Can You Put 17 Tires On 16 Rims [Explained]

When you’re looking for a better offroading experience from your vehicle, it’s common to want to use oversized tires. In that situation, you may wonder can you put 17 tires on 16 rims?

can you put 17 tires on 16 rims

The easy answer to this question is you cannot do it. Because tires and rims need to be of the same size. Otherwise, they won’t fit. But if you replace the wheels and the tires altogether or stretch the rims, it can be done.

Keep reading this article to find out all about it in detail. We’ll also discuss the main difference between r16 and r17 tires so that you can make an informed decision on which one you want. Let’s dive in!

Can You Put 17 Tires On 16 Rims [Explained]

Whether it’s possible to put 17-inch tires on 16-inch rims depends on how you mean the question. If you mean it in a literal sense without altering the size of the rims at all, then it’s impossible.

tires

The first thing you need to understand is that you cannot have mismatched tire and rim sizes. If you were to put 17-inch tires on 16-inch rims, the tires would simply fall off. Don’t worry about accidents because you’ll not be able to get anywhere with that car.

What about the opposite – can you put size 16 tires on 17 rims? The smaller tires are going to be destroyed completely as the tire bead will keep on stretching over the bigger rim.

Hopefully, it’s clear by now that you can’t just change and use different sizes of tires and rims. The bead of the tire and the inside edge of the wheel are designed and sized carefully so that the tires are secured in their places by maintaining the right air pressures. You can’t manipulate that.

However, if by this question you mean to replace both the tires and the rims, then it can be possible. It’ll depend on the car and how the wheels go with the tires. There are many important considerations that you need to keep in mind to determine whether it’ll work or not.

Here’s a quick look at all these factors that need to be checked so that you can be sure whether you can change the tire sizes in your car or not:

  • The new wheels need to have the same bolt pattern as the stock wheels. It means that the number of bolt holes and the diameter of the bolt holes should be the same.
check bolt pattan
  • The new wheels should fit over the brake calipers and discs with a minimum clearance of 1/4″ or more. Otherwise, there’s the risk of them rubbing on to each other and that could be risky.
brake calipers
  • You should be able to bolt the new tires you use squarely to the hubs in such a way that they won’t rub against the suspension bits. These parts include the struts, sway bar links, tie rods, and so on.
  • The new wheels need to have a center hole of the same size or larger than the diameter of the hub. The wheel center needs to carry the load of the vehicle instead of the wheel lugs.
  • For wheel holes that are larger than the hub, there are concentric rings that you can purchase that fit between the hubs and the wheels. They center the wheels and enable weight transfer to the wheel.

If you’ve checked all these factors and you’re confident that there will be no issues regarding these matters, then it’s possible to replace the tires and rims on the vehicle. But you must do it the right way to make sure that you’ll be safe when driving the car. We’ll share how to do it in this guide as well.

What Are The Differences Between 16 And 17 Inch Tires

Before looking at how you can change the stock wheels in your car, you need to see a comparison of 16-inch vs 17-inch wheels to know if it’s even worth it to do all that work. There are many major differences between these two types of tires. Here’s a quick look at them:

16 and 17 inch tires

Style

When it comes to the appearance of the tires, most car owners prefer the look of larger alloys and smaller rubbers. You’ll get more tire sidewall on 16-inch wheels compared to 17-inch wheels. 

Performance

The 17-inch wheels are generally more sporty and give better cornering and offroading performance. That’s why it’s used in off-road vehicles like pickup trucks and SUVs. On the other hand, 16-inch wheels are more used in cars and trucks.

wheels performance

Though the 17-inch alloys will lead to improved cornering and offroading, the larger trims will also make more weight to the car and decrease the acceleration. Choose 16-inch wheels if you prefer acceleration and 17-inch wheels if offroading performance is your priority.

Comfort

Using tires of different sizes also has an impact on how comfortable you’ll feel while driving the car. There’ll be less cushioning between the road and the people inside the car when you’re using low-profile 17-inch wheels.

It means the car will feel more sporty and firmer, but can also feel more uncomfortable when going over bumpy roads or potholes. When you’re using 16 inch wheels, there’ll be more cushioning due to more sidewall. It’ll feel nice to drive even on rough terrain with these tires.

Fuel Economy

This one is a no-brainer – a car that has 17-inch wheels will require more fuel to travel the same distance than it would with 16-inch wheels. The wider wheels are heavier and need more rolling resistance. Hence, they’ll make the car work harder and consume more fuel.

Keep in mind that the difference in gas mileage will still be relatively minor and it won’t blow your fuel bills through the roof. Your MPG will not decrease by more than one or two units if you use larger tires.

So, you don’t have to sweat it a lot if you’re concerned about fuel economy. There are also many great options with 17-inch tires that have higher fuel economy ratings and you can choose them.

Level Of Noise

One disadvantage of using 17-inch wheels is that they’re generally louder compared to the 16-inch ones. If you prefer a quieter ride as most people do, then 17-inch wheels are the better choice for you.

