Can I Replace 16 inch Wheels With 18 inch?

Car tires come in various sizes and models. Each vehicle has a recommended tire. I keep asking myself, can I replace 16 inch wheels with 18 inch?

Well, that is a question in every driver’s and vehicle owner’s mind. If you have also been wondering about the same, there is no need to worry anymore.

In this article, we will talk about 16-inch and 18-inch wheel tires, their merits, and their demerits. We will also see whether the former can be replaced with the latter.

The article will have a comparison table for quick analysis to show the differences between the two. Read through for more information.

16 inch and 18 inch wheels comparison table

Can I Replace 16 inch Wheels With 18 inch
Parameter16 Inch18 Inch
Wheel size205mm225mm
Load rating index157165
Wheel diameter24 inches27.2 inches
Life expectancy4 years5 years
Rim size16 inches18 inches

Can I replace 16 inch Wheels with 18 inch ?

Yes, it is possible to replace the 16-inch with 18-inch wheels. However, they have to be of high quality. Carrying out such a procedure decreases the performance of the wheel because of the increase in un sprung weight.

On the other hand, it might not be advisable to change the 16-inch with an 18-inch wheel. They have different diameters but can be offset by a shorter and wide tire. It will help keep the same ride height.

Moving from 16 to 18 comes with its advantages. Among them is the increase in the carrying capacity of the vehicle. Others include smooth rides and elongated drive life.

Factors to consider before replacing

Compatibility with vehicle

It refers to how the two tires can function on the same rim. By good luck, the rim size of the vehicle does not change.

16-inch and 18-inch have the same sizes in diameter meaning that they can fit on the same rim.

When planning to replace the wheels, consider compatibility first. You may end up purchasing a tire that does not fit or is not compatible with the rim.

Refer to the manual from the manufacturers to confirm whether the two fit each other.

Tire size and fitment

The two tires have the same diameter and size. However, other factors like the ply rating, weight, and speed differ.

6-inch and 18-inch wheels fit the same rim size, and that makes it even best. In most cases, vehicles use these tires interchangeably without many people noticing it.

When shifting from one tire size to the other, ensure their sizes are marginal and that they can fit each other.

Suspension and handling

The suspension system reduces the friction between the road and the tires. It also provides good handling stability while driving on the road.

The suspension also ensures that passengers feel comfortable because it reduces shock, especially on rough and bumpy roads.

When changing the wheel from a small to the big one and vice versa, it is advisable to ensure that the suspension system can work best.

Cost and availability

Changing a tire from 16 to 18 inches sounds like an excellent idea. However, it depends on the cost of acquiring a new one and availability in the market.

The price of the two tires differs. A 16-inch one is slightly cheaper than the 18-inch model. That is because of the many benefits that a bigger one offers.

In some regions, it might not be easy to come by certain types of tires. It is, therefore, advisable to confirm the availability before deciding to switch.

What are the differences between 16 inch and 18 inch wheels?

The two sets of tires do not have many differences. However, the major one is the tire size.

  • The 16-inch is 205mm wide, while the 18-inch is 225mm wide.
  • An 18-inch wheel has a larger diameter than a 16 inch one.
  • The 18-inch tires have better traction than the 16-inch models.
  • The 16-inch tires are more flexible and improve handling more than the 18-inch wheels.
  • The 18-inch tires have a wider sidewall than the 16-inch model.
  • The 18-inch tire absorbs more shock than the small 16-inch model because of the tread construction.

Is it okay to change the wheel size?

The car works excellently on a certain type of wheel. Changing from one size of the tire to another can impair the functionality of the vehicle.

Changing the car tire can impact handling and other mechanical issues. However, if you plan carefully, it may be possible to manage the change.

Depending on how you want to use the vehicle, it may either be okay or not to change the tire from the current to a new one. Consult your mechanic for more if you are not sure about the switch.

What are the benefits of 18-inch wheels to 16?

  • They have larger sidewalls than the 16 inches, hence more flexible.
  • They provide a wide suspension because of the large tread wall.
  • The 18-inch wheels provide better performance than the 16-inch tire.
  • They are more comfortable tires to ride owing to their size and construction.
  • They are more flexible than the smaller 16-inch wheels.
  • They are lighter than the 16-inch wheels, meaning they do not add a lot of gross weight to the vehicle.
  • The 18-inch wheels can handle more load per tire than the 16-inch models.
  • They improve fuel efficiency while riding, especially when on freeway driving. It helps save more on long distances.

