There’s no shortage of aftermarket wheel accessories available out there today, and despite the presence of a few designs significantly lacking in taste, sometimes the perfect wheel can be the cherry on top (or -erm- on the bottom) of an absolutely delicious ride. As Chris from Automoblog pointed out, however, choosing the perfect set of shoes for your old metal lady shouldn’t be approached casually and actually requires a small amount of research in order to be done correctly.
Sure, the guys at your weekly basketball game might be impressed when you cruise up to the half court Wednesday night with a sweet set of 20″ Giovanni’s on your ’98 Crown Vic, but you’re going to have a mighty tough time looking fly later on when you have to cruise on over to Pep Boys with roughly $2,000 in transmission damage. Over-sized wheels (typically defined as anything exceeding 15″ in circumference) have a tendency to throw off the OEM wheel-to-hub ratio, which can lead to anything from snapped ball joints to speedometer inaccuracies. In addition, incorrectly sized tires will alter your final drive ratio, producing more “roll out” and placing essentially the same amount of stress on your transmission as would be caused by constantly towing a trailer.
Depending on the particular make and model of your car and how big you want your rims to be, your tire options are seemingly endless. Just as important as the chrome is to the aesthetic value, though, so are the precise technical measurements of the tire itself to the overall handling of the car. While there are several unique measurements that must be matched between the car and the tire, you are allowed room to exercise your freedom of choice were performance is concerned. For more information on what you should be looking for and how to determine which tire is best for you, check out “Performance Tires and Your Ride” at Automoblog.