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.

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. 


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.


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.


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 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.

Keep Your Fusion Moving Even When It's Freezing: Winter / Snow Tires for the New Ford Fusion

Monday, December 10, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Although it's no DB5, the new 2013 Ford Fusion sure has a luxury vibe. Initial reports from the automotive press indicate this vehicle performs as well as it looks.

Have you just picked up a 2013 Ford Fusion? In addition to its styling and performance, I'm sure you're impressed with the Fusion's safety features. In a collision, your Fusion protects your family with airbags in the front, side and also at knee level. If you live in an area that experiences harsh winter conditions, four dedicated winter / snow tires will give you the traction, confidence and safe feeling you need to handle roads covered in snow and ice.

Winter / Snow Tire Sizes

The Fusion's Original Equipment tire comes in one of the following sizes: 215/60R16, 235/50R17, 235/45R18 or 235/40R19. With a curb weight of 3,615 lbs. (2.5 liter Auto S), most Fusion drivers are best served by a 215/60R16 tire size. 215/60R16 is narrow enough to cut through moderate and deep snow, but wide enough for packed snow, ice and dry roads.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Ford uses the valve stem direct TPMS system, which you can purchase sensors for $32 per wheel. Your Fusion won't automatically learn the new sensor codes, therefore a Ford dealer will have to initialize them as you switch back and forth between your winter and all-season/summer tires. Are you installing the wheels and sensors yourself? Then the the optional Ford TPMS Triggering Tool is really a must as it allows you to initialize the sensors.

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package (Steel Wheel)

While it's a close decision, I prefer 215/60R16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3 Studless Ice & Snow tires on 16x6.5 50mm offset steel wheels at $860* plus shipping.

215/60-16 Michelin X-ICE Xi3 Studless Ice and Snow
215/60-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
16x6.5 50ET Black Painted Steel Wheel $58*
16x6.5 50ET Black Painted
Steel Wheel $58*

Winter/ Snow Tire & Wheel Package (Alloy Wheel)

For those who prefer a little more style for winter, I'd recommend the 16x7.5 5-108 48mm ET silver painted Sport Edition SE-16 on the same 215/60R16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3 at $1064* plus shipping.

215/60-16 Michelin X-ICE Xi3 Studless Ice and Snow
215/60-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3
16x7.5 48ET Silver Painted Sport Edition SE-16 $109*
16x7.5 48ET Silver Painted Sport Edition
SE-16 $109*

With the weather changing, be ready by creating your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package today.

*Prices subject to change

Wheels for Winter: MSW Type 14

Monday, November 19, 2012 by Ben Rooney

When putting together a Tire & Wheel Package for winter, the MSW Type 14 is often one of the most affordably priced alloy wheel options. Current pricing ranges from $78-$133*, with common 16" applications priced at $89* per wheel. The wheel is available in a wide variety of bolt patterns and offsets to fit popular vehicles.

Alloy wheels tend to cost a little more than steel wheels, but are more resistant to rust, lighter weight and more attractive. For some vehicles, steel wheels may not be available, so in many cases the Type 14 may be the best priced option. When compared to steel wheels, alloy wheels offer the following benefits:

  • Enhances the look of your vehicle
  • Are manufactured to precise standards to meet exact fitment and performance needs
  • Weigh less than steel wheels and have superior strength
  • May be the preferred option for your vehicle based on fitment requirements
  • Will allow for better brake clearance (depending on wheel style and brake components installed)

With a simple five-spoke design they are easy to clean and resist the tendency to accumulate packed snow. Proper maintenance is required as finish damage may result in the harshest winter climates where salty and sand are routinely used. Which means your winter wheels will need to be cleaned.

*Prices subject to change

Need a Separate Set of Wheels for the Track? Take a Look at TRMotorSports Wheels.

Monday, November 5, 2012 by Doc Horvath

For many enthusiasts, their car is not only a means of transportation but also a source of recreation, too. With vehicles that see double duty as a daily driver and track car, many find that a separate set of track-only wheels and tires are a great luxury to have. Sticky track tires can greatly improve handling, however they can wear quickly to the point they aren't an option for daily use. This causes many drivers to have a second set they can install separately for each dedicated use. For best results, a track wheel needs to be lightweight and strong. And if you're looking to combine these characteristics at a great price, consider the line of wheels from TRMotorsports.

