OG by Axis Oldskool wheel is available for your vehicle.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General G-MAX AS-03

Thursday, April 3, 2014 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General G-MAX AS-03 Reviewer's Overall Rating: 7
 
 

2007 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP
More Tire Reviews for This Vehicle

 
Buy/More Info
Miles driven on tires: 27,000
Location: Coweta, OK
Driving Condition: Average
 

Initial Review, 27,000 Miles on Tires
March 29, 2014

The G-MAX was my third set of tires on this car. 35000 miles seems to be about the maximum amount mileage I can get out of a set of tires with this car. I keep it aligned and watch tire pressure closely but, I cannot rotate the tires due to the different size tires and offset of the OEM wheels. For all around performance, the G-MAX was better than the OEM Bridgestones and the second set Kumho LX, which performed well except on ice and deep snow. However, there is a reason why I only got 27,000 miles instead of 35,000+ with the G-max. I had to replace them because I couldn't stand the noise anymore. The first 5000 miles were fine but after that it sounded like I was running mud tires. Handling on dry, wet, snow and ice were fine. Treadwear good and even. Noise was awful. My radio only goes up to 10. VanHalen called me and ask me to quit playing their music so loud. Now trying the Hankook Ventus and Eddie hasn't called once. I'll report back in 20,000 miles. BTW,Tire Rack rocks. Working on about my 10th set of tires with different vehicles from them.

Introducing the New O.Z. Racing Leggera HLT

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 by Marshall Wisler

Spring will be underway shortly and that means many new wheel styles will be available. While there are many fresh designs that have caught my eye, none has impressed me more than the new Leggera HLT from O.Z. Racing.

The Leggera HLT, with its split 5-spoke design, is clean, well made and has an excellent bright race grey finish. It's also light, something we expect after having carried O.Z. Racing's Ultraleggera and Superleggera wheels for quite some time. The Leggera HLT is available in 17"-20" rim diameters with most of the popular widths, offsets and bolt patterns being represented.

O.Z. Racing never compromises on quality and complies with all official regulations, including the stringent rules of T.U.V., the German control office. They constantly submit their wheels to multiple comprehensive testing to measure road stress. And to detect minute flaws, wheels are put under pressure in a specially designed water tank and scanned for hidden flaws by X-ray. Further examination is done by computer and electron microscopes. Finally, an anti-corrosion treatment is given, followed by a protective lacquer coating and final cleaning.

Search by vehicle to see if this new O.Z. Racing is a fit for your car.

Tire Advice for My Cousin's Dream 2011-2013 Ford Mustang V6 Manual

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

My cousin is in the market for a new car. What should he get? He's looking for a muscle car big enough to fit his 6'3" frame and at a price around $17,000. Unfortunately, the 2015 Ford Mustang (pictured below) won't make the cut.

Since he needed to move on from this dream car, he started looking at the 2014 model. He checked out a lot of cars at the show, but kept going back to the Mustang. It just felt right!

With many pre-owned Mustangs in the market place, we needed to narrow it down further. In 2011, Ford switched from the old 4.0L V6 and 5-speed to the 3.7L V6 coupled with a 6-speed. Power went up to 305 horsepower and 280 ft-lbs of torque, so he needs to be looking for 2011-2013 V6 Mustangs. I know he'll end up finding the right one.

However, if he stays in Chicago, his middleweight, powerful rear-wheel drive Mustang is going need help in the winter. If he goes with a 2012 Mustang, I would advise purchasing the 225/60R17 Studless Ice & Snow Michelin X-Ice Xi3 on black or silver 17x8 45ET MSW Type 19 wheels.

225/60-17 Studless Ice & Snow Michelin X-ICE Xi3 $135*
225/60R17 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
17x8 45ET Black Painted MSW Type 19 $104*
MSW Type 19 Black Painted
17x8 45ET Silver Painted MSW Type 19 $118*
MSW Type 19 Silver Painted


I like the X-Ice Xi3's blend of ice, packed snow and dry road grip and the MSW Type 19 matches the Original Equipment width and offset. Its solid 5-spoke angular design is a good match for the car's temperament. With a little winter driving advice and the right tire, he'll do fine handling Chicago's rough winters.

