Is it possible to put larger tires and wheels on your vehicle? In most cases, the answer is yes.
No one can deny the aesthetic appeal of having larger tires and wheels on your car, light truck or SUV. Adding a larger tire and wheel combination to your vehicle is referred to as “plus sizing” such as a “plus one” or “plus two” fitment.
Plus One and Plus Two Fitments
“Plus one” means you are adding one more inch of diameter to your wheels/tires, and plus two means you are adding two more inches of diameter. If you have a vehicle with 16 inch tires and wheels, going with a “plus two” fitting would mean you are replacing your 15 inch tires/wheels with 18 inch tires and wheels.
How can you do this? The plus-size concept basically works like this: As the wheel gets larger in diameter, the size of the tire’s sidewall must shrink to maintain the tire’s overall diameter. Keeping the overall tire diameter roughly the same is crucial to keeping the gear ratios the same and the speedometer accurate, as well as for making sure the wheels and tires fit within the fenders.
Things to Consider
In general, larger wheels are heavier, and additional weight might also affect performance. Testing results have shown that as wheel-and-tire packages get larger and heavier, your ability to accelerate decreases and fuel economy suffers.
There are several considerations to take into account. Number one is, will the new tire & wheel fitment clear your fender wells? There is hardly ever any clearance issues on rear tires and wheels, but there are a few (see next paragraph). However, your front tires must be able to turn sharply without scrapping the inside of your fender wells.
Applications on the rear must take into account how far your vehicle “bounces” when going over rough terrain such as off road or even potholes. If the rear tires scrape the fender wells when the vehicle hits a rough area, aka when they bounce up and down, they are probably too big to be considered safe for your vehicle.
Normally, when installing a plus one or plus two application this doesn’t happen. It does happen if, for instance, you are trying to replace a 15 inch tire with a much, much larger (taller) off road tire. Scraping on rear tire applications can be remedied by installing a lift kit, heavier springs, air shocks, or all of the above.
So the Answer is…
So the answer to “Can I Put Larger Tires and Wheels on My Vehicle”? is for the most part, yes. There are certain conditions and situations that will limit how much larger of a tire and wheel application you can install, but generally, larger tires and wheels can be installed on almost any vehicle.
There will always be exceptions. For instance, if you have a vehicle which runs high performance tires with different sized tires on the front and rear. This is an instance where simply using a plus one or plus two application can be tricky if not impossible.
Postle Tire Barn has been installing tires and wheels, including plus sizing for more than 35 years. We are a family owned and operated business and we are proud to serve the Tuscaloosa and West Alabama area. We are located in Tuscaloosa on Jug Factory Road behind McDonalds.