Ranging from vehicles such as older BMWs to the Mazda Miata, TRMotorsports wheels reflect form and function by using race-inspired styles with a focus on maintaining minimum mass to obtain the required strength. Many of their wheels are vehicle specific.

The C1M is a 4x100 bolt pattern wheel intended for the Mazda Miata and features a lower offset than a factory wheel to allow for larger brake calipers. More importantly, this allows for the wheel and tire to be moved out to the very edge of the body for better handling. This lower offset does require that the fenders be modified to avoid rubbing, so they aren't considered to be very street car friendly. 

MT1 wheels are primarily offered in a 4x120 bolt pattern aimed at BMW E46 (3 Series) applications. They run much wider than factory wheels to allow for a wider tire option. The ultra wide tire on the vehicle's front can affect directional stability, therefore they are also not considered to be appropriate for street car use.   

TRMotorSports' F1 is a Lotus Elise and Exige specific wheel that mirrors the 16" diameter front and 17" diameter rear wheel sizes used as Original Equipment with similar offsets. F1 wheels are also unique because they accept the O.E. Lotus center cap to give that factory look.

TRMotorSports C1M
TRMotorSports C1M
TRMotorSports MT1
TRMotorSports MT1
TRMotorSports F1
TRMotorSports F1

TRMotorsports wheels are also available for many Subaru, Audi and Mitsubishi applications, so be sure to shop by vehicle to see which option is a match for your car.

Don't Let Ol' Man Winter Slow That New Accord Down: Winter / Snow Tires For 2013 Honda Accord

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Have you been waiting for a new Accord? Well it's time to visit your Honda dealer because the new 2013 Honda Accord is in town. 

Honda's done a great job with both the Accord Coupe and Sedan. I love how they've tweaked the styling on the Coupe, but still maintained its aggressive sporty look. If you've recently picked up a new Accord, your next step is to make sure your new Honda is ready for winter.

Winter / Snow Tire Sizes

Depending on trim level, your Accord Sedan's Original Equipment size will consist of one of the following sizes (model in parenthesis):

The standard Coupe is equipped with 215/55R17 tires.

When it comes time to purchase your winter / snow tires, what size should you get? Every driver's situation and preferences will vary, but a 215 width tire is narrow enough to cut through moderate and deep snow, yet wide enough to handle hard-packed snow, ice and dry roads.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Honda has changed over to the indirect ABS-based TPMS sensor so you don' t have to worry about adding and initializing direct TPMS sensors when you change wheels.

Studless Ice & Snow Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package

I feel that the optimum Studless Ice & Snow combination for most drivers is a set of 215/60R16 Michelin X-Ice Xi3s on 16x6.5 50mm offset black painted steel wheels with wheel covers at $813* plus shipping. The X-Ice Xi3 offers a good combination of ice grip with dry road handling. Also, most sizes of the tire meet Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance. This confirms the tire's contribution to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 gases.

215/60-16 Michelin X-ICE Xi3 $136*
215/60R16 Michelin X-Ice
Xi3 $133*
16x6.5 50mm offset Black Painted steel wheel $58*
16x6.5 50mm Offset Black Painted Steel Wheel $58*

Performance Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package

For a great tire and wheel combination using a Performance Winter / Snow tire, consider the 215/55R17 Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D on 17x7.5 45mm offset silver or black painted MSW Type 22 wheels at $1100* plus shipping. The Winter Sport 3D's tread design handles the deep snow, but the larger outside shoulder tread blocks allow a spirited driver to enjoy his/her Accord on better days.