Create a Tire & Wheel Package for your dream vehicle today!

Tread Design Types and How They Differ

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Neal O'Neal

Not every tire is made the same, nor do they look the same. Tread designs help play a key role in traction ability, road noise and treadwear. Take a look at available tread designs and how they compare against one another.

Symmetric

A symmetric tread design is the most common and features continuous ribs or independent tread blocks across the entire tread face where both inboard and outboard halves feature the same pattern. Tires featuring symmetric tread patterns can be mounted in any direction and allow for multiple tire rotation options.

Asymmetric

An asymmetrical tread design changes pattern across the face of the tire. They're designed to blend the requirements of dry grip, water dispersal and snow traction. They incorporate larger tread ribs and blocks on the outboard side to increase cornering stability on dry roads by offering greater contact area. This also helps to reduce tread squirm and heat buildup on the outside shoulder. The inboard side usually features smaller independent tread blocks to aid wet and winter traction when driving straight ahead.


Firestone Precision Touring (Symmetric)

Michelin Defender (Asymmetric)


Directional

Also known as an unidirectional design, these tires are designed to roll in one direction. Their tread design points one way like an arrow or V. These grooves enhance hydroplaning resistance at high speeds. Unless they are dismounted and remounted on their wheels to accommodate use on the other side of the vehicle, directional tires are to be used on one side of the vehicle and are intended to be rotated from the front axle to the rear axle. If different tire sizes are used on the front compared to the rear axle, the tires become location-specific and prohibit tire rotation, unless remounted.

Asymmetric and Directional         

Although rare, these dual tread design tires have V-shaped tread grooves that are offset compared to the centerline of the tire. Tires featuring asymmetric and directional tread patterns must be treated as directional tires for tire rotation. However, if different tire sizes are used on the front and rear axle, they become location-specific and prohibit any tire rotation possibilities.


Hankook Ventus V12 evo K110
(Directional)

Pirelli P Zero Corsa System
(Asymmetric and Directional)


To learn more about tire designs, read "Tire Tread Patterns."

Don't Let a Little Snow Stop Your Ford Fiesta ST

Friday, January 24, 2014 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Did you visit your Ford dealer to test drive a Focus ST but end up with a 2014 Fiesta ST instead? You can't go wrong either way, however it's hard not to be swayed by the Fiesta ST's amazing power-to-weight ratio. 197 horsepower moving a mere 2,720 pounds gives you go-kart handling with plenty of power.

This is all fun until winter, as the vehicle's low curb weight and 205/40R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE050A Max Performance Summer tires make winter driving almost impossible.


Winter / Snow Tire Size:

There will be some variance in sizes depending on where you live, but most Fiesta ST drivers are best served by running 185/60R15 in the winter. This size gives you a footprint that's about 1" narrower, while maintaining the same overall tire diameter. Narrower tires will cut through moderate and deeper snow while providing good grip in packed snow and on ice.

Wheel Choice:

Ford does an amazing job channeling all that power without losing the battle to excessive torque steer (the tendency of a vehicle to veer straight ahead under hard acceleration). Ideally, you'll want to stay close to your 17x7" Original Equipment wheel's 47.5 mm offset. In theory, a significantly lower offset wheel will add torque steer. 

Tire & Wheel Package

Using the above information, if I had a Fiesta ST, I'd order a set of 185/60R15 Michelin X-Ice Xi3 tires on 15x6" 47mm offset steel wheels.

185/60-15 Studless Ice and Snow Michelin X-ICE Xi3 $103*
185/60R15 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
15x6 47ET Steel Wheel $50*
15x6" Steel Wheel


View all winter options available for your Ford Fiesta ST and create a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today!

Black Rock Steel Wheels are Perfect for Your Truck

Friday, January 17, 2014 by Gary Stanley

We're proud to announce that we carry Black Rock steel wheels. Manufactured in California, these wheels are specifically engineered for serious off-road and rock climbing applications with fitments available for Jeeps, SUVs and lifted trucks.

Black Rock offers heavy gauge steel wheels that are clear coated and painted black with center caps included at no additional charge. The wheels won't chip or crack and provide a rugged style that also looks great. Some of the more popular fitments for these wheels include the newer Ford F-150 trucks, Ford Expeditions, Chevy Silverado trucks and the Dodge Ram. Also, we offer some of their wider, low offset off-road fitments.


