Most drivers realize that their treads wear down over time. The rubber can slowly erode from constant contact with the road. Even though a small amount of erosion won’t create a problem, a lot of motorists neglect to take measures to prevent it from becoming a safety issue. If let go too far, the worn rubber can begin to impact maneuverability and performance.
Another problem is that treads tend to erode unevenly; the ones in front (for FWD vehicles) wear out first. This is because they have different jobs on the front and rear axles. By rotating your tires, you can even the wearing. The key is knowing how to rotate them correctly. Today’s article will provide an easy tutorial for doing so.
A Common Mistake
The purpose of rotating your tires is to allow each one to serve in each wheel position. Some drivers perform the rotation themselves and do it incorrectly. They exchange the ones on the front axle and then they exchange those on the rear axle. The problem is that doing so does not allow the treads to wear evenly. Those on the front will continue eroding more quickly than those on the rear.
The Proper Method Of Rotation
On FWD vehicles, rotate the wheels in an “X” pattern. In other words, place the rear driver’s side tire in the front passenger position. Place that wheel in the rear driver’s side position. Do likewise with the remaining treads. Swap those that are in the rear passenger and front driver’s side positions.
On RWD vehicles, move both of the treads that are on the rear axis to the front. Do not cross sides. That is, the tire that is on the rear passenger side should be placed in the front passenger position. The front wheels will move to the back, but you’ll need to cross them. That is, the one from the front passenger position will now go in the driver’s side back position. A rotation on a 4WD vehicle can be performed in the same manner.
What About Your Warranty?
When you bought your current set of tires, they came with a warranty. Many drivers are unaware that their warranties often require them to rotate their wheels periodically (the mileage marker is different for each company). If you fail to do so, you might unwittingly invalidate your warranty. This is not the most important reason to rotate your wheels, but you should keep it in mind.
Rotating your tires not only helps to even out tread wear, but it also helps to preserve the treads. As a result, you won’t need to invest in a new set as quickly as you might otherwise. What’s more, by preserving the rubber, you’ll enjoy better handling and maneuverability. If you intend to perform the rotation at home, use the instructions above to make sure you do the job correctly.
We often ignore our tires unless they’re flat. But they play a vital role in the overall condition of your car. Maintain them properly, and you’ll save money on repairs and on fuel costs.
Keeping your tires properly inflated ensures that they wear longer and can prevent accidents. Your car likely has a card or sticker attached to the door edge or the inside of the glove box door. The right amount of air your tires need is specified here. In case your car doesn’t have this sticker, you can check your owner’s manual.
Serious accidents can happen if your tires are under-inflated or overloaded. One of my tires blew-out on me and caused an accident. Luckily I was on a little traveled country road and was going slowly. I hate to think of what might have happened if I had been in major traffic.
Buy your own quality tire gauge. You can’t tell if tires are inflated properly just by looking. And the air meters at your service station may not be correct!
Ask your auto supply dealer for a tire gauge calibrated up to 80 PSI. They’ll know what you mean, even if you don’t.
Take a moment at the beginning of each month to check your tire pressure (don’t forget the spare! Uhm, you do have a spare tire, don’t you??) Check them before you get in the car to drive. Write down the actual under-inflation amount for each tire. Take this info with you to the service station.
Now measure the inflation again and record these numbers. (Don’t worry, this only takes a couple minutes.) Now inflate the tires to a level that equals the warm pressure (that you just took) plus the first under-inflation amount. (called the “cold” inflation pressure)
If the above instructions sound intimidating or confusing, take your car to a shop and give them the ?cold? pressure numbers. They?ll put the correct amount of air in your tires for a minimum fee ? sometimes they?ll not charge you at all.
The leading cause of tire failure is under-inflation. So make a habit to check them once a month.
Overloading your vehicle can lead to tire failure, too. Just because you have a pick-up truck doesn?t mean it can carry an infinite load.
Schedule a tire check into your calendar each month and you?ll save money, save fuel, and perhaps, even save your family from a car accident.
