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Free Expert Advice

Need a little advice on choosing your Alloy Wheels and Tyres?

Wheelbase are the UK's leading alloy wheels store, our team know everything about choosing the right set of alloys and tyres for your car. Whether you need help on tyre sizes, load and speed ratings, alloy wheel bolts, bolt patterns or just some tips on taking care of your new alloy wheels - we are more than happy help. Some of the more frequently requested pieces of advice for alloy wheels and tyres are shown below.

Wheel Advice

  • Do not use household or other detergents to clean your wheels, i.e. washing up liquid.
  • Rinse off any cleaning solutions before moving onto the next wheel.
  • Clean with a soft, un-abrasive cloth.
  • Do not use steam cleaners as this can lead to surface peeling.
  • Do not use aluminium wheel polish on chrome, painted, or clear coated wheels.
  • Do not use tire cleaners.
  • Clean wheels only when they are cold.
  • Waxing your wheels can help protect the surface and help make future cleaning easier.
  • Only use cleaners specific to your wheel type. Never use acid based cleaners on any wheel.
  • We advise removing chrome wheels in winter and storing in a dry place. Not your garage.
Our guide to taking care of your alloy wheels

Wheels are available with varying bolt patterns, and some have more than one bolt pattern allowing them to be fitted to a wider range of vehicles.

4 x 100

The number 4 refers to the number of holes in the wheel. The number 100 refers to the diameter of the circle of boltholes measured in millimetres.

Wheels with 4 or 6 boltholes are measured from the centre of one bolthole to the centre of the bolthole directly opposite. Wheels with 5 boltholes require special tools for accurate measurement.

Our guide to wheel bolt patterns

Rim width is the measurement between the outside lip and inside lip of an alloy wheel. Rim width is measured in inches.

Rim width is usually displayed as 8J for example. This means that the rim width is 8 inches wide.

Every vehicle has a compatible rim width range (not a fixed width). For example: Audi A3 2002 has an offset range between 6J to 8.5J, as long as the rim width is within that range, the alloy wheels will be fully compatible.

When purchasing through, we ensure that the correct rim width alloy wheels are fitment checked for your vehicle. All you need to do is use our easy to use vehicle selector.

Our guide to alloy wheel rim widths

The wheel offset (measured in millimeters), can be negative or positive, and is the distance from the hub-mounting surface to the rim's true centerline.

The lower the offset is, the further out the alloy wheel will sit on the vehicle. The higher the offset is, then the further in the alloy wheel will sit on the vehicle.

Every vehicle has a compatible offset range (not a fixed offset). For example: Audi A3 2002 has an offset range between 30mm to 43mm, as long as the offset value is within that range, the alloy wheels will be fully compatible.

When purchasing through, we ensure that the correct offset alloy wheels are fitment checked for your vehicle. All you need to do is use our easy to use vehicle selector.

Our guide to alloy wheel offsets

This means your are increasing the size of your wheels and lowering the profile of your tyres for increased performance and style, here's the rule of thumb for Up-sizing, follow these simple rules for unchanged speedometer readings and fuel economy:

To increase wheel size by 1 inch

  • Increase the tyre section width by 10mm
  • Decrease the tyre aspect ratio by 10 points
  • Increase the wheel rim diameter by 1 inch

To increase wheel size by 2 inches

  • Increase the tyre section width by 20mm
  • Decrease the tyre aspect ratio by 20 points
  • Increase the wheel rim diameter by 2 inches
Our guide to up sizing your alloy wheels

Wheel PCD (Pitch Circle Diameter) is the notional circle determined by the position of the holes in an alloy wheel. The center of every bolt lies on the circumference of the bolt circle.

PCD is measured in millimeters. Example: 4x100 mm (4 holes , 100 mm apart)

When purchasing from wheelbase we will ensure that you receive the correct PCD alloy wheels for your vehicle.

If you have any further questions about PCD (Pitch Circle Diameter), please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our guide to alloy wheel PCD

The centerbore of a wheel is the size of the hole in the back of the wheel that centers it over the mounting hub of the car. The wheel centerbore is measured in millimeters.

Many OEM factory fitted wheels are cast as hubcentric alloy wheels, which means that the centerbore is the exact same size as the wheel hub.

Many aftermarket alloy wheels have a larger centerbore which require spigot rings to be fitted. These spigot rings slot inside the wheel to make the correct centerbore for the vehicle they are being fitted on. Once fitted, the spigot rings provide a tight fit to the hub and are just as safe and secure as hubcentric alloy wheels. The advantage of the spigot ring system is that the wheels fit a wider range of vehicles, keeping the costs down, and also making them much more easily transferable.

All alloy wheels sold on are either hubcentric or supplied with the correct sized spigot rings.

Our guide to alloy wheel centrebore

Wheel bolts and nuts should always be tightened in the correct sequence. The correct tightening sequence for four, five, six and eight bolt wheels are shown here.

Always use a torque wrench when tightening wheel bolts check your car manual for the correct settings.When fitting new wheels re-torque the wheel bolts after about 60 to 90 miles.

Our guide to wheel bolt tightening sequences

Wheels are manufactured in various ways, most alloys are made in one, two or three pieces.

A one-piece wheel is made in a single mould. Two-piece wheels are made in two separate moulds and then the two pieces are welded or bolted together. Three-piece wheels are made in three separate moulds and then the three pieces are fixed together using very high quality bolts.

How your alloy wheels are made

Wheel alignment is crucial - if your wheels are misaligned on either the front or rear this will permanently damage your tyres as it causes them to wear unevenly. It can also lead to suspension damage and poor handling.