Black Rock 937 Type 8P Steel

Black Rock 942 Type D Steel 17x8


For more steel wheel options for your vehicle, take a look at "Steel Wheels Available at Tire Rack."

KMC XD Series Rockstar Wheels for Your Truck or SUV

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Marshall Wisler

One of our most popular wheel lines for trucks and SUVs is the XD Series line-up from KMC. Featuring 16 different styles in varying finishes, KMC offers a little something for everyone. The series also has fitment options for 5, 6, and 8 bolt patterns for a large number of make/model fitments.

Of all the wheels we offer in the KMC XD Series line-up, the hottest seller has been the Rockstar. Featuring a traditional 5-spoke pattern but styled with aggressive accents, this wheel looks good and is a winning recipe for a wide variety of trucks. It's available in different diameters and widths and features offset measurements suitable for both stock ride height and lifted applications. Buyers can select between black painted, chrome plated and machined with black accent finishes to match the color theme they are looking for.

Search by vehicle to find a KMC XD Series wheel for your truck or SUV.

Choosing the Right Wheel for Your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package

Thursday, September 26, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

If you're looking at a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, below are some tips to remember when selecting new wheels. We offer aluminum options for most every vehicle listed in our database, as well as steel options for select vehicles.

Steel wheels are the most economical option for most, but is not as visually appealing as a styled aluminum wheel. Sizes range from 14" to 17" depending on the application. We do offer a selection of wheel covers that fit our steel wheels to dress up their appearance. These wheels do not require alternate hardware such as centering rings, but may need new lug hardware (which is included at no cost).

Aluminum offers a wider range of selection, has a more durable finish and is stronger than a steel wheel. However, aluminum can be a bit more finicky when it comes to fitment and finish. Some finishes and sizes are not appropriate for winter use. Certain polished wheels, chrome wheels and wheels with machined faces/lips aren't going to hold up well against road salt, chemicals and sand used to melt snow and ice. A fully painted wheel with multiple layers of protection is the most durable against the elements. Also, lower offset wheels that stick more outboard tend to toss debris down the side of the vehicle. Our winter tire and wheel selection will tend to be more conservative in fitment and finish to help protect your investment.

For additional help in choosing the right wheel this winter, read "Alloy vs. Steel Wheels in Winter Tire & Wheel Packages."

Which Wheels are Best for Winter Use?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Gary Stanley

Many drivers seek plain black steel wheels (also called steel rims) for winter use due to their low cost and durability. In many cases, steel wheels aren't available for a vehicle due to brake caliper clearance or another reason, and therefore an aluminum alloy wheel must be used instead. For a comparison between the two options, read "Steel Rims vs. Alloy Wheels for Winter Use."

While many aftermarket wheels work quite well for winter use, not all wheel finishes and sizes are appropriate or ideal for driving on snow-covered roads. Here are some examples of finishes and/or fitments that you should try to avoid if possible: 

  • Lower offset wheels that will stick out. Wheel and tire combinations that stick out will throw more snow, ice, sand and other debris up against the side of the vehicle. Some aftermarket rims can stick out too far and cause this problem. When possible, try to be more conservative by selecting wheels with higher offsets to keep the wheel and tire set-up within the vehicle's fender wells.
  • Polished and chrome wheels. These types of wheel (including those with chromed lips) finishes either have no protective clearcoat or a very light clearcoat and aren't going to hold up well for winter use. The salt, ice melt chemicals and sand used on winter roads will quickly destroy the finish on these wheels.
  • Some wheels with machined faces and lips with thin, sprayed, clearcoats. Just like fully polished and chrome wheels, these types are vulnerable to salt, ice melt chemicals and sand. It's best to keep them away from these to maintain a good looking wheel finish. Remember, not all clearcoat finishes are the same.

Are you not sure which wheel to choose? Don't worry, we work closely with wheel manufactures to assure the finish of the wheels we have listed with our Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Packages can hold up in harsh winter environments. When you shop for wheels on our site, the wheels and sizes listed are pre-filtered to avoid possible finish problems, as well as fitment issues. You can rest assured that the wheels you purchase will be great for winter use and will go well with your winter / snow tires!

