You love your vehicle. It reflects your personality and performs its intended function. It would be great if it had a couple extra inches of ground clearance, though, and it would be nice if it would grip a bit better as well. And you wouldn’t mind if you could customize the appearance a bit, would you?
Oversized wheels serve all those functions and have steadily gained in popularity in recent years. The availability of oversized tires has increased exponentially with virtually every tire manufacturer contributing to the market. There are more oversized wheel options than there have ever been with any color or design you want. What factors should you consider when it comes to choosing oversized wheels and tires?
What they are they used for
The trend toward oversized tires is primarily in the light truck category, but there are a select few additional uses. The attraction to a raised truck and an aggressive stance and appearance fuels the drive to upgrade wheels and tires.
Oversized wheel height is used primarily for appearance purposes. The wider face of a shiny chrome or machined wheel, and the increasing popularity of painted rims, grabs attention when you drive down the street.
Oversized wheel widths are performance related. They are used to get the most traction for acceleration, braking, and turning. Performance cars sometimes employ a wider wheel and tire combination.
Benefits of oversized tires and rims
There are many benefits of using oversized tires and wheels on your car or truck. They can help stretch your vehicle’s performance capabilities beyond its factory limits.
- Oversized tires increase the ground clearance for trucks and off-road vehicles
- Aggressive tread blocks on oversized tires grip rough terrain better
- Oversized wheels are usually aesthetically pleasing and are used on cars and trucks alike
- Wider wheels and tires provide enhanced grip on the road, especially dry surfaces
Factors to keep in mind about oversized tires
While oversized tires are attractive and can enhance certain areas of your vehicle’s performance, there are factors to consider that may be a detriment to its safe operation. Be aware of the issues and if they apply in your situation.
Oversized tires will change the speedometer output because there are fewer wheel rotations per mile.
A taller overall tire can rub on the wheel well or suspension if it’s incorrectly matched with the wheel and vehicle.
An oversized tire can significantly decrease the turning radius of your vehicle.
Wider tires can hydroplane more easily on wet surfaces.
If you are considering oversized wheels and tires for your vehicle, check to make sure the fitment is right for your vehicle. If you are unsure if it will work for your car or truck, check with a tire expert beforehand.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as All About Oversized Wheels and Tires and was authored by Jason Unrau.