Things to Know About Aftermarket Rims from the service professionals at Capitol Subaru in Salem, OR

May 20, 2019

Your Subaru car or SUV comes with a set of wheels that look and work great. However, there's a certain appeal to adding aftermarket rims. This may seem simple; however, it can be trickier than you might expect. If you've been considering upgrading the wheels on your ride, here are five things you should really know first.

A number of car rims in various shapes, sizes, and colors arranged on a wall.

5. Make Sure To Get Quality Parts

It's easy to find new wheels that look great. What's not always as simple is finding wheels that are high in quality, as well. There are many aftermarket rims that look sleek and shiny, but simply can't hold up to the rigors of daily driving. For this reason, we recommend choosing OEM and Subaru-approved wheels instead of trusting the aftermarket.

A close-up view of some attractive wheels on a 2019 Subaru BRZ.

4. Check the Wheel Size

When you replace the wheels on your car, it's recommended to make sure that the new wheels have the same diameter as the old ones. Changing the diameter can cause lots of problems--for one thing, it can make the speedometer inaccurate. It can also change the gear ratios, decreasing performance. And if traction control and ABS are affected, wheels of a different diameter can even make your car less safe.

3. Consider the Consequences of Changing the Rim Size

Changing the wheel diameter is strongly discouraged, because it can cause the problems we mentioned before. Some try to get around this by keeping the overall wheel size the same, but using a larger wheel and a thinner tire. This is less likely to cause damage than changing the overall wheel diameter, but it's still not always a great idea. Your ride will likely be much less smooth due to the thinner sidewall, and thin tires often cost much more.

What's more, it's still a lot of work to make sure everything is as it should be. You'll have to have the fitment properly checked and measured to ensure that the wheels don't interfere with the brake equipment or suspension components when you turn.

A close-up of some available OEM rims on a 2019 Subaru Forester.

2. Take Extra Caution With All-Wheel Drive Vehicles

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive comes standard on every new Subaru model but the Subaru BRZ. Replacing wheels on an AWD vehicle requires even more careful planning than on two-wheel drive cars. Things that might simply be a bad idea on front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive cars (for example, having the front wheels and rear wheels be different diameters) can be downright catastrophic with an all-wheel drive vehicle.

1. Trust the Experts

As you can see, this is a complex service. If you want to upgrade your Subaru wheels, don't try to do it yourself. Choose new Subaru-approved wheels, and then have the work done at an authorized Subaru service center like Capitol Subaru. The technicians here have lots of experience with Subaru models, and they'll use their skills to make sure everything goes right.

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Capitol Subaru of Salem

920 Auto Group Ave NE
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-587-5500
  • Service: 503-587-5500
  • Parts: 503-587-5500