Thursday 17 September 2020

The Benefits And Risks Of Downsized Wheels

Automotive forums are full of good questions, but one of the most common is, “Is it possible to downsize wheels?” Or, “How does it work?” In this guide, we’ll address these issues, as well as the pros and cons of wheel downsizing.

The Right Way To Do It

When downsizing aftermarket wheels and car tyres, it’s best to consult with a mechanic or one of our fitment experts. Smaller wheels directly affect your vehicle’s braking and other systems in unexpected ways. Along with certain other risks, this is a good reason to seek professional advice.

The Benefits

If you’ve ever asked about wheel downsizing, you’ll find answers here. Read on to learn about the advantages of smaller wheels.

  • Lower fuel economy. When a vehicle weighs more, its engine may struggle to keep things going. However, lighter vehicles aren’t under such a load. The less strain your engine is under, the less fuel it uses.

  • Less wear and tear. Bigger tyres wear more quickly. They’re heavier, so it takes more effort to steer. That, along with lower sidewalls and wheel scraping, means that a smaller wheel and tyre package may be better.

  • Speedier acceleration. With a low-diameter wheel and tyre, the drivetrain’s gear ratio is reduced, and the engine has more room in which to create torque.

With smaller tyres, your vehicle will be closer to the ground. This means there’s less drag and faster acceleration.


Now that you’ve gotten answers to some common downsizing questions, you may wonder about the risks. There are a few, and we’ll discuss them below.

Diminished grip. Bigger 4X4 tyres have more contact with the road. This creates additional traction, which improves handling. These benefits aren’t available with smaller wheels and tyres.

Less cornering power. Because of the extra traction, bigger wheels bring better cornering. It’s not just safer; it’s more comfortable. With smaller wheels, that’s just not possible.

Another factor to consider is braking. When there’s less rubber gripping the surface of the road, it takes longer to bring the vehicle to a stop.

Is Downsizing A Good Idea?

In the end, there are a few benefits to downsized wheel and tyre packages. There are a few risks as well, and we hope we’ve covered them all in the sections above. With our guides and advice from the experts, you can downsize safely and effectively.