How Aftermarket Wheels Affect Performance & Mileage

The Importance Of Researching Aftermarket Wheels

Looking to modify your vehicle? You’re not alone. More and more car, truck and SUV owners are choosing to give their vehicles a new look with aftermarket parts. New wheels and tires are particularly popular. In fact, the automotive wheels aftermarket market reached $910.8 million in 2021 globally and is projected to grow to $1.381 billion in 2030. That’s a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 5.77%!

With so much growth comes newer, more sophisticated designs and materials to enhance the look and performance of your vehicle. That said, you need to exercise a fair bit of caution when selecting appropriate upgrades. Otherwise, you risk impairing fuel economy, safety and even the longevity of your vehicle. This is where research comes into play as you need to have a solid understanding of what to look for and what to avoid. 

There are many aspects of aftermarket wheels to consider. A key one is wheel offset. It refers to the distance between the hub mounting surface to a line that is drawn through the wheel’s center. It is crucial to ensuring a new set of rims fits properly under the car and in maintaining appearance as well. As stock wheels are designed to fill the vehicle’s fenders, the centerline matches with the hub’s mounting surface completely. This is called a neutral offset and is ideal. A positive offset is where the centerline is pushed towards the outside of the wheel and a negative offset is closer to the vehicle. 

Paying close attention to a wheel’s offset is crucial as it can impact suspension as well as chassis components due to wheel backspacing. Positive offsets may lead to too much extension and move the tire deeper under the fender. This could create rubbing against the body work, shocks and control arms. Overly negative offsets work the other way and this retraction can put stress on lugs and hubs. Such detriments can be avoided by selecting appropriate wheels for the size, weight, bolt pattern and design of your vehicle and, therefore, achieving a neutral offset. 

Another key consideration to keep in mind when browsing aftermarket wheels is size and weight. Changing these aspects can have either negative or positive effects on your vehicle’s mileage, fuel economy and more. It all depends on your selection. Often, avoiding any detriments is as easy as finding an aftermarket set as close as possible to the manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle’s wheels. Furthermore, to support optimal performance, ensure the tread pattern, load rating, diameter and so on are all matching for the tire set. Even slight variations can create problems for your vehicle down the road.

Understanding these factors and others like them before making any alterations is essential in maintaining your vehicle’s performance. Learn more about aftermarket wheels, tires and other modifications offered by Kixx Motorsports. Check out the accompanying resource from Kixx Motorsports for a handy breakdown of other key considerations.


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