The security of your car is vital, whether it is a Mercedes or a Mazda – even the safest vehicle on earth can have brake failure. If your car’s brakes don’t work properly, the consequences could be fatal. Thus, the brakes are probably the most important part of your vehicle. Car brake repair knowledge is always good to have because you never know if or when your car’s brake system will let you down. If this happens while you’re driving let’s say in the desert, miles away from the nearest garage, you should be able to
Perform a brake inspection and troubleshoot the problem
Know what it takes to do a car brakes repair
If possible, do the fix yourself
If not, be able to describe the problem to someone who is able to repair your automobile brakes.
To become able to perform the work listed above, the first thing you need to know is how a car’s brake system works.
A drum system is utilizing hydraulic pressure to press a pad against a brake drum to slow down the speed of the vehicle. Here is how it works:
press the brake pedal
the piston in the master cylinder sends pressure via the brake lines held by the brake shoe to the wheel cylinders inside the brake drum
the friction caused by the shoe pressed against the drum is stopping the wheel from turning
A brake drum is a flat-topped and heavy cylinder, that you normally find somewhere between the wheel rim and the drive wheel. When you press the brake pedal, the friction material held by the brake shoes is pressed against the brake drum. This will slow the rotation of the wheels. A wheel cylinder contains pistons utilizing hydraulic power from the master cylinder to force the brake pads against the brake drum.
Another brake system, called disk brake system is using hydraulic pressure to press a pad against the rotor. This way it slows down the vehicle. Here is how it works:
press the brake pedal
the piston in the master cylinder is activated and sends pressure via the brake lines to the calliper
when the pad makes contact with the rotor, friction is created and this stops the wheel from turning
A rotor is nothing but a circular plate that is gripped by the brake pads for slowing down the vehicle. A brake pad is a pad made of friction material. When pressed against the rotor it stops the wheel from turning. This pad is held by the calliper, which straddles the rotor by using hydraulic pressure from the brake lines. With help from internal pistons it forces the brake pads against the rotors.
Performing this process, the breaking system needs brake fluid. The master cylinder provides this by distributing the brake fluid under pressure, to the entire breaking system of your vehicle.
The description above gives you the knowledge of how two different car brake systems work. These are the first things you need to know when troubleshooting and fixing any problems regarding your vehicle’s brakes. Brake problems can occur in a Cadillac, a VW or even in the safest vehicle brand. There are plenty free resources online which give you step by step instructions on fixing any brake problems that your vehicle may incur. I recommend that you go online and do a search for ‘car auto brake repair’. You’ll be amazed of the list of brake fix resources that will appear within seconds.
The engine is the heart of your car, but instead of pumping blood, the engine pumps air and fuel. The engines main function is to convert air and fuel into rotary motion so it can drive the wheels of the car. How does it do that ??…. Well let’s start with a cutaway of the engine and see all the major parts then we will get into the actual mechanics.
Pistons: Most common engines have 4, 6, or 8 pistons, which move up and down in the cylinders. On the upper side of the piston is what is called the combustion chamber where the fuel and air mix before ignited. On the other side is the crankcase, which is full of oil. Pistons have rings which serve to keep the oil out of the combustion chamber and the fuel and air out of the oil.
Crankshaft: The crankshaft is connected to the pistons via a connecting rod. As the piston moves up and down in the cylinder it rotates the crankshaft and converts the straight line motion into rotary motion.
Valve train: The valve train consists of valves, rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, and the camshaft. (shown in above picture in blue, yellow, and green) The valve train’s only job is that of a traffic cop. It lets air and fuel in and out of the engine at the proper time. The timing is controlled by the camshaft, which is synchronized to the crankshaft by a chain or belt.
Now that we have a general overview of the parts involved let’s talk about what happens. Most automotive engine today are 4-stroke (or 4-cycle) engines, meaning they have four distinct events which make up the cycle.