215/55-17 Dunlop SP Wintersport 3D $170*
215/55R17 Dunlop SP Winter Sport
3D $167*
17x7.5 45mm offset Silver Painted MSW Type 22 $108*
17x7.5 45mm Offset Silver Painted MSW Type 22 $108*

2013  Honda Accord FAQ:

  1. I see two black painted steel wheels available, which one should I purchase? Select the 50mm offset version that's closer to your Original Equipment wheel's offset. The other option is 6.5" wide with 42mm offset. For reference, the Original Equipment 17" wheel is 7.5" wide with a 55mm offset.
  2. The description of the 215/55R17 Dunlop SP Winter Sport 3D says "AO Audi", what does this mean? It means this tire is Audi's generic winter / snow tire suggestion. Audi feels the Winter Sport 3D's dry road ability matches up well with the handling capabilities of an Audi. However, this tire works well on a wide variety of sporty vehicles.
  3. I live out in the country and need a skinnier tire size for more emphasis on deep snow traction, what size should I run? I would suggest 205/65R16.

*Prices subject to change

Tires for My New Subaru BRZ

Thursday, September 13, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Although I was sad to say goodbye to my Prelude, I'm very happy with my new BRZ.

It has all the traits of my ideal car: weighs less than 3,000 lbs., handles great, seats four people if needed and priced around $25,000 (pretty close, I paid $26,680).

My final requirement was that it's got to be quick. How fast is fast enough? A six-something 0-60 is all I need. It's all relative, so if we're comparing the BRZ against the Dodge Challenger SRT8, then yes, by that comparison it's underpowered. However, in the real world, the BRZ is plenty quick for most drivers.

As one of my earlier posts stated,the FT-86 can definitely use some better tires for even crisper steering and improved dry grip. I'm actually a little surprised at how firm the car rides. The car definitely rides harder than my old Prelude SH, so I'm inclined to change the tires to the smoothest Extreme Performance Summer tire, the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11.

215/45-17 Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 $202*
215/45R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE-11
225/45-17 Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 $212*
225/45R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE-11

The optimum size for a BRZ or Scion FR-S running the 7" wide 48mm offset Original Equipment wheels is 215/45R17 because compared to 225/45R17 it provides better steering response and gearing. I'll probably run 225/45R17 because it's a very common tire size. I like to run common sizes so I can get seat time with different tires.

New Bremmer Kraft BR09 Replaces the BR05

Monday, August 20, 2012 by Gary Stanley

Are you looking for the popular Bremmer BR05 wheel? You wouldn't be the first as this is a great wheel and I covered its key features in my blog post "BMW Owners are Loving the Bremmer Kraft BR05 Wheel." Production for this wheel has moved to a new facility, however the same design with changes in color options are available as the BR09

Bremmer Kraft BR09 Hyper Silver
Bremmer Kraft BR09 Hyper Silver
Bremmer Kraft BR05 Black
Bremmer Kraft BR05 Black

As you can see from the photos above, the actual style of the wheel remains the same. The BR09 wheels are available in the same diameters, bolt patterns and offsets. They are also still available in the popular black and silver finishes, but the BR09 is not produced in the chrome-like bright PVD finish. 

One particularly popular Tire & Wheel Package for the 2006-2012 BMW 3 Series is using the following set-up :

  • 18x8" in the front with 225/40R18 or 235/40R18 sized tires
  • 18x9" in the rear with 255/35R18 or 265/35R18 sized tires

The wider 18X9" size compared to the BMW Original Equipment wheel size of 18x8.5" allows for use of the popular and wider 265/35R18 tire size in the rear, which makes this set-up even more appealing. 

Upgrade your vehicle's appearance with a Tire & Wheel Package today!


Preliminary Look at 2013 Ford Focus ST

Thursday, August 16, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

Can you really get fast, practical and a great price all in one vehicle? Ford resoundingly answered this question with a yes when they introduced the 2013 Ford Focus ST

They started taking orders for the vehicle on May 1st with deliveries expected in late summer or early fall. Initial reports indicate that Ford has delivered by giving us a Focus ST with great handling, lots of power, surprising efficiency and everyday livability.

Although tire engineers try to create versatility into tires, there's only so many things that one tire can do well. Ford definitely picked a good tire and wheel combination including the 235/40R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 mounted on 5-108 18x8 55 mm offset, 5-spoke, Y-shaped wheels.

