How to Upsize Your Car Wheels? Here’s What You Need to Know?

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Are you wondering if you can use bigger wheels on your car to make it look sportier? If so, the answer is usually, “It depends.” Before you buy that new set of rims and tires, there are a few things you should know.

While there are several benefits of bigger wheels, it is important to know how bigger wheels affect your vehicle safety, stability, fuel economy and speedometer accuracy.

Have a Look!

It is advisable to follow the instructions for tire size and selection given by your original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Some car owners, at some point in time or other, choose to slightly deviate from their vehicle’s original tire and rim size for style or performance purposes.

Plus-Sizing

  • In plus-sizing, wheels are installed with a larger diameter with a low-profile tire that’s the same diameter as the original.
  • Plus-sizing doesn’t impact the speedometer or ground clearance.
  • It enhances a vehicle’s cornering and handling performance capabilities in some situations.
  • However, in most cases, plus-sizing is totally a stylistic choice.

Contact experienced mechanics to get guidance on how your vehicle’s tires should be plus-sized.

Up-Sizing

  • Up-sizing involves deviating from the OEM-recommended tire size.
  • It requires installing tires with a larger diameter on wheels that are of the same or bigger size.
  • Up-sizing has an impact on the speedometer.
  • It requires reprogramming the vehicle’s computer.

Larger tires typically weigh down the wheel assembly — which may impact fuel economy and put extra pressure on the powertrain and brakes. If up-sized tires are installed incorrectly, they may also rub the wheel, brake callipers or vehicle frame, which may further wear down any parts they grind against.

That’s why up-sizing your car’s tires is not recommended.

Bigger Wheels Impact on Your Car

Right-sized car rims and tires ensure proper stability and performance. While you change tires from your original size:

  • Ensure the new tires cater to the load-carrying capacity of the vehicle at the proper inflation pressures.
  • Consider whether the bigger wheels will impact any Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
  • Check that the larger tires you want to install are compatible with your wheels and rims’ size
  • Ensure these tires will not rub against the callipers or sides of the wheel well.

Using bigger wheels on your car, SUV, or light truck raises the vehicle’s clearance. It increases body roll and load transfer, which may impact balance and speed of your vehicle in a negative way.

Pros and Cons of Bigger Wheels on Trucks & SUVs

Pros

Traction – Bigger wheels have strong grip because a larger section of the tire is in contact with the tarmac. So, the car is more grasped on the road. If you have a car that generates a good amount of power, make sure the power is transferred to the tarmac efficiently.

Looks – Bigger wheels probably look better on most cars as the distance of the rim from the tarmac goes down. So the car looks sportier than before. But, this does not mean that you buy tires that are wider than the wheel well. This may look horrible and also have an adverse impact on efficiency.

Increased Clearance – Larger tires create extra distance between your car’s undercarriage and the ground. This is important for off-roading enthusiasts. Higher clearance helps drivers see farther both on and office the road. Depending on your needs, upgrading tire size can mean installing 40-inch tires that can merely add a few extra inches of diameter.

Better Off-Road Performance – Bigger wheels allow higher ground clearance so they offer superior off-road handling. However, finding maximum-traction tires in the right size for your car, SUV can also benefit its performance off the beaten path. With broader and deeper treads, max traction tires are strong enough to go wherever the trail takes you!

Customization & Curb Appeal – Bigger wheels require bigger car’s rims and higher suspension. While drivers of trucks or other commercial vehicles want better off-road performance, bigger wheels fulfill these requirements. Sometimes big wheels are all about style points. Upgrading the size of your tire is a way to tailor the look and feel of your vehicle.

Cons

Fuel Efficiency – Bigger wheels decrease car efficiency because they grip the road better. It means the rolling resistance will reduce. Further, the car needs more power to move forward with more grip. So the car will need more revs. This in turn reduces the efficiency too.

Extra Load – Tires that are bigger beyond a particular size have an impact on the vehicle suspension. Also, the possibility is that they touch the wheel wells, causing a rough patch on the road as there will be little space between the tyre and the wheel well itself.

Added Costs & Adjustments – Up-sizing tires is more challenging than just installing larger tires on the wheels. You may have to install new wheels that are compatible with new tires. If the tires are too big, installing a lift kit to make room for them is necessary. It could affect getting proper wheel alignment services in the future. While new lift kits and rims are desirable, they represent additional costs.

Ride Quality – The ride quality will be affected once you upsize the tires. Bigger overall diameter means the tire profile goes down. This means the length of the tire’s sidewall is reduced and there is no enough flex left for the tire to absorb the anomalies on the road at low speeds.

Change in Handling – Increased height from larger tires allows a higher center of gravity. This increases the body roll and load transfer, which changes the handling of your vehicle. Sometimes, you may feel less stability when cornering and braking — especially if travelling at high speeds.

Are you wondering where to upgrade tires for your vehicle in Canada? Head to the Limitless Tire. Talk to our experts about off-roading tires, plus-sizing. We will help you choose the right type, size and tread style to fit your vehicle model. We will also help with tire repair kits, smart car lift kits and flat tire repair. You will get the tires you need for the driving experience you always wish.