• Intake stroke: The camshaft opens the intake valve and the piston moves down the cylinder. This creates vacuum and sucks in air and fuel into the combustion chamber above the piston.
• Compression stroke: As the piston starts moving back up the cylinder the intake valve closes and seals off the combustion chamber. The causes the air and fuel to compress.
• Power stroke: As the fuel is compressed and the piston nears the top of the cylinder the spark plug fires and ignites the fuel and air. This explosion pushes the piston back down the cylinder and drives the crankshaft.
• Exhaust stroke: After the piston reaches the bottom of the cylinder, the exhaust valve opens and the gasses left over from the fuel and air are sent out to the exhaust system.
Put these four events together in the above order and you have a complete cycle. Are you asleep yet? That’s enough theory, let’s talk about the real world and problems you might encounter with the above mentioned parts.
Pistons: Remember I talked about the rings, which seal the combustion chamber from the crankcase. The rings over time tend to wear out. When they wear they allow the fuel and air to enter into the oil and dilute it. This dilution reduces the oils ability to lubricate your engine and can cause premature wear. Also if the rings wear down they can allow oil from the crankcase to enter the combustion chambers. This will result in oil being burned and exiting your tailpipe as grayish/white smoke. If your car spews grayish white smoke and it does not go stop in the first few minutes after start-up you might have warn rings. If the smoke goes away after start-up look to the valve train section.
Crankshaft: The crankshaft rides on bearings, which can wear down over time. The bearings support the crankshaft and also the rods, which connect the pistons to the crankshaft. A loud medium pitched knocking noise in the engine points to warn bearings most of the time. This is usually a costly repair and involves removing the crankshaft and either machining the surface where the bearings ride, or replacing the entire crankshaft. To prevent this type of problem, use a high quality oil, change your oil at suggested intervals (3 months or 3000 miles is a safe number) and always maintain your oil level between oil changes.
Valve train: Remember the oil smoke problem mentioned above in the piston sections. If your car only smokes grayish/white smoke at start-up you may have leaking valve seals. Valve seals keep oil from above the valve from leaking into the combustion chamber. When they wear, they can allow oil to seep into the combustion chamber and collect there until your start the engine again. You generally do not get oil leaking past the valve seals while the engine is running since the seals expand with the heat of the engine and plug the leak.
Another common problem is the timing chain or belt will slip or even break causing the cam shaft to stop rotating. Remember the camshaft tells the valves when to open and if it stops spinning then the valves stop opening and closing. No valve moving, no engine running 🙂
A term you will here when talking about timing chains and belts is “interference engine”. When an engine is an “interference engine” the pistons and valves are so close together that if the valves were to stop moving (broken belt or chain) and the crankshaft kept spinning they would crash into the piston. (that’s the interference) This crash tends to do bad things to an engine, breaking valve, bending pushrods, and even cracking pistons. This is why most manufacturers recommend changing the timing chain or belt every 60,000 miles. Timing belts dry out, stretch and deteriorate over time so even if you do not have 60,000 miles on the car think about changing the belt after it’s 6 years old.
• Change your oil regularly.
• Give your engine a chance to warm up before driving if possible. Let the oil get into all parts of the engine before driving. This is even more critical in cooler temperatures when the oil is cold and sluggish.
• Change your timing belt or chain at your manufacturer’s recommended interval.
• void “snake oil” additives advertised on late night TV. Regular oil changes and good maintenance habits will keep your engine running it’s best.
• If you have a turbo charged engine, give the engine a minute or two cool down before turning it off. This cool down period allows oil to circulate and cool down the bearings. If you shut off the engine immediately after hard driving, the oil can gum up around the hot bearings and create problems down the road.
What to discuss with your mechanic:
• If you have to replace your engine, discuss the benefits of buying used versus new. If you plan on keeping your car for some time, a new engine might be the best bet. Sometimes new engines are not much more expensive than rebuilt ones, and offer the best solution.
