Sometimes customers are unsatisfied with the style or size of wheel equipped on their vehicles. They can either find them too small or they consider the style of wheel unappealing to them. It just does not look bold enough.
While it is certain changing the style or size of wheel can alter the appearance of the vehicle, it will also alter the handling.
When a car is manufactured the engineers and designers take measures to ensure before a customer purchases a vehicle its handling is stable for safety and will be pleasurable to drive.
Styling does not affect handling, but the size of the wheel will. A larger wheel will lead to better traction because there will be a larger contact patch from the tyre with the road.
Also, tyre stability is increased due to the reduced size in the tire wall. The sidewalls of the tyre will be less flexible, so roll and sway of the tyre under load will be less.
There are several reasons why equipping larger wheels needs careful consideration.
One of the downsides of larger wheel sizes is increased steering effort. With the larger contact patch on the road from the tyres, it will take more effort on the driver’s part to steer the vehicle. You will find the steering wheel much more difficult to turn.
Another disadvantage with equipping larger sized wheels not equipped from the manufacturer is a much rougher riding car. As wheel diameter increases, tyre sidewall size reduces. Therefore, bumps in the road will not be as isolated from the cabin with stock wheels. Both driver and passengers will not find this particularly pleasant.
Your speedometer will also become inaccurate. A particular sized wheel is supposed to turn a certain number of times at a given speed. The factory would have ensured your speedometer will read as accurately as possible, so no speeding tickets will be delivered to you.
Before purchasing a different sized wheel for your car consult with a shop which specializes in upgrading wheels and suspensions or you can contact a dealership and speak to someone in the service department who can guide appropriately.
Sources: www.torquecars.com; G. Rapier Service Manager