Putting Larger Wheels on Your Vehicle

Plus Sizing, the process of changing wheels and increasing the diameter, is a great way to enhance the look and performance of your vehicle. What is plus sizing and how does it work? This involves changing the tire and/or wheel size from the original size in a controlled manner so as to maintain certain critical dimensions.

When creating a Plus Size fitment, the section width of the tire increases and the sidewall height decreases. The contact patch of the tire changes shape by becoming shorter and wider. While the shape changes, the size (area) of the contact patch remains relatively unchanged.

  • High aspect ratio = tall and narrow contact patch
  • Short aspect ratio = short and wide contact patch

What does this mean?

The tread blocks with a taller, narrower profile have more deflection than tread blocks on a lower profile tire. Less deflection results in more cornering force and capability. This assumes all other things are equal, i.e same tread compound, design, etc. Installing a Plus Size Tire & Wheel Package changes the shape of your contact patch, resulting in improved cornering, improved steering response and a decrease in ride comfort due to the shorter sidewall.

What is arguably the most common misconception when looking to increase wheel diameter is this also increases the overall combined diameter of the wheel plus the tire. A proper Plus Size will account for the additional wheel diameter by decreasing the sidewall of the tire. The result is little or ideally no increase in overall combined diameter. Maintaining the proper load capacity must also be considered.

Here is a very broad overview of the most common Plus Sizing scenarios. For help with your specific application, contact a sales specialist for assistance.

Plus Zero - Increase the section width while maintaining or decreasing the aspect ratio. The wheel size stays the same so you will not have to purchase new wheels.

Plus One - Increase the section width, in an increment of 10, while decreasing aspect ratio. You will also increase the wheel size by one inch. The result is approximately 1/2" less sidewall on the tire while maintaining a very similar overall diameter. This keeps the speedometer, odometer and other systems that monitor wheel/tire rotation rates functioning normally.

Plus Two, Plus Three, etc. - In each of these cases an additional inch of wheel is added while decreasing sidewall height on the tire. Vehicle design will limit the maximum wheel size.


Thursday, October 13, 2016 by Louis Cancelmi

Can I place a 235/45 17 tire on my 1995 BMW M3? The door jamb label on the car clearly states I should use a 235/40 17 tire, something that I have always done. Problem is the brands that I prefer -- Michelin and Continental -- do not seem to have either all season or summer tires in the original equipment manufacturer's suggested size anymore. Help!
Monday, October 17, 2016 by Hunter Leffel

I can not guarantee that size to fit. I think it will be too tall.
Saturday, July 1, 2017 by Jeff Smarsh

pros and cons by changing your tires from P225/70R15 to
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 by Kevin

I currently have 245/55/18 tires, if I switch to 245/40/18 is there any serious negative consequence that can arise from a decreased aspect ratio (besides the sportier ride feel)? The tires will still hold under the car correct? Thanks in advance.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 by jose


How do I know if my vehicle accept a tire with a bigger aspect ratio.

Example: I have a BMW X1 with 19 inch rims. The tire is a 225/45R19.
The X1 with normal 18 inch rim has a 225/50R18 tire.

Is there a way to know if I can upgrade to maybe a 225/55R19 tire?

lots of potholes where I live have caused multiple sidewall bubbles.

Any ideas welcome.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 by kris

I put an MSR wheel 17x7.5 with 235/45ZR17 tires on my 2012 Honda Civic LX (4dr)
Monday, November 20, 2017 by Nash

I have a 2005 Camry LE with OE of P205/65R15. Can I change to either of the SE or XLE OEs?
Size Model
P215/55R17 SE V6
P215/60R16 XLE & SE 4 Cyl.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Nash: They have different wheel diameters; so as long as you are doing wheels and tires then yes, you can use a larger diameter wheel on the LE.
Sunday, December 10, 2017 by Prem Sagar Bhardwaj

I have changed the tire specifications of my car from 195/55 r16 to 195/60 r16. Pl tell whether it is wrong or makes no difference or is it safe in all respect S?
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 by Myrna Mathis

I have a set of 225/55/R16'son my 1999 Grand Am and have a set of 205/55/R16'son I want to put on it. I pretty sure I can but a male wants them & I need a man (male) that knows his business to help me please! Thanks😉
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Prem: The 195/55R16 is 24.4 inches in height. The 195/60R16 is 25.2. We're not sure what you are driving to answer fitment questions, but you can visit our site to enter your vehicle and see the alternate recommended sizes available: https://www.tirerack.com/content/tirerack/desktop/en/homepage.html?affiliate=GU9
Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Tire Rack Team

Myrna: A 205/55R16 would be an approved size on your Grand Am; so yes you can use it.
Sunday, December 31, 2017 by Bob

I have a VW tdi sportwagon. The stock tire is a 225/45/17. According to a chart I found the overall diameter is 24.97.
I'm looking at going to a 18 wheel with a 225/40/18 tire. The same chart says the overall diameter would be 25.03. I'm thinking the slight change would be fine. Is that correct?
Thursday, January 4, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Bob: Yes, the 225/40R18 would be a good size for your SportWagen.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 by Nick

I have 225/40r18 tires on my 2013 dodge dart, can I go up to 225/60r18 without it throwing off anything or damaging tire
Friday, February 16, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Nick, that would be three and a half inches taller and would not fit. The next size taller would be 225/45R18 and that would be an inch taller than stock and would still be too tall, likely to rub when you turn the wheels all the way.
Saturday, February 24, 2018 by Toni

Can I swap my x trail wheels for vt holden ones. P225/70R15 for 225/55XR16?
Sunday, February 25, 2018 by Jeremy

I have a 2013 Escape Titanium. 235/45/R19 on it now. I would like to go to a 235/55/R19. More of a selection of tires to choose from. Would this be ok?
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Toni, there is not enough information here to answer your question, sorry. You may want to call in.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Jeremy, that tire size would be about 2 inches taller and would be too tall, would very likely rub when you turn the wheel all the way.
Monday, May 7, 2018 by peter

i have chevrolet hhr 2008,tire size 215-55 R16,is it ok to change it to 215-60 R16?
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 by Tire Rack Team

Peter, the 215/60R16 would be about an inch taller than stock and a half inch taller than the tallest size we could guarantee would not rub when you turn the wheel all the way.

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