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Do bigger wheels affect the engine performance of your car?

Yes, bigger wheels can affect engine performance. If you increase the wheel size, it will lead to an increase in the final reduction ratio. These have two effects or consequences, and they are:

Decrease in the acceleration potential.

Fast achievement of top speeds within a short time.

In most cases, these changes vary directly with the size of the tire.

In other instances, heavier wheels increase the weight of the car and this can make it difficult for the engine to accelerate. The acceleration becomes slower.

What are the speed rating of 16-inch and 18-inch wheels?

The speed rating refers to the maximum safe acceleration a tire can achieve. It is given in letters from A to Z and ranges from 5km/h to 300km/h.

Both 16- and 18-inch wheels fall between the assigned speed value of A to Y. However, the manufacturers have not specified their speed rating.

Do 18-inch wheels provide smoother rides than 16-inch wheels?

Yes, they are more comfortable to ride than the 16-inch models. These tires have a strong construction with more treads. Such wheels also have suspension that helps contain shocks so the passengers cannot feel it, especially on bumpy and rough roads.

An 18-inch wheel tire also provides better handling than a 16-inch tire owing to its construction. It is also wider, meaning that it can withstand the weight.

What is the difference in ply ratings between 16-inch and 18-inch wheels?

The ply rating refers to the number of rubber layers used for constructing the tire. It expresses the strength and capability of the wheel.

In most cases, the ply rating differs from one class to another by a factor of 2.

As the case was with the speed rating, the ply rating is also not indicated by the manufacturers based on the wheel size but by the class of the tire.

Which one supports more load between 16 and 18-inch wheel tires?

An in-inch tire has better construction qualities than the 16-inch model. It has a wide surface and a high number of rubbers used for construction, or otherwise the ply rating.

When you inflate the tires to the right amount of recommended air pressure, an 18-inch wheel will support more weight than the 16-inch one.

It is also more comfortable to ride an 18-inch wheel with a load than the smaller 16-inch tire.

Which one has a higher speed rating between the 16 and 18-inch wheels?

A tire’s speed rating decreases as you progress from small to the big one. The main reason is that smaller tires support less weight and are faster than bigger ones.

The speed rating refers to the top, safe speed a tire can attain as a standard movement.

A 16-inch tire has a higher speed rating than an 18-inch model. However, comfort and control reduce with high speeds.

Read More: Difference Between 18 and 20 Inch Wheels? – Pure Info

Frequently Asked Questions.

Do switching the wheel from 16 inches to 18 affect the vehicle?

Yes, changing from 16-inch to 18-inch has an impact on the performance of the vehicle. A vehicle has a specific set of tires that can function optimally. When you switch from one size to another, it will affect the engine and performance.

The case is the same whether you switch from 16-inch to 18-inch and vice versa. It either increases or decreases the engine performance.

What are the consequences of increasing the car wheel size?

There are positive and negative consequences of switching from one tire size to another. Moving from 16-inch to 18-inch can improve the of the car and shorten the braking distance.

The negative consequences include minimizing the engine performance and the weight a vehicle can hold. If you change from 18-inch to 16-inch, the car will support less weight, and the opposite is true.

Moving from a small tire to a large one compromises the speed of the vehicle.

How much difference in the wheel size is acceptable?

The general rule is the difference between two intermediate tires should be strictly 3%. You can calculate this based on the existing diameter of the tire your car is using. If it is exceeding 3%, do not install it on the car.

If the current diameter is 16 inches, any additional size should not be more than 3%.

How does the wheel size affect driving efficiency?

The efficiency of the drive differs with the size of the wheel. Larger tires like the 18-inch are more comfortable to drive than the smaller 16-inch ones.

The spring and suspension system absorbs the shock, especially on rough roads, giving the driver an edge of control.

Smaller tires may reduce efficiency and may not be easy to control, especially on rough and bumpy roads.


Can I replace 16-inch wheels with 18-inch? Well, the answer can be positive or negative. Changing is possible, but it comes with its own set of consequences.

Moving from a small to a large tire reduces the speed rating and also increases the load capacity of the vehicle. The engine efficiency also reduces because of the sudden increase in weight.

Always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations before any change occurs.

I am an engineer and the chief editor of, I am a passionate blogger as well. I am the person who can ensure a perfect, informative, honest, and helpful, guide with 10 years of work experience with different varieties of tires.

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