It seems like everywhere you go in the Kansas City area you see custom wheels. Big trucks, little cars, mini-vans – it doesn’t matter, motorists are expressing themselves with custom wheels. Some Missouri motorists want smaller tires and wheels – some want larger – and some want them enormous. So where do you start if you want new wheels? At Northtown Auto Clinic, we suggest you start with your budget. We know, that sounds so practical. But if the look you’re after goes beyond just new tires and wheels and enters into the world of suspension modifications, you need to be prepared for the additional cost.
Let’s start with something easy – you want to give your ride a unique look and the stock wheel size is just right for you. One of the concerns you will have is that the new wheels have the same offset as your SUV factory wheels.
First, what is offset? The wheel bolts onto the hub on the SUV’s axle. The distance from the inside edge of the wheel to the point at which it bolts on, is the offset. If the new wheel has a different offset from the factory, the tires may rub on the inside or outside of the wheel well. That could lead to catastrophic and (expensive) tire failure.
Your tire and wheel professional at Northtown Auto Clinic in North Kansas City can help you find the right size wheel – or install adapters to make your new wheels fit. All you have to do is pick from the hundreds of styles available.
Northtown Auto Clinic
2235 Taney Street
North Kansas City, Missouri 64116
So, what about North Kansas City motorists who want to upsize? Well, if you select bigger wheels, but you want to keep the same overall tire diameter, that’s pretty easy for the team at Northtown Auto Clinic. The same offset concerns apply. You need to know that the tires will likely be a little bit wider than the originals and you don’t want them to rub when you make sharp turns. Your tire professional at Northtown Auto Clinic in North Kansas City will help you avoid this.
It is also critical to keep the same overall tire diameter because changing the rolling diameter can mess with your SUV anti-lock brakes and stability control systems. Are you starting to see why you want to speak with your friendly Northtown Auto Clinic tire and wheel expert at Northtown Auto Clinic in North Kansas City? Is “super-size me” your motto? If it is, you are going to have to lift your vehicle to make room for those huge tires. A mild lift doesn’t require extensive modifications. An extreme lift means a lot of new hardware under the vehicle. It also means a lot of stock electronic systems need to be recalibrated to the new tire size. For example, your speedometer and odometer will give false readings if they aren’t recalibrated. (You don’t want to risk getting speeding tickets on Missouri interstates because your speedometer shows a lower-than-actual speed.)
North Kansas City car owners who want to upsize should also be aware of possible performance issues. Bigger tires and wheels weigh more. Missouri automotive experts refer to this as unsprung weight because it isn’t held up by your SUV suspension system. Increased unsprung weight affects performance in different ways than an equivalent amount of groceries or little soccer players in the SUV passenger compartment. Acceleration is negatively affected. Stopping distances may also be increased – sometimes significantly.North Kansas City auto owners who want really big tires and wheels, might need to upgrade their brakes to compensate.
Heading the other direction, some drivers in the Kansas City area like to run smaller than standard wheels and lower the suspension. All of the same fitment issues still apply as well as calibration issues. Don’t think that SUV suspension modifications are a bad thing. Many systems actually improve ride, function and performance over the stock set-up.
Regardless of your budget, you want your SUV to continue to do all the things you need it to do. Some of those show cars and trucks you see on TV and North Kansas City showrooms look fantastic, but have been modified in ways that may not suit your needs. For example, if you put large rims on your SUV with low profile tires, you may be in for busted rims if you go off-roading a lot around Kansas City. There just isn’t enough sidewall to absorb the impact of thumping over rocks.
Some car owners stuff the largest tires and wheels possible in their vehicles but have to severely restrict suspension travel so that the tires aren’t rubbing all day. That can lead to a very harsh ride around Missouri. Again, talk with your Northtown Auto Clinic wheel professional about all of these things: how you drive in North Kansas City, what look you are going for, your budget and what compromises you are willing to make.
At the end of the day, you’re going to be rollin’ out of Northtown Auto Clinic with one sweet ride.