7 Things to Consider When Buying Car Rims

7 Things to Consider When Buying Car Rims

With so many choices, you may find that it’s not easy to choose the right shiny new rims to update your car.

Around the world, car enthusiasts spend billions of dollars upgrading their rides. The way that rims look is one of the most important aspects of buying car rims. If you purchase rims, you want them to add to the appearance of your car.

However, looks aren’t the only thing that you should consider. For example, you must think about things such as the load rating, width, and offset.

When shopping for new wheels, it’s important to understand these kinds of specifications to know how to buy car rims. With a quick primer, you’ll know what to look for when buying tire rims.

For seven things to consider when buying new car rims, read on.


  1. Rim Diameters

Today, large-diameter rims are a big trend. They’re also more expensive. With a 17-inch rim, however, you’ll have more options.

Furthermore, they’ll fit over most existing brake packages. As a guide, it’s a good idea to choose a rim diameter that’s less than half of the overall tire diameter.

  1. Rim Widths

Usually, choosing car rims that are two to three inches narrower than your tires is a good idea. It’s helpful to run as narrow a rim as possible.

This size rim will help to preserve your tires when riding on lower air pressure. If you choose a rim that is too wide, your tires may start to crown. Crowning will lead to faster wear in the center of the tread.

  1. What Is an Offset?

The offset is the mounting surface of the rim relative to the centerline of the wheel. For example, the wheel would mount evenly on each side of the mounting surface with a zero offset.

A positive offset will give you a narrow track width. This kind of offset rim results in a mounting surface that’s closer to the outside of the wheel. Conversely, a negative offset will give you the opposite result.

  1. Understanding Backspacing

Backspacing is somewhat like the offset. However, this feature depends on the width of the rim. The backspace is the distance between the inside of the lip of the wheel in the mounting surface.

Shallow backspacing will give your wheels a negative offset. Meanwhile, deep backspacing will result in a positive offset.

  1. Bolt Patterns for Rims

When choosing rims for your car, the bolt pattern of a rim is another important feature. It’s essential that the bolt pattern of your new rims match your axles. However, you can purchase a kit to convert bolt patterns in some instances.

For example, most Jeep JKs have 5-on-5 bolt patterns. The first number in 5-on-5 stands for the number of lugs. The second number in 5-on-5 is the diameter of the bolt circle in inches.

  1. Rim Center Bore

The center bore is the hole in the center of the rim. A larger bolt pattern requires an equally larger center bore. This characteristic proves important when fitting rims on locking hubs and full-floating axles.

With a hub-centric wheel, for example, the right center bore is vital for positioning the wheel on the axle. With a lug-centric wheel, however, the lug nuts center the wheel.

  1. Load Ratings for Rims

Rims are load rated just like your tires. Wheel construction and bolt patterns both affect load rating.

For example, steel wheels typically have lower load ratings than cast-aluminum wheels. Alternatively, forged wheels have the highest load ratings around.

A rim with more lug nuts and a larger bolt circle has a higher load rating, regardless of the material. With more lug nuts, a rim has a higher rating because it distributes the load.

Balancing Looks and Cost When Buying Car Rims

Unless you plan on purchasing new tires with your rims, it’s a good idea to start with checking the size of your tires. Make a quick note of the size and make of the tires on your car. When you’re ready to start shopping for rims, you’ll have this information handy.

Also, it’s a good idea to take a close look at your hubcaps. Some vehicles have unique hubcaps. For this reason, it’s important to give them a quick once over.

There are many variables that will determine if your new rims will fit on your car. A few variables are the diameter of the wheel, the lug pattern in the hub size.

Currently, the hot commodity is plus-sized rims. These rims are larger than stock wheels. They’ll give your car a sleek and stylish appearance. However, they also provide extra grip for tight turns.

There are a couple of sacrifices when it comes to plus-sized rims. They make for a bumpy ride.

Also, plus-sized rims cost more compared to standard size wheels. The same applies to tires for plus-sized rims.

It’s understandable to want plus-sized rims, seeing as though they’re so popular. However, you might want to browse among more mid-priced options and buy the best car rims. For instance, the Motegi racing rim is great for giving your ride a sleek look without the need to go super-sized.

Keeping Your Ride Looking Sharp

Now that you know more about buying car rims, you can find a great set of new wheels for your ride.

In many cases, your car only looks as slick as your rims. Furthermore, you can mod your ride as much as you like. However, if you don’t invest in quality rims, you won’t get very far.

For these reasons, it helps to know all the facts when you’re looking to update your wheels. Now that you know the technical aspects of selecting rims, you can make a more informed buying decision.

Hopefully, you’ve found this rim guide informative. For more insightful tips, visit our blog.

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