Upsizing Tyres

  • May 12, 2011
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Looking to upsize the tyres and wheels on your car? There is reason and logic behind upsizing the wheels and tyres of a car. Be careful of getting the wrong upgrade. Read on to find out more.

Upsizing the size of a tyre is increasingly becoming an obsession with people to create a visual appeal on their car. Don’t be fooled however as shops in the aftermarket might fit your car with big wheels and tyres to make the maximum amount of money for themselves.

There is method behind the madness of upsizing tyres and wheels. Manufacturers offer a standard size of tyre and wheel rim on a car for a reason. They do so to give the car the best of both worlds of increasing performance dynamics of a car, increase fuel efficiency of the car offer a more comfortable ride and decrease road noise. They choose the best compromise. 

Manufacturers do leave room in the wheel well for a calculated upsizing of tyres and wheels on their cars. This is done so that owners can upsize the tyre and wheel size to increase performance and or increase traction on different road conditions.

The ideal maximum calculated upgrade that can be done without upsetting the cars driving dynamics is around 3% of the original size of the wheel rim. Any upgrade above this will result in a noticeable drop in fuel efficiency and compromise on ride and handling of the car. Too big an upgrade in wheel and tyre size will also increase the weight of the car giving the driver no real benefit from the upgrade. 

It is advisable to go for an upgrade anywhere between the 3% margin for better performance and handling, increased grip and creating a visual appeal. Do take note that upsizing the wheels and tyres will decrease the fuel efficiency of the car and will result in speedometer error on the car.

Checks to be performed after fitting bigger wheels and tyres on a car

Also after the new wheels are fit onto the car, turn the steering from lock to lock positions in both left and right directions to make sure that the wheels turn till the steering wheel can turn no more. Ensure that the wheels do not touch the inside of the wheel as well, since this will damage both the tyres and the suspension and will adversely affect the handling of the car.

Another check that has to be performed after upsizing is to check that there is enough space between the tyre and the wheel well to absorb bumps and potholes on the road. Take the car for a drive on an uneven or broken road to test that the bigger wheels and tyres are compromising on the ride quality. Also roll down the windows and drive and make sure that there is no noise and feel of the tyres coming in contact with the wheel wells.  

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