When you’re replacing your own tires, it’s easy for you to run into some common challenges along the way. Not every tire fits perfectly into every vehicle. So, you must be aware of how to know if a tire will fit on your rim. Know the measurements of your current tire before replacing it and understand what your rim can reasonably have.
The Dimensions of Your Current Tire
Look at the markings on the sidewall to determine what your car’s design can take. These will tell you the tire’s width and diameter without forcing you to use measurement tools. There are numbers and letters marked on your tire. An example of this is P215/65R15.
These numbers each have a special meaning that allows you to fit new tires to your rim smoothly. For instance, 215 represents the tire’s width in millimeters, while the 15 at the end identifies the tire’s diameter in inches.
Mismatching Your Dimensions
You must know the tire’s diameter since that’s where you’ll run into issues if you select the wrong size. When the diameter exceeds the rim’s recommended number, your tire will scrape along the side of the wheel well, scratching and weakening the rubber. This will result in future blowouts and damage to the wheel well.
To use our previous example, if your factory-standard tire is 15 inches in diameter, you’ll need to install a tire that is 15 inches—no more and no less.
Your tire width isn’t as set in stone as the diameter; you have some room to vary the width without risking damage or tire failure. While the diameter is just about absolute, you can change your width based on your vehicle’s application and what you intend to use it for.
For regular uses, such as driving on average roadways and streets, you don’t need an overly wide tire. Increased tire width is for those who intend to go off-roading, as it boosts the strength and durability of the tires.
When in Doubt, Stay Within Parameters
Dealing with tires is difficult, and when you change anything—whether it’s the width or diameter—you run the risk of reducing performance and increases the threat of damage to your vehicle. The best way to know if a tire will fit your rim is to read the dimensions on your current tire and avoid deviating from the specifications. You should know how to install your tires properly to ensure you experience no complications.