Wheels, as we’ve earlier mentioned in our Philkotse.com articles, are your vehicles’ primary contact with the road, and you have to admit, it makes your car look so awesome.
It goes to logic that whatever quality your car currently runs on is totally dependent on the quality of your wheels. When we say wheels we will be talking about both the mags and the tires that shroud them.
Choosing the best wheel size for your car will give you the best look
There will come a time that you will be tempted to replace your current stock wheels to a larger or more attractive set of wheels, you can blame Fast and the Furious and your Facebook friends for that.
So you go to different websites, browse around for some new wheels and try to compare some pictures and determine how it will look like, and it can get very daunting. First of all, what size will fit your car? What in the world is offset? Does it fit my budget?
No matter what car you have the best wheels will make it look even better
This article will be talking about the different factors you should consider when you purchase a new wheelset. You will be learning about the different sizes, construction and even bolt pattern configurations that will help you make an informed decision.
1. Fake parts break hearts
Probably one of the biggest apprehensions in buying a set of aftermarket mags are all these horror stories you see on the internet of broken mags.
Imagine running at full send in the highway, and then hitting a slight bump then you hear this gut-wrenching crack and you spin out of control and that’s all she wrote. The aftermath of all this are images of mags broken off from the spokes.
Cheap wheels are tempting but dangerous
Same goes with tires. It is very tempting to buy mags from a second-hand shop or get them for free from your buddy. You should never skimp on tires. Well, known brands are very tight-lipped about the special secret sauce they put on their own proprietary models and there is a reason some tires cost a lot more than others. You don’t have to buy really expensive sets of tires, but just make sure you get one from a reputable brand.
Good wheels need not be expensive there are tons of inexpensive good quality wheels
Always select products from a reputable source. There are brands that are more affordable than the rest but as long as you do your research and they are a well-known brand from a certified dealer, you can be assured of your safety.
2. The general rule of size
As a general rule of thumb, most wheel and tire manufacturers would prescribe that you stay within an inch of your stock wheels. For example, the largest wheel available for a standard Toyota Vios is 16 inches that can be found on the top of the line 1.5l Prime Model. You may move up your wheel size to 17 inches without having clearance problems in your wheel wells.
How much is too much? That is up to you
Of course, you may choose to move up to 18 inches or beyond but keeping in mind that the reason for this rule of thumb is to maintain the integrity of the stock suspension dynamics. Car engineers have designed their models to operate within a specific working environment.
That includes a car’s suspension system where the wheels are directly connected to. These cars are sophisticated systems that any minor change in any of the parameters can give you untoward incidents.
3. More than just a radius
Apart from the radial size of your mags you also have to worry about the rest of the dimensions of the wheel, part of the perks of living in a three-dimensional world. You also have to take into consideration the wheel’s offset and width.
Apart from the radial size of your mags you also have to worry about the rest of the dimensions of the wheel
Offset is a determining factor that represents the distance between the part of the wheel that locks into the car’s wheel hub and the outer rim of the car. A higher negative offset means the wheel will stick further away from the hub while a higher positive offset will show the wheel move further in the wheel wells.
In order from left to right: Positive offset, neutral offset, negative offset
You also have to take into account the wheel’s width. The width determines how thick your actual wheel will be, and this has both its pros and cons. The wider wheel track will give you a larger contact patch for your car, significantly increasing performance, but don’t go overboard.
As it is with the Wheel radius, also take into account how this affects your suspension dynamics. Make your wheel too thick or with too much negative offset it might not fit into the wheel wells and may even not give enough clearance for the wheel to spin.
4. Going nuts over lugs and PCD
One thing to consider when buying mags are the number of lugs it has and the PCD. PCD is Pitch Circle Diameter or the diameter of the imaginary circle that around the lug holes on the wheel. This is very important as many first-time car owners who wish to change their mags are susceptible to this error.
Just because you see a deal, you have to instantly take it
I once had this great deal over a set of really rare mags and got it for what I thought was a steal, only to find out when I got home that not only did it not match with my hubs which had 4 lugs instead of 5 and had a PCD that was way off. In the end, I had to say goodbye to those wheels at a loss.
Always make sure you speak and be nice to your wheel and tire dealer as they know a lot more about this topic
5. Mind your tire's size
The size of your mags is just a fraction of the entire equation of choosing the right wheel size. After selecting your appropriate mags, thus begins your arduous journey for tires. The size of your tires can be determined by an easy to see indicators at the side.
If you see these number on the side: 205 55 16 this is what it means; 205 is the width or the tread size in millimeters of the tire, 55 is the size of the sidewall and means it is 55% of the size of the tread and finally 16 is the radial size in inches.
Knowing the right tire size is half the battle
When you are looking for a good deal in tires on the internet, make sure to take these numbers into account, you wouldn’t want to be buying the wrong sized tire for your mags and waste your money on tires you wouldn’t use.
Keeping your wheels at optimum shape helps you drive better
We can go more in-depth about wheels on the car, I believe that wheels are the single most important aftermarket part you can buy for your vehicle. I cannot repeat this enough as this is your car’s primary contact with the road underneath.
So if you want to spend your hard-earned money on a single upgrade it is going to be worth it to buy a quality set of mags and tires.
>>> Good to know: 5 cost-effective ways to upgrade & improve your car.
At the end of the day as long as your car looks great to you, its a win