I like the wheel very much and think it matches the Focus ST's sporty and aggressive look. As for tires, wear out the O.E. Goodyear's before switching over. The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tested well here at Tire Rack, so unless you're going to the track everyday it's hard to justify the swap.

Take a look at "Testing Max Performance Summer Tires" to see how the Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 performed in our testing this summer

E46 M3 Track Tires and Wheels

Monday, August 6, 2012 by Cy Chowattukunnel

The E46 M3 is great for high-speed cruising and awesome for the track. If you're doing lapping days once a year just make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape. If you're heading to the track every weekend then fix the car's understeer by upgrading your wheels and tires and getting a "track" alignment.  


Running wider wheels and tires of the same size in the front and back in a square set-up will remove some of the car's inherent understeer. We offer a few 18x9.5 35mm offset wheels designed to work with 265/35R18 and 275/35R18 tires. 18x9.5 ET 35mm on either size will require a combination of fender and wheelwell modification, along with changes in negative camber to fit. Even with the changes, this is a proven E46 M3 set-up.

For this wheel size, take a look at the matte grey TR Motorsports MT1 and the O.Z. Racing Alleggerita HLT in anthracite painted finish. You can also special order the black, blue, gold, matte graphite silver, orange, red and white.

18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey Painted TR Motorsports MT-1 $329**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Matte Grey TR Motorsports MT1
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted OZ Alleggerita $419**
18x9.5 5-120 ET35 Anthracite Painted O.Z. Racing Alleggerita

Non-Streetable Track Tires:

Are you installing a second set of wheels at the track? Then the ultimate grip from non-streetable track tires such as the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18, 275/35ZR18 Hoosier R6 and 275/35ZR18 Hankook Ventus Z214 are great options to consider.

BF Goodrich G-Force R1 265/35-18 $289** & 275/35-18 $299**
BFGoodrich g-Force R1
275/35-18 Hoosier R6 $334**
Hoosier R6
275/35-18 Hankook Ventus Z214 (C51 Compound) $235**
Hankook Ventus Z214

Streetable Track Tires:

Will you be using the same set of tires at the track that you drove to the event on? The non-streetable tires mentioned earlier are easily damaged by road debris. A piece of wire the size of a paper clip can get picked up by the tire, work its way into the shallow tread, through the tire's lightweight plies and puncture the inner liner.

So if your track tires will be driven to the track, consider streetable race tires like the Toyo Proxes RA888 available in both 265/35ZR18 and 275/35ZR18. The 265/35ZR18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup or the 265/35ZR18 Toyo Proxes RA1 are also great options worth taking a look at.

Toyo Proxes R888 265/35-18 $300** & 275/35-18 $270**
Toyo Proxes R888
265/35-18 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup $351**
 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup
265/35-18 Toyo Proxes RA1 $268**
Toyo Proxes RA1

Drivers will differ in their preference in predictability versus overall grip, but the Toyo Proxes RA888 provides slightly better grip than the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup and a little bit of a better value. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup's main advantage is more consistent grip from lap to lap, therefore it may be the better choice for a longer event. Toyo Proxes RA1s are less sensitive to small flaws in the vehicle set-up, so if you're still tuning with respect to damper settings, ride height and camber, then the Proxes RA1 would be a good choice.


Optimum alignment settings will vary with tire, damper and spring choices. Most drivers will find that running 3.5-3.8 degrees of negative camber and zero toe for the front to be optimum. You'll need to get adjustable camber plates for the front so you can run that much negative camber.

For the rear, 2.4-2.6 negative camber and the high side of the factory toe-in is normally ideal. You should be able to adjust to these specs without a camber kit. Camber is adjusted at the lower eccentric bolt attaching the lower control arm to the hub assembly (under the axle).