What is Offset and How Do I Measure It?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 by Neal O'Neal

Many customers call to ask what their Original Equipment wheel offset is or how they can measure it. The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. There are three different types of offset:

  • Zero offset - When the hub mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.
  • Positive offset - When the hub mounting surface is toward the front of the wheel. Positive offset wheels are generally found on front-wheel drive cars and newer rear-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Negative offset - The hub mounting surface is toward the back or brake side of the wheel's centerline. "Deep dish" wheels with large lips are typically have a negative offset.

It's typical for aftermarket wheels to have the offset number stamped on the backside, but that's not always the case with Original Equipment. If you are lucky enough for it to be stamped on the backside it will look like the picture below, with ET representing the offset.

   

When offset is incorrect for a vehicle, handling can be affected and even worse, there may not be enough brake clearance. When the width of the wheel changes, the offset also changes numerically. If the offset were to stay the same while you added width, the additional width would be split evenly between the inside and outside. For most cars, this won't work correctly.

Measuring offset is easier than you may think. If the wheel isn't stamped, simply refer to the diagram on the left. This can be done at home with minimal tools. Although the tire does not have to be dismounted from the wheel to measure, it's much easier if it is.

How do we know what fits your vehicle properly? We do this by knowing every aspect of your vehicle. We measure your vehicle's critical components with sophisticated tools that allow our fitment engineers to create very accurate drawings of these parts. We do the same for the wheels that we offer and then CAD programs to match the wheels to the vehicles.

You can see the complete list of wheels we have available for your vehicle in our Upgrade Garage. Simply enter the specifics on your vehicle’s make, model and year, and our site will display every option we have available that fits properly.

For more information on how we find wheels that are a match for your vehicle, read "How We Know What Fits."

What Are the Best Wheels for a 2013 Polished Metal Metallic Honda Civic Si Sedan?

Thursday, July 18, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Great handling, fast enough to get to work on time, a dipstick, sunroof and the ability to run 225/45R17 tires as a natural size, that's what I wanted in my next car that was replacing my BRZ.

I just got back from Cocoa, Florida in my new 2013 polished metal metallic Honda Civic Si Sedan, so everything is good to go with my new Honda, right? Not quite, as I'm not a huge fan of the 17x7 45mm offset Original Equipment wheels. I also have a set of 225/45ZR17 Michelin Pilot Super Sports in my basement, which leaves me halfway to the set-up I desire. How do I know when I've found the right wheel? It's the option that provides a combination of function, style and finish. 

Function:

In a perfect world, I'd want the same offset as the Original Equipment, because in theory, a lower offset wheel will add torque steer to a front-wheel drive Civic Si. I prefer a 45mm offset wheel, however it'll knock me out of the stock autocross class (those heading to Nationals in Lincoln are no doubt relieved). A wider wheel will enhance steering response. Lighter wheels will effect braking and acceleration. With respect to function, I want a lightweight, 45mm offset wheel.

Style:

Wheel preference is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, therefore I need to pick a style I like. If I had to pick a few words to describe the overall styling theme of the 2013 Honda Civic Si, they'd be: angular, edgy and sharp. Wheels with rounded, organic styling that might look great on an Audi TT won't work on my Civic Si.

Finish:

The polished metal metallic Civic is essentially a medium shade of metallic grey. My vehicle's color will play a major factor in the wheel I ultimately end up choosing.

Potential Choice:

As of right now, I'm leaning towards the 17x8 45ET Enkei Tuning Series Tenjin with a gunmetal with machined lip finish. It's wider, has the same offset as the Original Equipment and doesn't weigh more than the wheel currently on the vehicle. The spoke's edges are squared, not rounded. Its gunmetal finished center almost matches the color of my Honda. Also, the wheel gives me the function, style and finish I'm looking for!

What is Rim Offset?

Friday, June 28, 2013 by Colin .

Many drivers call or email us to ask about offset. They want to know what it means and how it affects the wheel options we list on our site.

Rim or wheel offset is the distance from the centerline of the wheel to its mounting surface. Offset is measured in millimeters and can be a positive, negative or zero designation.  

