How to Measure Your Rims

by Andrea Griffith
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tire image by Orlando Florin Rosu from

The rims, or wheels, of your car typically come in a few standard sizes: 15-, 16- and 17-inch rims. If you're looking to replace your rims, you're going to need to know exactly how big your rims are. You can measure your rims in two different ways, but only one is recommended by Rick Bixman, owner of Tire Discount House in Dearborn Heights, Mich. According to Bixman, measuring rims can be quite dangerous for anyone other than a professional mechanic, as the car will need to be hoisted off the ground (you can't simply take a measuring tape and measure from one side of the rim to the other; you have to measure the inside of the rim instead). But, Bixman says that there is one way that is not only safe and easy, but anyone can get this measurement accurately: checking out your tires.

Step 1

Read one of the tires currently on your car. You may have always noticed the brand name, or manufacturer name, stamped onto each one of your tires, but there's also some other key information included after the brand name.

Step 2

Examine the "Size Series" located after the brand name. The Size Series will start with the letter "P" or the letters "LT" and be followed by a series of numbers (i.e. P172/60R17).

Step 3

Locate the "R" and the two digits that follow it in the Size Series. In this example (P172/60R17), "R17."

Step 4

Write down the two digits that follow the "R" on the Size Series of your tire. That number is the size rims, or wheels, that you have. For this example, the rims are 17 inches.

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