• When trying to diagnose engine noises, be as descriptive as possible. Take note to when the noise occurs; at what throttle position, and when the noise started occurring. Sometimes changing the weight of oil being used can cause a new noise to crop up. Make sure you mechanic knows if you changed oil brands or weight recently.
Are you considering upgrading but aren’t sure if the wheels you like will meet your truck’s requirements? This is one of the most common problems facing all of the aftermarket wheel shoppers. To meet requirements, it is important to take certain factors into account including correct wheel and tire fitment, bolt patterns, wheel size, backspacing and offset. You may know the size of the wheel you require, but you may need to read an article to learn about bolt patterns. Also, what is backspacing and offset? Is there a difference between these two elements?
Backspacing and offset are two similar methods for measuring how a wheel can mount on a truck, but both are crucial for ideal wheel fitment. While backspacing and offset typically measure the same thing, they are also quite different. Backspacing measures the distance between the inside edge of a wheel and its mounting face, whereas offset measures the distance from the mounting surface to the wheel center. This is why the difference is so significant.
What Does The Wheel Offset Measure?
The wheel offset measures the distance from the mounting surface to the center of a wheel using millimeters. If you require a refresher course on the anatomy of the wheel, why not review our guide to wheel anatomy? The wheel offset can be negative in measurement, positive in measurement or zero in measurement.
A positive wheel offset refers to the mounting surface being on the front side of the wheel’s centerline. If there is a negative wheel offset, the mounting surface can be found facing the backside of the wheel’s centerline. However, if the wheel offset measures zero, this means that the mounting surface is placed at the centerline. It is essential that the offset is correct for proper fit and appearance. It is a key factor if you wish to lift the truck and install bigger wheels and tires.
If the offset measures higher, or you increase the offset from OEM, the mounting surface of the wheel will appear further inward on the truck. This is beneficial because it offers more clearance from the fender and tire’s the outside edge. However, it can also be detrimental because it reduces the space between the suspension and inner edge of the tire. This is not useful if you are attempting to upsize the tires and wheels for off-roading.
When the offset decreases or you choose to reduce the offset measurement from OEM, the wheel will have a mounting surface that is further outward on the truck. This enhances the space between the tire’s inside edge and suspension. The reduced offset is beneficial because it provides the truck with a wider stance; thereby, offering a greater lift for the truck. To gain more clearance from the suspension, you will need less offset. Some individuals choose to use a negative or zero offset measurement to push the tire and wheel to the outside and achieve the desired clearance.
What Does Backspacing Measure?
Backspace on the wheel measures the distance from the inside edge to the mounting face of the wheel. As the backspacing is decreased, you gain more inner wheel clearance. This means that reduced backspacing will lead to a smaller amount of the wheel in the wheel well. Moreover, as the amount of wheel in the wheel well is reduced, you lessen the risk of the wheel rubbing against suspension or brakes.
If the backspace is increased, you will lessen the amount of inner wheel clearance. If backspacing is increased, more wheel is placed in the wheel well. If this happens, there is a greater risk of the wheel rubbing against the suspension, brakes or the aftermarket mud flaps. This is highly detrimental!
If you need to lift the truck, it is important to take backspacing into account. In this case, it is vital that you pay close attention to the maximum backspace allowed according to the manufacturer of the truck’s lift kit. When upsizing the wheels, it is recommended that you do not choose a wheel with too much backspace or the wheel will not fit. If you do not upsize the wheel during the lift, it is advised you maintain the lift specifications. Always be aware of the maximum allowed backspace for the truck lift kit.
Backspace is typically expressed using inches and calculated using the following calculations:
The wheel width / 2 + the offset + half an inch.
If you wish to upsize the truck wheels for off-roading purposes, it is important to keep the following items in mind when considering backspacing and offsets:
If you continue to use the same wheel width, maintain the new offset within 5 mm of your last offset measurement in both directions.
If you opt for wider wheels or tires, it is recommended the backspacing is reduced.
Try to avoid any positive offset when choosing wheels for off-roading because too much offset can be dangerous.
