How to Choose Wheels for Your Vehicle

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Ever walk out to your car and find an essentially identical one parked right next to it? That’s a hell of a lot of money spent on that thing just to have the guy across the street give you the ol’ “howdy neighbor” as he climbs into a copy and paste version of your car, isn’t it?

But of course there are more reasons to throw on a set of aftermarket wheels. Maybe you’re going for a certain stance, to fit big tires without rubbing, or for some strong, lightweight wheels for track days or autocross. Whatever the reason, finding the right size and fit wheel can be a real pain if you’re not already intimately familiar with how the fitments work.

Where to Start:

You wouldn’t think so based on how common it is for people to swap around wheels and tires, but this can be one of the more complicated items to figure out in order to get just the right fit. Wheel offset isn’t intuitive at all, and neither are tire size formats for that matter.

The first thing to determine is your bolt pattern. This can vary between years, models, and even trim levels, so be sure to cover your bases here and to get the correct bolt pattern. One helpful tool you can use is Wheel-Bolt Pattern GuideSize.com. They have impeccable data on vehicle bolt patterns and wheel sizes, it’s always my go-to when helping anyone find wheels for their car or truck.

If you’re still not 100% sure, you can always measure it yourself. Bolt patterns are specified by number of lugs and then the distance between center to center of opposing lugs, like seen in this diagram to the right. So 6×5.5″ (6×139.7mm for metric people) would be 6 lugs with the opposing lugs being 5.5″ apart, center to center.

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better, and this concept may apply when upgrading to aftermarket wheels. But if you do decide to up the size of your wheels, there are many things to consider. While larger rims look great, they can negatively impact your ride-quality and will run pricier than their smaller counterparts. On the other hand, wider wheels mean wider tires, which offer your truck greater traction. This is important if you use your rig for off-roading or other extreme driving conditions. To determine what size of tires you’d need with your bigger wheels, use a tire size calculator.

Ultimately, you should consider the maximum-sized tire. You may find that simply going one inch smaller on the rim diameter gives you twice as many options. There’s no sense in buying a nice-looking wheel just for size if you can’t find any acceptable tires to fit.

Center bore & Hub-centric vs. Lug-centric

Another important thing to note is the size of your wheel’s center bore, and whether your wheels are hub-centric or lug-centric. To get the center bore’s size, measure the diameter of the hole that centers over the mounting hub. Your wheel is categorized as hub-centric if the center bore matches the mounting hub’s size. If it doesn’t, your wheels are lug-centric.

How to measure backspacing

Knowing your vehicle’s backspacing size is another essential facet of finding the right wheel. Your wheel’s backspacing is measured from the mounting surface in the middle to the back edge of the wheel. The size will vary, depending on your offset. If it has zero offset, the hub mounting surface is even with the wheel’s center line. If it has a positive offset, the mounting surface is closer to the front of the wheel, while a negative offset is closer to the back of the wheel.

Knowing your maximum load

Wheels are advertised with a maximum weight load, which has been known to cause confusion. To determine the exact weight load, multiply the advertised max-weight by four. For example, if each wheel’s load rating is 3,500 lbs, the total load rating for your truck would be 14,000 lbs.

Going bigger by matching your wheels to your lift kit

If your truck or SUV has a lift kit, don’t worry, you just need a few more pieces of information. To find out what wheels are designed to work with your rig, contact the manufacturer of your lift kit. They’re able to easily provide the information you need, so you can order thoscustom steel wheels or alloy rims you’ve been after.

Once you determine your ride’s proper sizing and measurements, all that’s left is the fun, easy part — picking out your sweet new wheels. AutoAnything carries a great selection of automotive tire accessories. As a reminder, wheels are sold individually. For a complete set, you need four wheels, or five for a matching spare. Before you buy, learn more about the options by reading our alloy rim reviews. We back every product on our site with a 1-Year, Lower Price Guarantee.

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Garrett Davis
Garrett has something of a sickness when it comes to cars, working on everything from Jeeps, to sports cars, to over-engineered German nightmares. Currently he is embroiled in an Audi Allroad offroad project, and is slowly losing his grasp on sanity.

47 COMMENTS

    • Hey Dwight,

      Yeah man, shopping for wheels can be tough! So your Ridgeline uses the 5×4.5 bolt pattern, which is good news because that means wheels for Jeeps, a lot of Fords, and plenty of others also share that bolt pattern: https://www.autoanything.com/wheels-rims/20A56634A1.aspx?N=4294950437

      To narrow it down further than that, I need to know what size tires you’re looking to run, and if you are or plan on running a lift at all. Your factory wheels have a lot of positive offset, and Fuel wheels (like most off road style wheels) run a lot lower offset, meaning they will push your tires out further for a wider stance. Depending on what size tires you’ll be running, this is an important factor to consider.

      I’ll shoot you an email now to see what we can figure out.
      Cheers!
      Garrett

  1. I have a 2001 jeep wrangler stock. I want to get 31 10.5 r15 tires. I want the dick cepek rims. Not sure what info i need when ordering the rims.

  2. I have a 2016 Ford F-150 Platinum edition. I recently installed the MotoFab F-150 front leveling kit (I don’t think this should provide any adjustment when picking out wheels). I also just purchased Wrangler Duratrac, 275/55R20 113T BSW tires. I am currently looking at the Dick Cepek DC-2 Black or the DC Torque wheels. Any help you can provide on what size wheel to match that setup would be great. Thank you.

