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Plus-Sizing Wheels Can Be Risky

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

It doesn’t matter if you are an NBA superstar or a soccer mom, automotive customizing is
booming across the country. But one of the most popular ways to personalize your ride —
upgrading your tires — could put you and your vehicle at risk. The $3 billion business of
plus-sizing the wheels on your vehicle may be in style, but it can also make your vehicle
practically undrivable. The standard-size wheel on most full-size trucks and SUVs is 17
inches in diameter, while some customizers are upgrading tires to as big as 26 inches.
Increasing tire size by as little as an inch can throw today’s sophisticated automotive
systems out of line and may affect vehicle safety. When you change your tires, make sure
all the different computers and equipment on the vehicle are also adjusted appropriately,
since a tire change can affect everything from your speedometer to your brakes. Some
manufacturers such as GMC and Chevrolet have now started to offer their own up-sized wheels
and matched tires. Since their plus-size wheels are developed specifically for their
vehicles, they won’t compromise safety or performance, and won’t adversely affect the
vehicle warranty.

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