Any oversized brakes or suspension can be detrimental to the amount of space in the wheel well. When choosing to oversize anything behind the wheel, it is recommended that you decrease the offset and backspacing measurements. If the calipers and upsized rotors protrude more than 3 inches into the wheel well, the inches must originate from the tire and wheel.
As most people realize, a nice set of custom wheels on an otherwise drab looking car can really change its overall look and handling. Most of the time people look at an awesome car and don’t realize how much the wheels are a part of how they feel about the car. But car enthusiast know, and that’s why they seek out specific tires and wheels to go on their special car and they wouldn’t be caught dead, driving a car with normal stock wheels. Here are some of the benefits of custom made wheels and what to look for when choosing them.
So, You Bought A New Car And The Wheels Suck
That happens a lot, the stock wheels and tires that come with most cars aren’t much to speak of. They’re always a trade-off of performance, looks, and cost. The manufacturers are always keeping an eye on the bottom line, but sacrificing nice wheels is one of the ways they do it. In a way, that’s OK, because if they put the same exact wheels, however nice they were, on every one of their cars, then they would all look the same. That’s not what most car enthusiasts want anyway.
So in a way, by making and selling most of their cars with ugly wheels, they are doing people a favor. By keeping the price of the car low, each new buyer can choose their own custom made wheels, wheels that look different than anyone else driving down the road in that model of car.
Most Custom Wheels And Tires Are Safer
Bigger rims along with the larger, higher quality tires that usually go with them are safer in nearly all driving conditions. The more rubber you have on the road, the shorter your stopping distance and the less likely you are to slip and slide on a sharp curve.
Higher quality rubber and the steel belt construction that’s used in the better tires is also better for traction in the rain, snow, and at high speeds as well. They are less likely to shred in a blowout and will hold to the road in the worst of conditions.
Custom Rims Can Increase The Value Of Your Car
There is no doubt that great looking wheels add to the value of your car, they turn people’s heads as you drive down the road. Nice wheels are probably the single most cost-effective way to raise the value of your car while also adding safety, a smoother ride, and handling at the same time.
There are a few considerations that you need to think about before you choose the rims for your car, however. Number one, you don’t want them so large that they rub on the body, frame, or suspension components as that can be dangerous and cause other problems.
Number two, you should also take note of the type of roads and conditions that you experience the most. That way you can choose the tires with the right tread design and the rims that not only look good but work well with your car’s suspension to give you the best traction when you need it.
Most Custom Wheel Stores Have Experienced Techs
When you start searching for custom made wheels it’s important to choose an experienced dealer. That’s because there is no substitute for a guy that’s sold and installed thousands of custom wheels on thousands of cars. Sure, he’ll have a computer program that tells him which wheel and tire combinations will fit which cars, but there are always exceptions that only the experienced pro will know.
For example, wider wheels are needed if you’re going to have wider tires, a mismatch isn’t good for the tires or for your safety. There is also such a thing as an offset. That basically determines how far the tires and wheels will stick out from the body. Sometimes, for the wider tires, wheels, and more offset, the car will have to be adjusted upwards to accommodate. A professional custom wheel dealer will usually know what works already or what will need to be done to make things fit correctly.
You should also ask about the guarantees that come with their products and services. Many shops now offer lifetime balancing which is very important with special wheels. Improperly balanced tires will bounce down the road and can become a hazard. Plus having the alignment kept accurately is also imperative. Cars that are out of alignment don’t steer correctly and can “track” into ruts and grooves in the road causing accidents.
So once you have a good idea of the look you desire, then choose the dealer with the most experience to help you get it done. Nearly any dealer can get you the wheel you want to choose the professional that can help you avoid problems and give you good service at the same time.
Summer started officially on the 21st June. If you have not changed your tires yet, it really is time to choose something that matches up better to the scorching heat. For many people, it becomes confusing what tires they should be using in the fall and summer season. If you spend most of your time driving on rough terrain, then off-road tires would be your best option. Yet, when most of your time spent driving is over paved surfaces, are the all-season tires really a better choice over summer tires? Here is more information about the differences between summer and all-season tires.
