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Expert Advice

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Wheelbase are the UKs 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.


Wheel advice

Wheel care
  • 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 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 in your garage.
Bolt patterns

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.

Wheel offset

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.

Upsizing wheels

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

Wheel centre bore

The wheel centerbore is the hole in the centre of the wheel that fits over the hub. Most wheels are manufactured with a large centerbore allowing them to be fitted to a wider range of vehicles. If the centerbore is larger than the hub a spigot ring will have to be used.

Spigot rings fit between the wheel and the hub centering the wheel so there is no run out when the wheel is fitted.

Tightening wheel bolts

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

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

Wheel construction

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/bolted together.
  • Three-piece wheels are made in three separate moulds and then the three pieces are fixed together using very high quality bolts.
Wheel alignment

Wheel alignment is crucial if your wheels are misaligned on either the front or rear this will permanently damage your tyres 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.


Tyre advice

Tyre pressures

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

Fuel consumption and steering control can also be affected if the tyres are under-inflated 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.

Remember to check your spare tyre regularly.

Tyre pressures for your vehicle can be found in the manufacturers manual or try looking for 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.

Tyre wear indicators

As the tyres wear there 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.

Tyre speed ratings

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:

Speed chart

Tyre load ratings

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

Puncture repairs

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.

Tyre sizing

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

35 is the aspect ratio (profile) 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.

Mixing tyres

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.

How long do they last

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.


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