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AUTONET TV

Upsizing Wheels and Tires With D.C. Auto

Posted October 6, 2019 7:43 AM

Many Suwanee drivers want to accessorize their vehicle - you know, make it theirs. One of the easiest ways to get a custom look is to get some new wheels. There are thousands of wheel designs at Suwanee area tire shops to get you the look you want. And for many Suwanee drivers, that look includes bigger wheels. It used to be that cars came from the factory with 15 or 16 inch wheels. Now 16, 17 and even 18 inchers are standard. And the factories are offering optional wheel packages up to 20 inches or more.

So let's talk about what to consider when you want to upsize your wheels. It's not exactly a DIY project, so you need to know a thing or two before you get started. The most important term to know is rolling diameter. The rolling diameter is simply the overall height of your tire. Unless you want to modify your vehicle suspension, you'll want to keep your rolling diameter the same when you upsize your wheels.

Let's think about those three golden doughnuts in front of you. They're all about the same size. So if we pretend they're tires, they would have the same rolling diameter. The doughnut hole is the size of the wheel. Now pretend we've made the hole bigger on some. That's like having a bigger wheel - but the rolling diameter is the same.

It's important to keep the rolling diameter the same for several reasons. First of all, if the tire is bigger, it might not fit in the vehicle wheel well. Next the speedometer, odometer and anti-lock brake system are all calibrated for the factory rolling diameter. In order for your anti-lock brakes to work properly, the rolling diameter must stay within 3% of the factory recommendation. If you ignore that, you run the risk that your anti-lock brakes won't work properly.

Some have vehicles with electronically-controlled suspension that will be negatively affected by changing the rolling diameter. Let's think about the doughnuts again. You see, as the size of the wheel gets bigger, the sidewall gets shorter. The tire holds less air, so the sidewalls are made stiffer to compensate.

Low profile tires from top manufacturers use special compounds that give the sidewall the strength it needs without compromising ride quality. As you increase your wheel size, you'll typically get a slightly wider tire. This means that you have a larger contact patch. The contact patch is part of the tire that contacts the road. Because there's more rubber on the road, the vehicle will handle better. And braking distances will be shorter. A lot of Suwanee folks with trucks or SUVs love the extra control.

GA drivers need to watch out that the contact patch isn't so big that the tires rub in turns or over bumps. What we're talking about here is fitment. Your tire professional at D.C. Auto can help you get this right. He'll install your new wheels, add spacers if needed to make sure your brakes fit inside your new wheels and get you rolling.

Also, if you drive off-road in GA a lot, you may need a higher profile tire to protect your new rims. And make sure your new tires have the load rating you need if you tow a trailer or haul heavy loads. Again, your tire professional at D.C. Auto knows how to help.

And don't forget about tire pressure. If you have larger rims, your new tires will hold less air and they'll need to run a slightly higher pressure. Forget that and you'll wear your tires out fast. Finally, get an alignment at D.C. Auto after you get your new shoes. 

Stop by D.C. Auto to learn more about how you might upsize your wheels or tires.

You'll find us at:

D.C. Auto
7120 McGinnis Ferry Rd.
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 495-0909

 



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  • Friendly and prompt with their service. This is important because I have someone ill at home and cannot be away for long.
    -Carroll Klingensmith

  • Tom and the folks at D.C. Auto are simply the best. I've had a good bit of work done on my vehicles over the years and have always been treated well. They're honest, thoroughly explain the problem and charge reasonable prices; everything that you could ask for in a mechanic.
    -Tony D.

  • Been a DC Auto customer for almost 6 years now. Tom and his crew are top people - never disappointed. Always upfront and honest. Never "pushed" an addon or any sorts like that. One can only smile at a couple of pointed and personal reviews here. Never had "that" problem at DC Auto. Would recommend.
    -Raju S.

  • Always helpful, always cheerful. Honest estimates, and won't recommend work that isn't needed. If the problem falls outside of their ability, they will tell you right up front. I've taken multiple cars there for years and have never had a problem.
    -Charles P.

  • I have been going to DC Auto since it first opened. The staff is highly knowledgeable and courteous. Tom is one of the most honest men I know. He is highly ethical and never tries to "up-sell." The work is always superior. After all these years I can't see myself going to any other auto service company.
    -Louis C.

  • Awesome service at a great price. Always stands behind his work. Tom runs a great shop with great employees and always a smile and a story. Honest no gimmicks what all businesses should be.
    -Ron T.

  • I have been a customer with DC Auto for close to four years. I have NEVER had an unpleasurable experience. They know who I am when I pull in and do their very best to keep me and my family safe on the road! The crew at DC Auto is outstanding and the customer service is phenomenal.
    -Jessica R.

  • 5 stars...the guys at DC Auto have taken care of our family's cars since they opened. I just brought in my 2005 Honda Pilot with an oil leak. They found the leaky oil pan and replaced it. Not surprising on a 205,000 vehicle - drain plug was getting stripped out. She STill runs like new because I keep it maintained (at DC Auto). Fact is they do great work, they're honest and prices are good. No stupid high pressure. I trust them. Highly recommend.
    -Jerry M.

  • Fantastic service shop my husband and I (as well as several friends we recommended them to) have used for years. I know "honesty" isn't often a word associated with car mechanics but Tom and Rob have always shot us straight about our vehicles, and I know it to be true because several times, their advice to us has actually cost them a repair job (and saved us money). They typically get us scheduled same day or maybe the next, and the turnaround time is speedy. For hometown feel, honest opinions about your car, great service techs and reasonable prices, use DC Auto.
    -Megan H.

  • DC Auto is the what every car repair shop should be. These guys are great! They easily find what is wrong and fix it in a timely manner. The other reason I will refer anyone here is because their pricing is very reasonable. This place is better than others and WILL NOT overcharge you for every little and last thing. Go to this place for any car maintenance big or small. Tom and Robert in particular are who I would suggest, although everyone on staff is very good.
    -Dan C.

  • 10/10. Would recommend. Personable and knowledgeable mechanics that don't try to rip you off. Great quality work for reasonable pricing.
    -Kaylee M.