E46 M3 Track Wheels and Tires FAQ:

  1. I've heard of other drivers running 285/30R18 or wider tires on 18x10 wheels, will that fit? When we assess the risk of rubbing we're very conservative. We consider the above wheels and 265/35R18, 275/35R18 and 285/30R18 sized tires all to be custom sizes requiring varying degrees of fender modification and wheelwell modification. High negative camber helps with front tire clearance, too. If you've changed to coil-overs or aftermarket struts, you may have less inside clearance with any of the above sizes.
  2. I still drive a fair amount of street miles on my M3, can I adjust camber at the track so I can preserve some tire wear? For the front you can mark your camber plates so you can adjust between track and street settings. In the rear, the washer at the bolt head has notch marks on it that can be highlighted with paint.
  3. What about brake pads for my vehicle? For better bite and fade resistance switch to dedicated track pads like the Hawk DTC70 in the front and DTC60 in the rear. Once you get back from the track be sure to switch back to your normal brakes, as the race pads will be noisy, dusty and ineffective in cool weather.
  4. Do I need to shave and/or heat cycle my track tires? All the above tires will benefit from heat cycling which acts like a second curing for the tire and helps them maintain consistent grip from lap to lap. The Hoosier R6, BFGoodrich g-Force R1 are molded at 4/32" of tread depth so they don't need to be shaved. Shaving will improve dry performance for the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, Toyo Proxes RA1 and Toyo Proxes R888.

Wheel and Tire Fitments for Subaru BRZ / Scion FR-S Now Available

Friday, June 22, 2012 by Marshall Wisler

Since the release of the Subaru BRZ and its twin the Scion FR-S, we have been able to get both vehicles to Tire Rack's headquarters for measurements. First indication is that these very capable cars have been very "under tired" from the factory. Despite its excellent poise and impressive skidpad numbers, the BR-Z and FR-S are shod with a narrow 215/45-17 all-season tire from the factory. Such a fitment, although good for fuel efficiency and tread life, severely inhibits the cars' true performance. The wheels also seem a bit too narrow and use a very conservative high offset which makes them appear sunken into the fenders.

Based upon our measurements, these two cars are capable of running a 245 width tire on all four corners -- utilizing anywhere between a 17"-19" wheel. If you're wanting to run a staggered set-up, the rear fender arches can accommodate a width up to 265mm with the correct wheel.

Autocross and track driving participants will likely wish to use a square set-up to maintain the car's balance. The hot set-up for these, in my opinion, would be a 17x8 wheel using a 245/40-17 tire at all four corners. This tire size allows for many popular street tires to be installed including the Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08, Bridgestone Potenza RE-11, Kumho Ecsta XS, Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec and Hankook Ventus R-S3. Are you looking to utilize a purely competition tire? You may find interest in the Hankook Ventus Z214, BFGoodrich g-Force R1, Hoosier A6 or Hoosier R6

With many tire choices available, as well as a large inventory of wheels from manufacturers like Enkei Racing Series, O.Z. Racing and Sparco, the best way to start looking for your desired set-up is to view our Tire & Wheel Packages.

What Comes with My Tire & Wheel Package?

Friday, June 15, 2012 by Hunter Leffel

Tire & Wheel PackageTire Rack loves to make your Tire & Wheel Package purchase as easy as possible. For starters, we provide a guaranteed fitment when your vehicle is equipped with a stock suspension and brake caliper and you shop by vehicle. You don't have to worry about bolt pattern, offset, backspace, etc. Unless noted under special notes, our fitments will be inside the wheelwell and won't rub. 

Additionally, when both tires and wheels are ordered together, we'll provide you with professional mounting and balancing. We use the best mounting equipment in the business, which includes a touchless and scratch free process. For balancing, we use the Hunter Road Force machines that apply a load during the balance cycle. This simulates the conditions the tire will operate under once installed on the vehicle versus just spinning in the air. 

Tire Rack does the mount and balance for free when purchasing a Tire & Wheel Package. We also provide all required hardware for a smooth and trouble free installation once the package arrives. This may include lug nuts or lug bolts if a different size or type is needed. We also supply a lug adapter if needed to interface the new lug with your factory wrench. Centering rings are used as a placeholder to correctly position the wheel on the hub of the vehicle. This results in a vibration free install. These rings, along with valve stems are also included at no additional cost.

What does all this mean? When you order a Tire & Wheel Package from Tire Rack, you can install it yourself with no worries. We take care of everything for you.

And since you'll need to install your new Tire & Wheel Package correctly, read "Tire & Wheel Package Installation."