Pros & Cons of 16 Inch Vs. 17 Inch Automobile Wheels

by MJ Knoblock

The debate between different sized tires for a car often relies on what the user expects to get out of the change. Although one inch doesn’t sound like a lot, the difference between 16- and 17-inch tires can be dramatic.

Function

Follow the owner’s manual for the preferred size. If tire size did not come as an option for the vehicle, the size it comes with is what was designed for use on that model.

Warning

Changing from 16- to 17-inch tires will affect the brakes and shock absorbers, causing the interior parts to wear faster.

Considerations

17-inch tires get better traction since there is more rubber on the road, especially for vehicles carrying more than average weight.

Mathematics

Using 17-inch tires on a vehicle made for 16-inch tires adversely affects the speedometer gauge and fuel mileage.

Size

16-inch tires won’t rub against the rims of a vehicle when the steering wheel is turned. Larger, 17-inch tires may rub against the cars rims, causing bald spots on tires and affecting turning capacity.

References

About the Author

A former community newspaper reporter, columnist and photojournalist in Virginia, MJ Knoblock holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has been writing for more than 20 years.