What wheel offset do I need?


It is likely that when you start to hear some of the calculations involved with installing OEM rims that you would rather have a professional handle the process. Some of the most common questions that we get as professional wheel installers are on the nature of offset. The offset that you need depends on the vehicle that you own as well as the width of the wheel that you are mounting. Understanding your offset can be crucial to choosing the right rims.

Wheel Offset

A wheel offset is the measurement of the distance from the mounting surface on the wheel to the centerline of the wheel. The centerline can be found in the middle of the wheel barrel and if you turn a rim on its side, place a flat edge along the top of the rim and place a mark in the middle, you will find the centerline. The wheel offset is the distance and the direction of the difference between the centerline of the wheel and the mounting surface.

Some rims have a zero offset and this means that the mounting surface stands perfectly in the centerline of the wheel. This is often a configuration in four-wheel-drive vehicles. Most other types of vehicles haven’t offset the negative or positive. When wheel offsets are positive, the mounting surface is faced towards the front of the wheel. When the wheel offset is negative the mounting surface is placed towards the back of the wheel.

Why Does Measurement Matter

Most front-wheel-drive vehicles will have a positive offset and offset matters because it can change the way that your vehicle handles and the way that you steer, accelerate, and brake. Installing new wheels can also change your performance and without properly calibrating them, you could affect your braking, acceleration, and even lead to the chance of a blowout.

If you need to consult with an expert on the process of installing new rims, contact us today.

This post was written by Justin K, owner of Wheel ID and wheel specialist in Tampa. Wheel ID is Tampa Bay’s premier custom shop. We carry wheel and tire packages for every vehicle, custom suspension kits, and all accessories for the interior or exterior of your vehicle. We only hire highly trained technicians using state of the art equipment with experience in all areas of tire, wheel, suspension, and 4×4 needs.