    • Hey Tom,

      So you already have the 20″ tires, right? Here are the DC-2 and Torque 20″ options for you in your 6×135 bolt pattern:

      DC-2: https://www.autoanything.com/wheels-rims/77A9506A4081851.aspx
      Torque: https://www.autoanything.com/wheels-rims/77A9505A4081841.aspx

      The DC-2s have an offset of 0mm, and the Torques have a 30mm positive offset. Not sure what wheels you’re running now, but this means that the DC-2s will push your stance out a little over an inch on each side in comparison to the Torques. So basically, if you’re torn between the look on these two (I’m a fan of the Torques myself), just know the DC-2s will give you a slightly wider, more aggressive stance.

      I’m going to send you an email with this info too just in case. Hope this helps!
      Garrett

  3. I have a Chevy Cruze LT 2018. I’m looking to get the “Konig Illusion Wheels”. I’m also planning on keeping my original factory tires. Would they fit?

    • Hey Raul,

      Hmmm, Konig doesn’t make the Illusion in your bolt pattern, unfortunately. The Cruze has a pretty unusual bolt pattern of 5×105, which pretty much only GM uses on a few of their cars. No idea why they chose that bolt pattern, but they did.

      Konig does offer a couple wheels in that pattern, though, along with a few other companies, which you can see here: https://www.autoanything.com/wheels-rims/10A56004.aspx?n=4294946391

      I’ll shoot you a follow up email with this info as well.

      Cheers!
      Garrett

  4. Hey looking to life and get new wheels/tires on a 2007 Subaru Forester. Not sure what direction to go in from here, I off road and dive in the snow pretty frequently. Any suggestions or help would be great!
    Thanks!
    Carrie

    • Hey Carrie,

      Nice! I recently helped a friend of mine with a lift, wheels, and tires on her Forester. What sort of look/performance were you looking to get here? Looking for better offroad and snow performance? Looking to go with bigger tires as well? Looking for a more offroad-ish look with the wheels too? Sorry, a lot of questions, I know, but there are a lot of directions you can go here!

      I’ll shoot you a follow up email with this as well, but if I were to outfit my own Forester, I would go with Method Roost wheels and BFG All Terrain KO2 tires. I’m running those tires on my Audi Allroad offroad project right now, and they are seriously excellent. They’re popular for a reason!

      Cheers,
      Garrett

  5. I’m looking to put some nice wheels on my 76 Chevrolet with 5 lug 15 X 7 or 8, it’s a longbed pickup Cheyenne with 350 CUIN and Auto trans. I think it is 4.75 lug pattern but I still see folks saying 5X5. I’m not sure what I need.

  6. I have a 2012 jeep wrangler unlimited. It has Ironman All Country tires size 24575r17 I’m happy with the tire and dont wanna do a lift. But would like some wheels that look better than the silver jeep ones it has now that are black. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

  7. Good day..sir i just want to ask how can i know what offset do i need if im gonna buy the drag dr-31..i only need one coz mine was cracked..i still have the 3 rims..thanks

    • Hey Edward,

      On the inside of your wheels you should have a stamp that says “ETXX” — the numbers following the ET will be your offset. If you can find that and then give me the bolt pattern, wheel size, and finish, I can find you a replacement wheel.

      Cheers!
      Garrett

  8. I recently purchased Nitto Trail Grappler M/T 35×12.50R20LT E 121Q for my 2012 F150 ecoboost. 6 lug. Baffled as to what size FUEL assault wheels to order. 2.5 lift and leveling. Thanks for any assistance you can provide!

    -Marc

    • Hey Marc,

      You’re looking for the 20″ version in the 6×135 bolt pattern (it’s part of the dual bolt pattern style with 6×139.7/6×5.5), and I would probably go for the 9″ wide wheel for your application.

      Let me know if that helps!
      Garrett

  9. I am looking for set of wheels for my 2019 Kia Optima lx I want to stay with 16 inch wheel but like a few styles y’all have on ur site but don’t thank they make them in the size I need

    • Hey Marshall,

      So you’re looking for 5×114.3 wheels for your Optima, here are all of our 16″ wheels in that size: autoanything.com/wheels-rims/10A56004.aspx?n=4294950437+4294954883

      You’ll notice that many of these are offroad looking wheels because that bolt pattern is shared by a bunch of different Jeeps, but there are plenty that should match the look that you’re going for as well.

      Cheers!
      Garrett

  10. I’m looking for a set of wheels for a 2011 Ram 1500 Sport 5.7L extended cab. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you in advanced.

  11. I got a ’95 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 that I want to get bigger wheels and tires on. Looking at 285/75R17 tires. Will 17×8 or 17×9 wheels work better with that size tire? I prefer to keep the suspension stock.
    Thanks!
    Pat

    • Hey Pat,

      To avoid rubbing, I would stick with the 17×8 wheels for that size with no lift.

      cheers!
      Garrett

  12. Thanks for the tip about how the maximum load of my car would be one of the factors to consider when going to a tyre shop and choosing new tyres for my car. I haven’t been using my car on the road lately because I have been assigned to work from home since two month ago but during my regular car maintenance yesterday, I found out that two of my car’s tyres have actually been a bit deformed all this time. I think this has something to do with the bumpy road that I often take as a shortcut when going to work back then.

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