Pros and Cons of Bigger Wheels in Car

Installing large-size wheels in the car has been the recent trend. Some people choose to put on bigger wheels in the car during the winter season, for better driving in adverse weather conditions. While others prefer upsizing it for better appearance or ground clearance.

However, do these wheels’ transformations give more advantages over their disadvantages? To gain this industry knowledge, let’s consider both the pros and cons of this action.

Bigger Wheels: Here Are The Pros And Cons

Many drivers believe that bigger tires have many outstanding advantages, improving the driving experience and the aesthetics of the car. By learning about the advantages and disadvantages of installing a big tire, vehicle owners will have a comprehensive and objective view of this issue. You should know that upsizing the car tires affects ample things with your ride. Therefore, without causing any delay, let’s delve deeper into the pros and cons of wheels plus sizing.

Advantages of bigger wheels

1. Improved grip and traction

Usually, the large and wide tires have more rubber on their track. This simply indicates that the car’s tires can make better contact with the road, thus offering better grip and traction. In other words, it allows better car handling. However, you also should know that small tires can also provide good traction by generating more pressure per square inch and each type of tire has its own advantages. 

Note: The bigger and thinner wheels offer more traction on snow.

2. Improved cornering

Bigger car wheels result in more road contact, wider thread, and stiffer sidewalls. And, with all these attributes, large-size wheels directly contribute to better cornering and handling.

3. Better braking

As discussed earlier, cars on big rim have more contact patches and grip on the road. So, if you install large-size balanced tires (in simple words, not too hard or too soft tire) in cars, these will surely give a fair performance by reducing the braking distance.

4. Better appearance

Tires have a significant role in the overall design of the vehicle. For instance, replacing the old low-profile tires with bigger alloy wheels can give it more of a sporty look. Thus, upsizing the vehicle’s tire can add heaps of design benefits.

Design of bigger wheels
Bigger Wheels Appearance. (Photo: The Verge)

5. High ground clearance

For vehicles that often travel on rough terrain, the high ground clearance makes driving easier and more flexible. Wheels and shock absorbers have a larger space to help absorb vibrations on uneven, rough roads, avoiding collisions between obstacles on the road and the chassis. Therefore, many drivers who are adventurous, like to experience strong and conquer steep and rugged roads often choose to use big tires to adjust the ground clearance to suit the terrain.

Watch the video to know whether are bigger wheels better:

Disadvantages of bigger wheels

1. Increased fuel consumption

Bigger wheels have more weight, which results in the engine working harder than usual. As a result, the fuel consumption also increases. Besides, the less friction the vehicle has with the road surface, the less fuel consumption. Wide tires create more friction than small tires. Therefore, bigger tires can reduce the vehicle’s fuel economy.

On the contrary, the engine producing more horsepower will not be affected. In simple words, a powerful engine will have a negligible impact on fuel efficiency. However, the use of such a powerful engine is not economical.

2. Hard steering and slow acceleration

The disadvantage of bigger tires is that it increases the weight of the vehicle. This causes the car’s acceleration to decrease. With a large contact area, wide tires not only reduce acceleration but also make it difficult for the driver. Big tires take longer to steer or return to balance after each emergency turn. As the large size tires simply mean more weight, resulting in hard turning (steering), slow acceleration, and poor car handling.

3. Quick tire wear

Due to the heavy steering, wheel scraping, and lower sidewalls, the large-size tires wear out faster than expected.

Read more:

4. Error in speedometer

A car’s technology is calibrated according to the standard components or parts installed in it. However, during the enhancement of car components, this embedded technology may not respond accurately. For instance, the car wheels upgrading from 16 inches to 19 inches will give an error in the speedometer reading.

5. Safety system warning

Likewise, the electronic safety aids in the car, such as EBD, ABS, and traction control, may also not respond accurately and timely.

In addition, in cars equipped with a bigger tire, the brake system will have to work harder, causing the brakes to wear out faster and you will need to replace the brake system more often. And compared to normal tires, it will cost you more money for installing a bigger tire.

Features of bigger wheels
Safety features of bigger wheels. (Photo: Troels Graugaard/E+/Getty Images)

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, the bigger wheels in the car offer both pros and cons. The size of a tire affects not only the appearance but also the performance of your car. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of tires with a bigger tire will help car owners assess their needs and choose the right type of tire. Therefore, you must go for it only, if it suits the car’s needs and doesn’t make you regret it afterward.