  • Zero offset indicates the mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.  
  • Positive offset means the mounting surface is toward the front of the wheel.
  • Negative offset means the mounting surface is toward the backside of the wheel.  

The wheel offset needs to be correct for the vehicle to prevent clearance issues and not negatively affect its handling.   

Some of our wheel options are offered in multiple offsets. The lower the offset, the further the wheel will be positioned toward the outside and the more aggressive it will appear. We commonly list these fitments for trucks and jeeps for those who want that type of look and are willing to make other modifications such as installing a lift kit. If a wheel's offset will be aggressive and may require modification to the vehicle, it'll be noted under "Important Notes" below the wheel image.  

Our wheel listings have been determined by our fitment engineers who have taken each wheel's offset as well as many other factors into account so you can be confident that what we list will fit correctly. Start searching wheels by vehicle now and find the wheel that's a match for your ride. 

Wheel Options for Your 2013 Ford Focus ST

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Cy Chowattukunnel

We know the Focus ST has enough power to be fast, but can it use a style infusion?

My colleague Joe recently picked up a tangerine scream Ford Focus ST. It's a great color for the car, but Joe wasn't equally thrilled with the Original Equipment wheels from day one. After scanning his options in our Upgrade Garage, he narrowed down is choices to the following 18x8 5-108 45ET options:

They're all good options, however Joe decided on the Sparco Assetto Gara with a matte graphite silver finish. The wheel provides the perfect contrast to the car's bright tangerine scream finish while matching up with the vehicle's black trim. Joe now has the combination of speed and style he was truly looking for.

2013 Ford Focus ST FAQ:

1. What's the width and offset of my Original Equipment Focus ST wheels? The wheels are 18x8 with a 55mm offset (ET).

2. How do I add a new set of tires to my wheel purchase? Create a Tire & Wheel Package. First, pick the wheels you would like for your Focus ST. Next, you will be given tires that are a match for your vehicle. It's that simple! Also, mounting, balancing and any required hardware are included at no additional cost. 

3. Will my Focus ST automatically recognize my new TPMS sensors? We offer O.E. TPMS sensors, however you'll need to initialize them since each sensor has a unique serial number. You can either have your dealer do this (labor charges may apply), or use the FORDTRIGGER tool.

What Size Rims or Wheels Fit My Car?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Hunter Leffel

Upgrading the wheels on a car is one of the most popular modifications drivers like to make. It allows you to add a personal touch, while also helping it stand out in a crowd.

What wheels will fit on your car? Simple. Just use our shop by vehicle feature and we'll show options that are guaranteed to fit your vehicle. In some situations, our site will also let you know if a modification to the vehicle is needed for the wheel to fit. This message will appear under the "Important Notes" section. Situations like this are likely to occur with trucks where a lift kit is used. To ensure the wheel is a perfect match for your vehicle, we measure or verify many items, including:

  • Bolt Pattern
  • Centerbore Diameter
  • Hub Diameter
  • Load Capacity
  • Lug Hardware
  • Suspension Components Clearance

Once you have selected your wheel, the next step is choosing a set of tires that's best for how and where you drive. If you select a wheel diameter that's different than the Original Equipment, you may need a new set of tires. You can shop by size to help you find the tires that are right for your application.

For more information on selecting the proper wheel, read "What is Wheel Offset and Backspace?"

What Size Rims Fit My Car?

Friday, May 17, 2013 by Colin .

Deciding what size wheels fit a car isn't a simple process. You must consider details, such as bolt pattern, offset, width and diameter. We have made the process easy by already taking these factors into account. When you shop for wheels by vehicle on our site, you'll be able to see all options that fit. Tire Rack's website only shows sizes we know will safely work on the vehicle. We also let users know important information, including the fitment may be aggressive and may require fender modifications for a proper fit. 

To ensure a match for your car, we measure your vehicle's critical components with sophisticated electronic tools that allows our fitment engineers to create extremely accurate drawings of these parts. We do the same for the wheels that we offer and then use Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs to match the wheels to a vehicle. Using these electronic tools helps us verify the numerous different critical areas before a wheel can be listed for a vehicle. The items we measure or verify include:

  • Bolt Pattern
  • Centerbore
  • Hub Interference
  • Load Capacity
  • Lug Hardware
  • Suspension Components

When viewing wheels in our Upgrade Garage, you can filter options by diameter, price, finish, brand and even weight. Some vehicles come from the factory with a staggered wheel size fitment and our fitment listings will indicate if we have larger rear wheels for your car. Even if your car originally came with larger rear wheels, you can elect to use the same size in the front and rear if you don't want to stay with a staggered set-up. This will allow you to rotate your tires. Also in our Upgrade Garage, you can select the option that allows you to view the wheels on your vehicle.