It’s All About The Traction
If you already know about how the different tires perform on surfaces that are wet, understanding differences between summer and all-season tires become easier.
The primary factor for determining traction over slightly wet and damp roads has to do with the tire compound or rubber. The softer and sticker the compound or the rubber the more traction it provides on damp pavements and dry roads.
Roads that are very wet are an entirely different story. The capabilities of tires to prevent hydroplaning is more dependent on the grooves and tread pattern of the tire. It is possible to find both bad and good patterns on summer and all-season tires.
When driving on dry roads, you should be going for tires that are sticky. The stickiness has to do with the temperature and the tire rubber or compound. Certain compounds perform better than others when it comes to warm weather.
The all-season tires are slightly contradictory. This term was first used in the 1970s when the company known as Goodyear introduced a product that was advertised as “great for all seasons, all year”. The all-season tires are factory-made with tread and compound that are able to perform in conditions such as snow. These tires feature a tread depth that is moderate and they typically last longer when compared to summer tires.
When it warms up, the all-season tires are capable of handling the heat. They are able to grip on the hot surfaces, yet they do not handle as well when compared to summer tires. Yet when temperatures start to drop, compounds in these tires remain flexible. This is what offers you with improved traction in the wet and winter driving conditions. What you are able to achieve in the abilities to drive well in ice and snow, you lose in braking, steering, and cornering for the remainder of a year.
If you live in an area that has a range of cold and hot temperatures, the all-seasons are regarded as a practical choice. They are not the tire type that excels in a specific condition, yet they perform moderately well regardless of the condition. An example of one of the better all-round, all-season tire are the Falken Ziex.
The summer tires, ironically are usually more a three-season type of tire due to the tread patterns that ensure more rubber or compound on the surface of the road. These tires feature groove designs that are straighter and a tread depth that is shallower, which make them faster and more nimble. Not many people know that the summer tires are able to perform a lot better in conditions such as rain when compared to all-season tires.
This design does not offer these tires with a long-life, yet it does offer them with outstanding performance. If performance is important to you, then you will want your vehicle to have summer tires.
Compounds that are used in the manufacture of summer tires is a lot more flexible, along with additives which is what causes the rubber to become sticky. This in addition to a shallow tread offers superior grip. The summer tires will also perform very well on roads and pavements that are wet. They channel the water away efficiently, which means you will not lose stability while driving in rainy conditions.
However, summer tires are not suitable to drive in any type of snow. The compounds in the tires lose their flexibility as soon as the temperature gets cold. This means if you prefer performance tires, invest in good summer tires. Just remember to change them when it starts to snow. If the area you live in is temperate, it may not be a great idea to use your summer tires when winter hits. However, for those who live in temperate zones (or you are fortunate like we are and you live in Florida) then summer tires are a good choice for throughout the year. A great example of the summer tires that are good for three seasons includes the Falken Azenis.
Variety may be suitable for many situations, but this is simply not true when talking about tires. Regardless of what type of vehicle you drive, ensure that all 4 tires are exactly the same. This means you either ride on summer tires or on all-season tires and never mix them up.
The summer tires usually feature asymmetrical tread patterns, which means you cannot rotate these tires. You are only able to rotate these tires to the opposite sides opposed to the usual patterns. The all-season tires can still be rotated in a traditional fashion.
The best choice in tires when it comes to your SUV, car, crossover or truck is dependent on what climate or region you drive in. If you live in an area that does not experience snow and ice, a better choice in tires would have to be the summer tires.
If you love to listen to music in your car, you’re going to want to start looking at some of the best options for custom car audio. With the right audio solution, you’ll be able to improve the quality of your car’s speakers dramatically. How can you find options that will deliver the kind of sound you’re looking for? These are a few things you’ll want to pay attention to when you’re exploring your choices.
