Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

All About Oversized Wheels and Tires

You love your vehicle. It reflects your personality and performs its intended function. It would be great if it had a couple extra inches of ground clearance, though, and it would be nice if it would grip a bit better as well. And you wouldn’t mind if you could customize the appearance a bit, would you?

Oversized wheels serve all those functions and have steadily gained in popularity in recent years. The availability of oversized tires has increased exponentially with virtually every tire manufacturer contributing to the market. There are more oversized wheel options than there have ever been with any color or design you want. What factors should you consider when it comes to choosing oversized wheels and tires?

What they are they used for

The trend toward oversized tires is primarily in the light truck category, but there are a select few additional uses. The attraction to a raised truck and an aggressive stance and appearance fuels the drive to upgrade wheels and tires.

Oversized wheel height is used primarily for appearance purposes. The wider face of a shiny chrome or machined wheel, and the increasing popularity of painted rims, grabs attention when you drive down the street.

Oversized wheel widths are performance related. They are used to get the most traction for acceleration, braking, and turning. Performance cars sometimes employ a wider wheel and tire combination.

Benefits of oversized tires and rims

There are many benefits of using oversized tires and wheels on your car or truck. They can help stretch your vehicle’s performance capabilities beyond its factory limits.

  • Oversized tires increase the ground clearance for trucks and off-road vehicles
  • Aggressive tread blocks on oversized tires grip rough terrain better
  • Oversized wheels are usually aesthetically pleasing and are used on cars and trucks alike
  • Wider wheels and tires provide enhanced grip on the road, especially dry surfaces

Factors to keep in mind about oversized tires

While oversized tires are attractive and can enhance certain areas of your vehicle’s performance, there are factors to consider that may be a detriment to its safe operation. Be aware of the issues and if they apply in your situation.

  • Oversized tires will change the speedometer output because there are fewer wheel rotations per mile.

  • A taller overall tire can rub on the wheel well or suspension if it’s incorrectly matched with the wheel and vehicle.

  • An oversized tire can significantly decrease the turning radius of your vehicle.

  • Wider tires can hydroplane more easily on wet surfaces.

If you are considering oversized wheels and tires for your vehicle, check to make sure the fitment is right for your vehicle. If you are unsure if it will work for your car or truck, check with a tire expert beforehand.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...

Related questions

Q: Performance issues when driving and idling, RPM dropping abruptly

The symptoms you are describing are almost always caused by a bad catalytic converter. When this fails it clogs the exhaust, which causes these problems to occur. Do a back pressure test on the exhaust first. If that is fine...

Q: Wheel fell off car

Hi. It sounds like your lug nuts came loose and caused the wheel to fall off. I would recommend having a technician come out from YourMechanic and inspect the front end on the car for damage and repair it as...

Q: tires shaking with aftermarket rims

You should have not have to rebalance the tires after getting the front end work done, but I would recommend having the tires rotated. The shaking may be due to a tire problem and not the suspension issue. Have the...