If you’re making enhancements to your vehicle’s appearance, it’s likely that your first purchase will be new tires and wheels. This alteration alone can transform a car from “meh” to “yeah” without a huge labor investment.
One of the more popular upgrades is the replacement of ordinary wheels with much larger versions. The use of low-profile tires allows the larger rims and wheels to fit inside standard wheel wells without rubbing on turns.
If your vehicle didn’t come with low-profile tires, you can still achieve the look and performance aspects of these tires by using larger wheels on your vehicle. If you’re one of the five kinds of people described below, low-profile tires are a good enhancement to add to your favorite ride.
You Want the Big Wheel Look
Some drivers stretch too-small tires onto larger wheels to get the look they want. This method of tire-mounting is known to shred tires. Any overstretched tires that don’t shred are still vulnerable to full-on, random blowouts.
However, drivers can now have the look they want without great risk. Manufacturers offer low-profile and specialty tires meant to fit larger rims. You don’t have to sacrifice safety for style.
You Want Better Handling
Buy track-ready high-performance tires fitted with custom 20-inch wheels for true grip and curve finesse. Many race-worthy styles of tires are also street legal.
Be aware that changes in wheel size can affect your suspension, brakes, power steering, odometer, and speedometer. You may see an increase in fuel use with increasing sizes of rims, but your acceleration times will decrease slightly as wheels increase in diameter.
The shorter wheel sidewalls on the tires allow them to handle curves more responsively. Short sidewalls flex less than standard-size sidewalls, so the handling tends to improve when bigger tires are replaced. This is true especially in cars that are not known for the most graceful moves on curvy roads.
You Show Off Your Vehicle
At car shows and rallies, the winners take the time to pay attention to the details. Your vehicle’s look is partially determined by its “stance,” or the way it carries itself on the tires.
A tiny adjustment of angle on your rims can change the entire look of the car. The adjustment makes awesome wheels stand out too.
Using low-profile tires ensures that fancy custom wheels are featured prominently. Angling the tires in or out can give your car personality and sass, but angling is best accomplished with low-profile tires.
You Live Where Roads Are Smooth
Low-profile tires have stunning, short sidewalls that give them lots of responsiveness on curvy roads. However, these tires’ lack of flexibility and shorter width make them vulnerable to damage from the road.
If you live in an area where the roads are well maintained, this isn’t a problem. If you plan on driving the car only occasionally or only on smooth roads, you’re also fine.
If you live where there are plenty of potholes, road debris, and constant construction projects going on, low-profile tires are not the best choice for you unless you have a generous tire allowance in your budget.
You Don’t Care Much About a Smooth Ride
Comfort is often sacrificed when you make the switch from standard tires to low-profile tires. All of that extra height in the larger sidewalls give standard tires a cushioning effect when the rest of the car is well maintained.
Low-profile tires have a larger “contact patch” with the road, so they grip better, but they also convey every bump and crack in the pavement to the riders in some vehicles. If you don’t mind a firm ride with some bumps and jiggles, low-profile tires will work for you.
Always check the laws where the car is registered to make certain you’re permitted to make desired wheel changes. Legislation may limit your choices for wheel modifications. Invest in high-quality tires and reduced-weight rims made by reputable manufacturers no matter which styles of wheels and tires you choose for your vehicle upgrade.
Trust Evans Tire & Service Centers to help you choose the most stylish and high-performance tires for your ride. Our ASE techs are happy to answer your questions about wheels and tires, and they look forward to helping you achieve the look you want for your vehicle.