You’re not the only person that is invested in the quality of their car speakers. There are a lot of people that are passionate about this. If you have conversations with some of these people, you’ll be able to get advice from them and learn from their experiences.
People that have already upgraded their car audio will be able to tell you a great deal. If you don’t have any friends or family members that have made these kinds of upgrades, you’ll want to look for an online community that will be able to give you the help you need.
You’ll definitely want to be informed on this subject before you make any purchases. You’re going to want to learn as much as you can about your options, and you’ll want to learn about the manufacturers that make these speakers as well.
If you don’t research car audio ahead of time, it will be difficult for you to tell which upgrades are worth making. You should start reading up on audio upgrades to see what you find out. When you know what you’re talking about, you’ll be able to avoid making purchases that you’ll regret.
Before you buy any speakers, you’re going to want to read reviews so that you can see what people have been saying about them. Reviews can give you insight into popular products and can help you to avoid poor quality speakers.
You don’t have to read every single review you see, but you should try to check out a number of reviews for any speakers you’re interested in. If you’re not a big fan of reading reviews, you may want to look for video reviews so that you can hear what the speakers sound like.
If the process of replacing your car’s speakers seems overwhelming to you, you should think about working with professionals. The right professionals will help you to select an audio system for your car, and they will even install it for you.
When you work with professionals, you’ll get plenty of advice, and you won’t have to worry about any installation issues. You’ll be able to upgrade your car’s audio without having to deal with any sort of hassle.
You shouldn’t have to settle for so-so sound quality when you’re driving. Instead, you should try to find your best options for custom car audio. Follow the tips above so that you can figure out how to find audio solutions that work for you.
It probably goes without saying but when you decide to take your 4 X 4 truck or SUV off the road and into the rough, regular tires just won’t do the job. Even snow tires aren’t really made the right way to get traction in sand, gravel, mud and other types of off-road medias. The major difference is how deep the tread is and how wide the grooves are between the treads. Here are some of the factors you should consider when looking for the off-road truck rims that you’ll need to make sure those tires have the support they need.
The offset is just like it sounds, it’s the amount of offset, measured in millimeters, from center or normal. It can be positive, negative or zero depending on what you desire. A positive offset will make the tires stick out farther from center, in other words, they’ll look like your axle is wider, the stance of your truck larger. You’ll need to accommodate this wider stance by raising your truck with a lift kit to make sure your tires clear the truck’s body.
A wider stance gives a truck much better stability when negotiating very rough terrain. The truck won’t be nearly as prone to tipping over when one tire goes into a deep rut. It has other problems though since the tire extend beyond the body, they’ll fling mud everywhere unless wider mud flaps are added.
A zero offset has the tire and wheels exactly lined up to the center line of the wheel and a negative offset extends towards the inner or brake side of the vehicle. Negative offsets can cause problems by interfering with parts of the chassis and should be carefully considered before buying. The most popular footprint for off-road use is almost always the positive offset for the most stability.
One of the most important cautions that you can learn about off road truck rims is that you’ll want to talk to an expert that’s sold and mounted hundreds of tire/wheel combinations on four wheel drives. That experience is invaluable when it comes to matching the right tires and wheels to your rig so that they don’t rub on steering components, fenders, brakes, or other vital parts of your truck.
There are back plate spacers that can also be added that will give extra clearance when needed. The wheel experts will usually already know what’s needed and have it in stock ready for installation. That’s because there really are only a few basic 4 X 4 bodies and frames that are kept the same for years by the auto manufacturers. The original big three, Ford, Chevy, Jeep, and Dodge kept the same frames for about 10 to 12 years at a time and only changed the body for each new year.
The other manufacturers, Nissan, Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Kia do much the same but change a little more often.
Getting just the right off road tires and wheels comes down to doing a bit of research on your own. When you see another truck that has the look you want, ask the owner what he has and write it down. Then go to your expert tire and wheel dealer armed with the information to choose the style of wheels with those same measurements.