However, the difference between them isn’t too big and you most probably won’t even notice it unless you drive the two of them back to back. The level of noise created by a tire also depends on the manufacturer to a large extent.

There are some instances in which the noise created by 16-inch wheels is more than that of 17-inch wheels. So, check how much noise the tires make if this one is a big concern for you.

How To Fit 17 Inch Tires On 16 Inch Rims

Fitting 17-inch tires on previously 16-inch rims is a tricky job, to say the least. One way to go about it is to stretch the rims from 16 inches to 17 inches and then, put the tires. The other one is to replace the rims and tires altogether. Let’s look at both of them.

fit 17 inch tires on 16 inch rims

Method 01- Stretching The Rim

Follow these steps to safely switch from 16-inch to 17-inch tires:

Step 01 – Replace The Lug Nuts

  • Remove the stock lug nuts in your car.
  • Replace them with bolts that have each been shortened by an inch.

Step 02 – Adjust The Rubber Gasket

  • Cut the rubber gasket around the inside of each of the tires. Be careful when you do this so that you don’t puncture the tire.
  • Use a vice grip so that you can press down on the center of each of the wheels until they touch the hubs.

Step 03 – Install The New Tires

  • Lift your vehicle up using a jack stand.
  • Attach the rims and the shortened bolts together.
  • Place and tighten the longer lug nuts in your vehicle.
  • Lower your vehicle when you’re done and tighten the lug nuts again if needed.

That’s how you can change the tire sizes in your car without necessarily replacing the rims. But there’s also another method of switching the tire sizes in your vehicle.

Method 2 – Replacing The Wheel Assembly

Instead of stretching the rims, you can replace the wheels in your car altogether. Remove the 16-inch wheels and replace them with 17-inch wheels. Then, place the 17-inch tires you want and you’re good to go.

Remember that the new wheels must match the critical considerations we’ve already discussed so that you can replace them. Otherwise, they won’t work. You’re better off hiring a mechanic to do this job if you want to go this route.

What Are The Effects Of Using 17-inch Tires on 16-inch Rims?

Although it’s possible to change the stock wheel in your car under certain conditions and expand the tires from 16 inches to 17 inches, it doesn’t come without some pros and cons. Here are the most common effects of using a longer tire than your stock ones:

Speed

One of the possible downsides of switching from 16-inch rims to 17-inch rims is that you’ll have reduced acceleration. The larger tires will add more weight to the car and slow it down.

speed

Another issue that you’ll face after replacing the tires is that the speedometer reading will be a little slower than the actual speed you’re driving at. That’s because the speedometer is inextricably connected with the tire size and it was originally made for the 16-inch rims.

Gas Mileage

When you replace the tires in your vehicle with larger ones, you’ll notice reduced gas mileage and poorer fuel economy. That’s because it’ll take more work and resistance to keep the larger tires rolling.

Traction

The oversized tires are normally supposed to increase traction and improve your handling. That’s why you’ll experience an improvement in traction and cornering on dry roads with wider tires and also reduce the breaking time.

Larger tires usually have broader tread faces. But the tires wear out more quickly compared to the smaller ones and with time, you may experience less traction on snowy roads.

Safety

When you drive with wider tires, the weight of the car increases. They can also slip from the rims when driving at high speeds. If you’re not careful, you can also cause damage to the suspension system of the car. So, be careful to avoid these issues when you drive a car with changed tires.

FAQs:

Can you put smaller rims on a car?

It’s possible to use smaller rims on a car but it’s not recommended. Using smaller rims can damage the tires, make odd noises when you drive the car, and can also make some sensors malfunction.

What size tires can you put on a 16-inch rim?

The adult tires that measure around 235/60R16 are usually used on cars and trucks that have 16-inch rims.

Can you put a 17-inch tire on a 16.5 rim?

No, not without changing the rims or the wheels. The tires won’t fit on the rims unless both of them are of the same size.

Do you use 16 or 17-inch rims for off-road?

The 17-inch rims and tires with sizes 275/65R17 are typically used for offroading and smooth cornering. Most SUVs and pickup trucks come with 17-inch rims.

How is the speedometer affected when changing wheel size?

When you decrease the wheel size, the speedometer will show that the car is going faster than it actually is. The opposite of that is also true and it’ll show lower readings when you use a bigger wheel size.

Which tire is cheaper between 16 and 17 inches?

Generally speaking, both the tires and alloys that are 16 inches are cheaper than their 17-inch counterparts. You’ll have to spend an additional $50-$500 for the bigger tires in most cases.

Conclusion

So, can you put 17 tires on 16 rims? Hopefully, you’re no longer wondering about the answer to this question. Yes, there are ways in which you can alter the tire sizes in your car. But it’ll largely depend on whether the new wheels match the critical factors of the old wheels.

Only in those situations, you can replace the wheels and tires. You also know about the differences between these two types of tires and what changes you can expect after replacing the tires. Comment below if you have any questions about changing the tire sizes in a vehicle.

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