Can I Put Bigger Wheels On My Car

by AlloyWheels.com, FAQ's

This should be quite a short one, but it’s a question we get asked quite a lot and is definitely worth addressing.

It’s an understandable question, particularly seeing as there is so much talk of various sizes and ‘low profile’ tyres and like when it comes to buying wheels and tyres.

The short answer to this question is yes… probably. Generally speaking, a vehicle manufacturer, like BMW or Ford, will produce variations on each model of car they produce with different sizes of wheels and tyres, usually dependent on how much money a customer is willing to pay, with larger wheels being more expensive or included on more expensive models of the car.

All vehicles will have an absolute minimum and maximum limit for the diameter of wheels that are going to be suitable for that given vehicle. It may be the case that the original equipment wheels that are on that car may well be as large as that car can take, however, this is quite uncommon. It is most likely the case that a car will come as standard with a wheel size that is towards the lower end of the acceptable range. A BMW 3 Series, for example, may well be sold with 17” wheels as standard, but the car can just as suitably take as small as a 16” to as big as a 20” wheel (depending on the model).

Our experiences with our customers have taught us that people who do look to change their wheels, usually prefer to go for a slightly bigger size than what is on the car as standard. Larger wheels tend to look better, smarter and appear to fill the wheel arch a little more than smaller ones. The more wheel there is to see, the more eye-catching the wheels tend to be.

This is common and absolutely fine to do, as long as the larger wheels are supplied with the correct tyre size. This is very important and the key to ensuring that an upstep in wheel diameter is not going to have any adverse effects on the vehicle. The reason this is so crucial is because, the way that some of the vehicle's systems (for example, the accuracy of the speedometer readings) are calibrated are done so with a particular rolling circumference in mind. This is the overall diameter of a wheel and tyre, fitted and inflated.

For example, this BMW 3 Series from our previous example may wheel come as standard with 17” wheels and these wheels will be fitted with 225/45R17 tyres.

This equates to a total rolling circumference of 634.3mm

When increasing the wheel size to 18” therefore, you would need an 18” tyre size that equates to within 1% of this rolling circumference, which in this case would be 225/40R18 tyres.

This equates to a total rolling circumference of 637.2mm (Or a 0.46% difference). You can compare these sizes and any others, on our Tyre Calculator available here:

Tyre Calculator

At AlloyWheels.com, we carefully collect, manage and compare tyre sizes and rolling circumferences to ensure that any set of wheels and tyres we supply are done with so with the correct tyre sizes.

We hope this has been informative and helpful.