by Pat Goss
There are very few things that you can do to a car that will have as much impact on its appearance as changing tires and wheels. You see, a lot of vehicle manufacturers just don’t get it when it comes to tires and wheels. The wheels look much too small, they don’t fill up the wheel well. They look lost under the fenders of the car. Now, to avoid that look and make it look like, well, like something you would want to own, you might want to consider plus sizing. You’re going to change the tires and wheels, and plus sizing is the way you go about it.
See the bigger the wheel, the more impressive it looks on the car. Plus sizing, very simple. You increase the diameter of the wheel. Now, plus one is increasing the diameter of the wheel one inch. Plus two would be two inches and so on. So if we started out with a 14-inch wheel, plus one would be a 15.
Now, for each inch of plus sizing of the wheel, we have to change the profile. We have to go down one factor here. So, if we started out with a 70-series tire and we were doing a plus one, we’d go to a 60-series tire. But in order to maintain load and all the rest of it and get better handling out of the vehicle, when we do this plus sizing, we also have to increase the width of the tire. Okay, so one inch on the wheel, down one factor on the profile, up one size on the width of the tire. And that goes plus one, plus two, plus three, whatever.
Now what this will do is it will maintain the outside circumference of the tire. That will mean that the speedometer will be right, the odometer, the vehicle speed sensor and so on. And by changing the width of the tire, you’ll maintain proper load carrying capabilities, and you’ll get better handling out of it.
All right, but that means you have to change the wheels. So, you have to be very careful because wheels have different offsets and backspacing and a number of different exotic terms like that. So before you buy your wheels, well, you need to refer to a fitment guide. And if you can’t find one of these, then you’d want to visit the Internet, where you’ll find sites where you can get all of the different dimensions and what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
If you don’t do this right, you’ll be buying axle bearings and all kinds of expensive parts under the car on a regular basis. So what are the sites? Well, visit places like the tirerack.com. They’ll explain all of this in detail so you won’t make any costly mistakes.