Plus sizing wheels and tires is not for everyone. If you already like how your car handles and rides, consider sticking with your original tires. However, if you really want a plus size upgrade, consider the following:
- Consider the potential risks. Some people don’t have to worry about snow traction since they live in sunny states, with year-round dry roads. That is where the shorter sidewalls and stiffer and wider footprint of bigger size tires function best. However, driving over puddles is dangerous regardless of where you reside. Because of this, if you’re considering plus sizing, experts recommend you select a size that’s closest to your original tire and wheel size. For instance, consider 17” Fuchs wheels instead of 18” if you have 16” Fuchs wheels. Apart from compromising handle and ride, shorter sidewalls offer limited cushioning for tires and wheels.
- Check the quality of your wheels. The majority of plus size wheels come in aluminum, while some are made from composite material, with forged aluminum being more costly and durable than cast alloys. Your new wheels must fit your car and must have the proper lug nut pattern, advised an expert from Fuchsfelge USA. Note that although there are wheels that come in universal fit sizes, these could add unwarranted stress on lug bolts and nuts. Some wheels likewise require special bolts and nuts.
- Ensure accurate tire size. When plus sizing, a good rule of thumb is to decrease the height of the sidewall by 5% to 10% for every 1” increase of the wheel diameter and increase the width of the tires only up to 10 millimeters. Ensure that your new tires’ load and speed rating matches factory originals.
- Check inflation pressure. This is especially important when switching from a P-metric to a Euro-metric size designation because this will require a change in pressure to maintain the load capacity of your tires. Note that recommended pressure is different from one tire manufacturer to another.
In addition, consider buying your wheels and tires as a set for extra savings and to ensure fit compatibility. Remember to keep these considerations when shopping around for plus size tires and wheels not only to save money and avoid compatibility issues but to ensure your safety as well.