If your wheels are misaligned you may feel the car pull to one side when you relax your grip on the steering wheel, you may also notice tread wear irregularities.

It is recommended that you have all four wheels aligned, however as some vehicles do not have any adjustment on the rear wheels this will not always be possible. For best results always consult a professional.

Have your wheel alignment checked regularly, especially if your vehicle has come into contact with a kerb or other obstacle.

Our guide to alloy wheel alignment

Tyre Advice

Tyres can be easily damaged if the correct air pressure is not maintained. Tyres can lose air pressure over time which causes irregular tread wear and shortens the lifespan of the tyre.

Fuel consumption and steering control can also be affected if the tyres are under or over inflated. If the tyres squeal when you go around corners at normal speeds you may have low pressure in one or more of your tyres.

Tyre pressures for your vehicle can be either be found in the manufacturers manual or on a plate around the driver or passenger door aperture.

Visually inspect tyres regularly. Also check and adjust pressures only when they are cold. Tyre pressures will rise when they are hot. If possible, check pressures with the same gauges to maintain an accurate measure.

Gauges can be purchased from most good car accessory shops.

Remember to check your spare tyre regularly.

Our guide to tyre pressure

As the tyres wear their performance and grip decreases. You can check the tread depth on the tyre by looking at the tyre bars, which are small raised rubber notches that run across the tread design and become visible when tyres are worn. We would advise changing tyres at 3mm tread depth as tyre performance drops off considerably after that depth.

The minimum legal tread depth for tyres is 1.6mm. If the tread depth is level with the wear bar this is a good indication that your tyre needs replacing. Do not wait for the tyres to reach the wear bars if the vehicle begins to feel unsafe. Tyres which are below 1.6mm are illegal. This can lead to a fine of up to £2500 + 3 pts per tyre. Each tyre is treated as a separate offence.

If caught, you will be liable for prosecution if any tyre on your vehicle has a defect or is below the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.

Our guide to tyre wear indicators

Speed ratings are an indication of the maximum safe speed for the tyre. The maximum safe speed of the tyre should not be exceeded under any circumstances.

Please use the following guide to determine the speed rating required for your vehicle:

Our guide to tyre speed ratings
Our guide to tyre speed ratings

The tyre load-rating is essentially the maximum weight the tyre can carry. Lower profile sizes tend to have lower load ratings compared to higher profile ones. If you are considering changing your tyre size, either up sizing or down sizing, the load rating should be the same or higher than the original fitment. Fitting an incorrect load rating is seriously compromising on safety and can result in a serious accident.

Tyre Load Index / Ratings

70 - 739LBS or 335KGS 82 - 1047LBS or 475KGS 94 - 1477LBS or 670KGS
71 - 761LBS or 345KGS 83 - 1074LBS or 487KGS 95 - 1521LBS or 690KGS
72 - 783LBS or 355KGS 84 - 1102LBS or 500KGS 96 - 1565LBS or 710KGS
73 - 805LBS or 365KGS 85 - 1135LBS or 515KGS 97 - 1609LBS or 730KGS
74 - 827LBS or 375KGS 86 - 1168LBS or 530KGS 98 - 1653LBS or 750KGS
75 - 853LBS or 387KGS 87 - 1201LBS or 545KGS 99 - 1708LBS or 775KGS
76 - 882LBS or 400KGS 88 - 1234LBS or 560KGS 100 - 1764LBS or 800KGS
77 - 908LBS or 412KGS 89 - 1278LBS or 580KGS 101 - 1919LBS or 825KGS
78 - 937LBS or 425KGS 90 - 1323LBS or 600KGS 102 - 1874LBS or 850KGS
79 - 964LBS or 437KGS 91 - 1356LBS or 615KGS 103 - 1929LBS or 875KGS
80 - 990LBS or 450KGS 92 - 1399LBS or 630KGS 104 - 1984LBS or 900KGS
81 - 1018LBS or 462KGS 93 - 1433LBS or 650KGS 105 - 2039LBS or 925KGS
Our guide to tyre load index / ratings

Punctures regardless of their severity should be repaired immediately to avoid the risk of accident and injury, it is advised that these repairs are carried out by a qualified technician.

Any repair using a patch or plug must be applied to both the outer tyre and the inner tyre - the reason for this is that the rubber on the inside of the tyre is a different compound to the rubber on the outside of the tyre. The tyre will have to be removed from the wheel rim for these repairs to be carried out.

Repairs to the tyre wall or within 1 inch of the sidewall on the tread should not be attempted under any circumstances.

Our guide to puncture repairs

Example: 215/35 R 18 89 Z

215 is the width of a tyre measured in millimetres from sidewall to sidewall.

35 is the aspect ratio of the tyre and is measured using the following method: Divide the tyre section height by the tyre section width and multiply it by 100.

R means the tyre has a radial construction.

B means the tyre has a belted construction.

D means the tyre has a diagonal construction.

18 is the diameter of the wheel in inches.

89 is the tyre load index.

Z is the speed rating.

Our guide to tyre sizing

As a rule you should try not to mix tyre sizes/brands/ratings unless your vehicle has different sized tyres as standard from front to rear. Never, under any circumstances, use different sized tyres or mix cross-ply and radial tyres on the same axle.

Our guide to mixing tyres

Most standard tyres will last around 15,000 to 20,000 miles although this will vary considerably depending on your driving style, road conditions and the type of road you are using. Tyres on the driving wheels will wear out faster than non driven ones, especially on a front wheel drive car. Our Advice is to inspect your tyres regularly and replace at least in pairs at 3mm tread depth or if the car is 4wd to replace all 4 tyres at the same time. All mileages listed are a guide only.

Our guide to tyre lifespan

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