car rims and car wheels at Stereo Depot in San Diego.

Guide to Buying New Rims or Wheels for Your Car

Your car’s tires connect you the road. They get you where you need to go safely by allowing your brakes to work properly and helping you navigate twists and turns. Of course, the black rubber that makes contact with the pavement is only part of the equation. Your tires are mounted on rims, which attach to your wheels via spokes.

The rims and wheels that came standard with your car were carefully engineered for optimal road grip and quality. That’s all fine and dandy for the average driver. But for those looking for enhanced driving performance and a striking appearance, buying new rims or wheels can make a huge difference.

At Stereo Depot, we know how important rims and wheels are to your driving safety, comfort, and style. While choosing a sleek design should definitely be part of your buying decision, the type, size, and material of your new rims or wheels are equally as important to how they’ll look and perform on your car.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your rims or wheels, here’s a quick overview of everything you need to consider:

What are car rims?

It’s impossible not to notice a car with shiny, sleek new rims. More than just a striking accessory, rims serve a really important function in making your car drivable and safe. A rim sits on the outer edge of a wheel to hold the tire in place so it can rotate when you step on the gas.

What’s the difference between rims and wheels?

The terms “rims” and “wheels” are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually different. The rim is one component of a wheel; the other is the disc. The center of the wheel is the hub, which connects the entire wheel to the suspension. Depending on the model, rims and discs may be permanently joined together or detachable.

What to consider when buying new rims or wheels

Single-piece vs. multipiece wheels

You can buy wheels that have the rim, hub, and spokes permanently attached together in a single piece, or buy wheels that come with each component cast separately. Single-piece wheels are typically more affordable than multi-piece wheels. However, if damage occurs to just one part of a single-piece wheel, the entire wheel has to be replaced.

Matching new rims to your existing tires

If you want to keep your tires, your new rims should be the same diameter and width as the old ones. It’s also important to consider bolt pattern or lug pattern. Your vehicle has a certain number of bolts for attaching the wheels to the car body. Your new wheels and rims will need to be compatible so everything affixes properly.

Choosing the size of your new rims

Choosing the right size rims for your car is critical for proper driving performance. Rims that are too small or too big will impact your stability and may cause problems with steering control. When purchasing new rims and tires together, there are two ways to customize size: plus sizing and inching up.

Plus sizing involves increasing the diameter and width of the rim and adding a tire with a shorter sidewall. With inching up, we increase the diameter of the wheel rim while matching the tire so the height remains the same.

Selecting the material of wheels and rims

Wheels and rims are typically made of aluminum or steel. Aluminum weighs less, which helps with fuel economy, making it a great option for heavy commuters. Rims and wheels made of aluminum also contribute to a smoother ride. Steel wheels and rims are heavier, but they’re also more durable.

Deciding on color, style, and design

New wheels and rims should improve the driving performance of your car. But let’s be honest – you also want them to look incredible. Luckily, your design options are virtually limitless. Chrome is a popular choice for adding shine to your wheels, while all-black wheels and rims give a sporty, edgy look to your car.

Ready to upgrade your car’s wheels and rims?

Buying aftermarket wheels and rims is a powerful way to enhance your driving experience and make your car look brand new. At Stereo Depot, we carry top wheel brands including Lexani, BMF, Avanti, and more. If you’re low on cash, we can work with you. Our affordable financing options make upgrading your wheels and rims easy on your wallet regardless of your budget.

Stop by one of our stores in San Diego or El Cajon to check out your options.  Give Stereo Depot a call at our San Diego location at (619) 736-9964 or our El Cajon location at (619) 873-4641.