If you are looking to make a change, upgrade, or change the look of your car then new rims will deliver a great styling difference. Before you spend your hard-earned money though you need to understand what rims will fit your car and which rims to order. Here we demystify the jargon and enable you to make the right choice.
There are ten things to consider if you are looking to order alloy wheels for your vehicle:
- The ET – which is the offset between the front and rear wheels.
- The PCD – the pitch circle diameter and stud pattern of the wheels.
- The diameter of the wheels you currently have.
- The widths of the front and rear wheels.
- The tire size on your front and rear wheels.
- The wheel load capabilities of your current set.
- The tire load index
- The central bore of your wheel.
- The brake clearance
- The bolt/nut fitment and suitability on your current wheels.
Let’s take a look at each of these things in further detail so you can get a good understanding:
The ET – The wheel offset
This is what determines how far out or under the wheel sits in relation to the outer arches of the vehicle once it is bolted to your car. You need to research what offset range your specific vehicle can tolerate.
The Pitch Circle Diameter
You need to take the measurement of the bolt holes on the wheels/hubs that are fitted to your car. Any replacement alloys must match these fittings.
The Diameter of the Wheels you currently have
This is the size of the wheel that is fitted. You can check with your own vehicle the recommendations of which wheel diameter you need to accommodate.
The widths of your front and rear wheels.
This is very important. If the wheel is too wide it can’t be fitted on some cars – some need a wider width on the rear. Again, make sure any choices you make are suitable for your specific car.
The tire size on your front and rear tires.
If you are upgrading from your factory fit, whether for larger wheels, smaller ones or the same size ones, there are only a few tire sizes that can be used. Make sure that you have chosen wheel sizes that can be tolerated on your vehicle.
The Wheel Load capabilities of your current set.
Every wheel carries a specified load which is measured in kilos. If you go over this rating then it invalidates your insurance and, importantly, puts additional strain on the wheel. This could cause cracking or buckling.
The tire load index
This relates to the maximum load your tire can hold and is also measured in kilos. This needs to be checked against your axle loading to make sure that the new rims are suitable.
The Centre Bore
This is the hold which is drilled in the center of the rear of the wheel. The diameter is usually larger than the hub lip it is to be mounted on. The ring fitted must fit into this perfectly. Sometimes the spigot ring is not necessary.
The brake clearance
The fit of your brakes/calipers and discs needs to be accommodated with your new rims. Let’s face it, we all need braking!
The fitting kit
This is all the peripheral items necessary to give a great fit without any vibration.
If you are considering alloy rims there are many companies that provide kit, and service – but to get the most from this you need to understand exactly what they are saying, and exactly what you want to order. You want to be sure what fits your car, and that you are buying the right rims.