Bigger wheels and tires are a desirable upgrade for not only the off-road extremist but many everyday drivers as well. For example, you can go to Wal-Mart and count several SUVs in the parking lot with 20-inch rims because even “Glamma” wants to look cool. Tires can really make or break your vehicle in relevance to style and performance. Driving on bad tires can take a toll on your vehicle, and upgrading to new tires can make your vehicle drive like new again. When upgrading to bigger tires you also need to upgrade your rims. There are several benefits and disadvantages when considering an upgrade to tires or wheels.
If you are driving a truck, you may want to consider getting a lift kit. This would allow room for massive wheels and tires depending on how big of a lift you get. For any off-road enthusiast, this would be a great option to consider. A lift kit would raise the clearance between the ground and vehicle, allowing the vehicle to handle rougher terrain. The disadvantage of this tactic is it can be costly. New wheels and tires and a lift kit result in more parts to buy and longer time spent on labor. Lift kits also affect your vehicle’s center of gravity, so you will want to be a little more careful of your speed when making sharp turns. Lastly, bigger tires and wheels could decrease your gas mileage.
If you are driving a car and wanting bigger tires, increasing the overall diameter of your tire doesn’t make sense like it does for a 4WD truck. Keeping the overall tire diameter roughly the same is crucial to keeping the speedometer accurate, as well as for making sure the wheels and tires fit under the fenders. So, what can you do? You can do what we call “plus sizing.” Plus sizing is when the wheel gets larger in diameter, but the size of the tire’s sidewall shrinks to maintain the tire’s overall diameter. Larger wheel diameters can result in faster and more composed handling; however, it can also result in slower acceleration capability.
While there are a few disadvantages for any vehicle when increasing the wheel and/or tire size, curb appeal usually outweighs them.