For more information on choosing the right wheel for your car, read "Why Shop for Wheels by First Selecting a Vehicle?"

What is Wheel Offset?

Thursday, May 9, 2013 by Zig Ziegler

One of the most common questions when purchasing wheels is: "What is wheel offset and how do I know which is right for my vehicle?" Tire Rack takes the guess work out of shopping for wheels. One simple trip to our Upgrade Garage will allow you to enter the year, make and model of your vehicle, and view wheels that properly fit your vehicle.

The offset of a wheel is the distance from its hub mounting surface to the centerline of the wheel. It can be one of three types (measured in millimeters): positive, negative or zero.

  • Zero offset - The hub mounting surface is even with the centerline of the wheel.
  • Positive - The hub mounting surface is toward the front or wheel side of the wheel. Positive offset wheels are generally found on front-wheel drive cars and newer rear-wheel drive models.
  • Negative - The hub mounting surface is toward the back or brake side of the wheels centerline. "Deep dish" wheels are typically a negative offset.

If the offset of the wheel is not correct for the vehicle, the handling can be adversely affected. When the width of the wheel changes, the offset also changes numerically. Tire Rack has test fitted thousands of vehicles and our extensive database allows us to offer the proper fit for your vehicle.

To view the full list of wheels specifically offered for your car, shop by vehicle and upgrade the look of your vehicle with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions About Changing Wheel Size

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by Ben Rooney

Often times I receive calls from customers who are curious about changing the wheel size on their vehicle. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the difference in wheel sizes:

Can I use a different wheel size than what came on my car? Yes. There are often sizes that'll work very well on a vehicle even though they were not originally installed on it. When you search by vehicle on our website, all the options listed have been verified to fit. This also allows us to show you the specific price for the wheel you need for your vehicle.

Why do you need to know my vehicle? We need to know your vehicle to ensure a proper fit. Experience has taught us that searching by wheel size, offset and/or bolt pattern alone aren't specific enough criteria to ensure an exact fitment. Attention to detail prevents vibration, wheel and tire interference and unbalanced handling. Read "Why Shop for Wheels by First Selecting a Vehicle?" to see what we check so the wheels you order are a fit for your car.

How does Tire Rack know what will fit my vehicle? So glad you asked! Because there are numerous wheel/vehicle combinations, this often means each wheel has to be individually tested on the vehicle either manually or electronically using Computer Aided Deign (CAD) data. Some of the items we verify to ensure a proper fit include:

  • Bolt Pattern
  • Centerbore Diameter
  • Hub Diameter
  • Load Capacity
  • Lug Hardware
  • Suspension Components Clearance

Take a look at "How We Know What Fits" to see how we offer Tire & Wheel Packages that are specifically designed for your vehicle.

Will the new size throw off my speedometer/odometer? No. If you stick with a proper plus- or minus-sized tire, the speedometer and odometer will still function correctly. To learn more about this topic, check out our tech article, "The Plus Concept."

Will I have to change anything else on my vehicle? Typically, the answer is no. The vast majority of our wheel fitments will bolt right on. We do list some specialized wheel fitments that are designed for vehicles used in racing, with lifted suspensions or modified fenders. Any wheels requiring modification are noted as such. 

Will my vehicle's ride or handling be affected? It depends on the size. Plus or minus one inch from the original wheel is not usually very noticeable. Bigger wheels generally have sportier handling but a harder ride. Smaller wheels have a softer ride and more flex in the tire's sidewall.

I shopped for a Tire & Wheel Package, but I only see wheels. What's going on? Creating a Tire & Wheel Package is a two-part process. First, you choose the wheel you want, then you choose a tire to go with it. As tire enthusiasts, we don't believe that the same tire is right for every driver, so we let you choose the tire that's best for you.