When you are in the market to purchase a new set of tires, you may be wondering if they will also come with a new set of rims. Tires are expensive, and knowing what’s involved with the installation of a new set is worth researching ahead of time. It’s intimidating to walk into a tire store and not have a clue what you’re looking for or what you actually need versus what they want to sell you.
When you buy new tires, do they come with rims too?
New tires typically don’t come with rims, but you can purchase them separately if you are upgrading your tire, if your old rims are worn out and need replacing or if you’re just in the market for something more custom-looking and new.
Most of the time when we talk about needing new tires for our vehicle, we are focusing on the actual rubber that meets the road. Though it is advised that our rubber tires be changed out after a certain number of miles (depending on your car and driving habits) we rarely talk about changing out the rims.
For anyone who doesn’t know a lot about cars, adding the question of whether or not new rims are needed can feel daunting, to say the least.
I like cars and have always been amazed at how little attention people pay to the rims that support their tires. Not only can different rims give a vehicle vastly different looks, but they also play a role in a car’s safety and performance as well. They are worth spending some time understanding and researching.
Buying New Tires And Matching Rims
It’s a good idea to know the different parts of the tire before heading off to the tire store. The more understanding you have of the various components, the more likely it will be that you will leave there satisfied and feeling like you played an active role in your purchase and didn’t leave scratching your head about tire installations.
The part that we usually refer to as the tire is the rubber part on the very outer part and is the part that meets with the road. The rubber fits around the skeleton of the wheel and protects the metal part inside.
The rim is the metal part that we can see spinning and is usually silver, but can be customized, (as you’ll see shortly.) The rim sits underneath the rubber part of the tire. The rim is also responsible for keeping the rubber part of the tire attached to the axle and the rest of the car.
The hub is right in the middle of the wheel and is what attaches the whole thing to the axle of your car. The hub is also what connects the wheel to the braking system.
The hub cap sits over the hub and serves mainly for an aesthetic, so you don’t see the inner workings of the hub itself. Hubcaps aren’t technically a necessary component of a tire.
Now that you’re more familiar with the main components of your wheels, we can talk about why your new tires probably won’t come with new rims, but when and if you should consider purchasing them anyway.
1. Are You Upgrading Your Tire?
If you’ve decided you want to try out a larger tire size (more tire width means a larger diameter of the wheel), more than likely you will also have to buy rims to go with them.
Depending on how much bigger your tire is, you may be able to get away with the same type of rims you rolled into the shop with. (There are lots of tire size calculators that can help you determine this.)
But usually, you will need a larger rim for a larger tire, as you will want to keep the diameter between the tire and rim the same as it was before.
If your rim is too small for your tire, the rubber won’t fit around it. If the rim is too big for your tire, the rubber won’t seal correctly and can cause harm to your wheels eventually. It can also cause issues with the speedometer reading wrong, and is just a safety hazard overall.
Most tire shops will be unexcited about fitting your vehicle with a tire that doesn’t fit a rim, so if you want to go bigger, you’re going to have to invest bigger as well.
Rims typically last a lot longer than the average set of tires, so if you want to go this route, know that you are letting go of rims that probably could have given you at least a few more years before you had to replace them.
2. Are Your Old Rims Worn Out?
Another reason why you may need to consider buying new rims when you buy new tires is that – over time – rims will wear out, just like any other part of your car.
Rims don’t have to be replaced at the frequency that tires do. Most experts agree that a typical American drives anywhere from 12,000 miles to 15,000 miles a year, meaning a decent set of tires should last around 5 to 6 years, since most tires claim to last for 60,000 to 80,000 miles these days.
Rims, however, can last even longer. Assuming you drive like the average American, your rims should last you closer to 10 years if they are alloy rims and should last as long as 15 to 20 years if they are steel. Most of us won’t even have the same car for that long!
But if your rims are starting to show significant wear and tear (rust, buckling, dents, etc) then you will want to think about replacing them when you buy new tires.
A rim that is showing rust or is buckling around the edges is a dangerous component of your vehicle and should be checked for damage and potential complications. Though it isn’t a frequent problem, if the car has been in an accident or has significant miles on it, it’s definitely worth having the rims checked to make sure they are in proper, working order.
3. Are You in the Market for a More Custom Look?
Sometimes, car owners will decide to buy new rims when they buy new tires because they are ready for a more customized look.
Rims are kind of like a pair of glasses or a new watch. Yes, they serve a function…but they can look really good while doing it!
I would guess that most Americans are not going to be that preoccupied with the rims on their cars. (Especially since they can be quite expensive.) But if you are an avid car lover, have built your car from scratch, or just have a desire to have something a bit different to showcase while your wheels turn, purchasing new rims will definitely be something you may want to consider.
Like I said earlier, rims are not cheap. Part of the reason they don’t come with new tires is they would make the price of tires significantly higher. Not to mention, they just aren’t needed as regularly as new tires are.
A regular, basic rim can cost around $100 (for one.) Fancy rims are upwards of over $1000 for one and $4,000 for a set of 4.
Buying new rims can clearly be an investment. But many think it’s worth every penny.