How wheel size affects car performance

How wheel size affects car performance

Many car owners, in pursuit of the appearance of the car, install wheels that differ significantly in diameter from those prescribed by the manufacturer. This is one of the simplest ways to visually “pump up” any car, giving it a more aggressive and modern look. In addition to the aesthetic effect, changing the wheel size entails much more significant consequences. Before radically changing rims, special attention should be paid to choosing the optimal parameters that can provide an ideal balance of all the performance characteristics of a particular model.

Characteristics of small wheels

Installing high-profile tires with a tread of 60% or more on small-diameter wheels is a fairly common solution. Thanks to the increased internal volume, such wheels effectively dampen the relief of the road surface, ensuring a smooth ride and passenger comfort. The flexible sidewall better adapts to the profile of the supporting surface, thereby increasing cross-country ability on rough terrain. However, due to the high profile, road grip is reduced, especially when cornering, and braking distance is also increased. In addition, the softness of high-profile tires negatively affects the accuracy and information content of the steering.

Advantages and disadvantages of large diameter disks

Large wheels with wide tires improve vehicle dynamics. They provide increased stability and handling, as well as more stable movement at high speeds. Wide, low-profile tires have an increased contact area with the road, which has a positive effect on braking performance. In addition to improving technical parameters, large wheels give the car a more impressive and sporty appearance.

Installing low-profile tires and large-diameter wheels also has a number of disadvantages that should be taken into account when choosing components:

  1. Poor absorption of road irregularities. This leads to severe shaking in the cabin and discomfort for passengers when driving on broken areas. 
  2. Increased loads on suspension elements, rapid wear of the chassis. The overall tire life is reduced.
  3. High level of rolling noise due to the larger contact area with the road.
  4. Increased risk of aquaplaning on wet roads, deterioration of controllability.
  5. High sensitivity to internal tire pressure, loss of performance properties in case of deviations from the norm.
  6. Higher cost of the tires themselves and the work on their installation/dismantling.
Do not miss:  iPhone SE 2023 vs. iPhone 8

What wheel size to choose

The ideal option is to select products of the diameter prescribed by the car manufacturer in the operational documentation for a specific model. Deviations within one inch are acceptable without significant loss of properties. When choosing a size, you should consider the purpose of the car. For SUVs it is better to lower the parameters a little, and for sports cars you can use a slightly larger diameter.

2.5/5 - (2 votes)
Translate »