different size wheels on front and back: is it good or bad?

Mass-produced vehicles typically roll off the assembly line with uniform tire and wheel sizes, with the same tires on both front and rear axles. However, there’s a trend among car enthusiasts to use different-size wheels on their vehicles. This practice is common among prestigious models such as the BMW M series, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang Boss 302, and Nissan 370Z.

different size wheels on front and back: is it good or bad?

In this article, we’ll explore the advantages, disadvantages and potential challenges of using different size wheels on front and back on your vehicle.

Why people use different size wheels on front and back

different size wheels on front and back

Wheels of varying sizes are traditionally associated with sports cars for several good reasons:

  1. Enhanced Performance: Different-size wheels can help vehicles achieve better acceleration and shorter braking distances. The larger contact patch created by wider tires improves handling and stability, enabling faster speeds and precise control.
  2. Improved Aesthetics: Enlarged wheels give any vehicle an energetic, sporty appearance. They turn heads and enhance the owner’s prestige.
  3. Handling and Maneuverability: Different-size wheels contribute to overall improved maneuverability and vehicle stability. When the correct sizes are chosen, it can lead to reduced load on the front wheels and less tire wear on drive wheels.
  4. Increased Wheel Life: Properly selected different-size wheels can help extend the life of your wheels and tires.

Choosing the Right different size wheels on front and back

While the idea of using different-size wheels may seem exciting, it’s important to consider the following factors to make an informed decision:

  1. Static Diameter: Ensure that the static diameter of the wheel matches the size of the rims. Deviations from the manufacturer’s recommended range can lead to distortions in the electronic control system of the vehicle.
  2. Wide Tires on Drive Wheels: Widening the tires is typically done on the drive wheels, often the rear axle, to maximize traction and performance.
  3. Consider Other System Changes: When choosing different-size wheels, be aware that it may require modifications to other components like brake calipers, transmission, and elements of the chassis. These changes are crucial to maintaining the vehicle’s performance and safety.
  4. Profile Height and Rim Width: The technical parameters of different-size wheels also affect the size of the rims for installing low-profile tires. Ensuring the right balance between profile height and rim width is vital.
  5. Offset and Distance: Pay attention to parameters like the offset of the rim and the distance to the suspension components. This prevents tires from touching the fenders during maneuvers and ensures proper fitment.
  6. Get Professional Help: While calculations are essential, they’re often not enough. Visit a dealer to obtain the right size and do a fitting with measurements of the gaps between various components to ensure a proper fit.

different size wheels on front and back and All-Wheel Drive

It’s common to install different-size wheels on rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicles, as it enhances torque transfer from the engine to improve dynamics and reduce slipping. This concept also applies to vehicles with all-wheel drive (AWD), where power is distributed to both the front and rear axles. However, some concerns about different-size wheels on AWD models include potential issues with the center differential due to variations in wheel speed. These concerns are largely addressed by careful tire size selection and calculations.

Calculating the different size wheels on front and back

Let’s consider an example to illustrate the negligible impact of different-size wheels on all-wheel drive vehicles. Suppose you have tires with sizes 245/35 R20 at the front and 285/30 R20 at the rear.

Calculating the profile height:

  • Front wheels: 245mm * 35% = 85.75mm
  • Rear wheels: 285mm * 30% = 85.50mm

The difference in radii is only 0.25mm, which has minimal impact on driving safety and the vehicle’s differential.

Advantages and Disadvantages of different size wheels on front and back

Deciding to install different-size wheels has its pros and cons:


  • Enhanced performance and handling
  • Improved maneuverability
  • Reduced load on the front wheels
  • Extended wheel life
  • Less tire wear on drive wheels


  • Increased costs: Wider wheels can reduce the working load capacity andincrease fuel consumption compared to factory standards.
  • Higher seasonal tire replacement costs, as different-size tires are typically more expensive.
  • Suitable for well-maintained roads: Low-profile tires perform best on smooth, well-paved surfaces and may not be as comfortable on uneven terrain.

Professional Guidance

It’s advisable to consult with specialists at a tuning company when considering different-size wheels. They possess the knowledge and experience necessary to select the right components and make technical decisions that align with your car’s unique needs.


Elevate your car’s performance and appearance by exploring different size wheels on front and back a smart choice for enthusiasts.

Using different-size wheels can significantly improve your vehicle’s performance, handling, and appearance. It’s crucial to select the right components and make necessary adjustments to ensure safety and optimal results. Whether you prioritize high-speed driving, vehicle responsiveness, confident maneuvers, or a dynamic appearance, different-size wheels can be a worthwhile investment in your car’s safety, comfort, and image. If you’re considering different-size wheels for your vehicle, reach out to experts who can guide you through the process.

Incorporate this information into your decision-making process to make the most of your car’s potential with different-size wheels.

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