Buying a new wheel

Hey folks.

I’m kind of a dummy when it comes to automotive matters, so I was hoping someone here could help me out.

I was driving to an amusement park on Saturday and, well, long story short, my rear passenger’s side tire shredded on the interstate. I was relatively lucky, I guess, that it happened on the passenger’s side and that I was able to pull over to a wide shoulder and change to the spare in safety.

The bad part is that my car was packed and I had literally no space to put the shredded old tire. So I did what is arguably not the most moral thing and left it on the side of the road.

I have the temporary spare on there now, but of course I can’t stay on that thing for long. Since I left the old wheel on the side of the interstate, I’ll need a new wheel. I don’t really know how to shop for wheels.

Now I guess the safest thing to do in my situation would be to take it to a tire center and they can figure out the correct tire and wheel to replace it with. Still, if I can, it’d be nice to save some money by comparison shopping.

I’m not sure what type of wheel I need. I looked at the various markings on the good tires and got what I think was the tire size (It said 205/65 RIS). Then I took a tape measure and measured the diameter of the wheel. It came out to 16 inches.

So I found this web site, and did a search on my make and model, a 2002 Chrysler Sebring LX Convertible. It came back with these search results I noticed that a lot of those are not 16 inches, and a lot of those on tire size do not match the 205/65 RIS tire size from my tires. Is there any leeway on these wheels? I’m thinking no, and that it would be a bad idea to purchase any wheels other than 16 inch with a reccomended tire size of 205/65.

Of course, any kind of cost savings would probably be completely negated by shipping costs, so this could be a moot point in the end.

Your best bet would be an “automotive recycler”, aka a junk yard.
Just tell them your make, model, and model year, and they can get you an appropriate wheel.
Then, take the wheel to your local tire shop, and buy your tire.

Thanks VDC Driver. A friend reccomended a junk yard too and gave me the name of a place in town. Their online stock doesn’t show anything compatible in stock, so I filled out the E-Mail form and asked for a quote. I’m pricing stuff retail for comparison’s sake, just to see how the junk yard compares.


Thrifty–Even if your local junk yard doesn’t have that wheel in stock, they can get one fairly quickly from another junk yard.

You might want to take the easy way out and have a local tyre store take care of it. It will likely cost a little more, but it sounds like you might be willing to just pay a little more to avoid a little hassle.

JEM’s idea may suit you better, Thrifty. A salvage yard would likely want you to drop by and pre-pay the price of the part + freight and then you would need to return to get the wheel. A local tire shop would likely make a call and have the wheel delivered directly to him at a discount which would allow him some profit. Of course, you would be buying a new tire, mounted and balanced,so the tire store would be glad to take care of the details.

You’ve been given good advice so I will only add this. You say the tire shredded and this can oftentimes be a sign of running the tires underinflated.

How often, if ever, do you check tire pressure? This should be done on average every few weeks because an underinflated tire will rub the sidewall out of it and once the sidewall goes the tire will disentegrate pretty quickly.
Those space saver T-type tires should have the tire pressure checked ever so often also and they run a higher air pressure than your everyday tires. (Note the speed should be kept down when using a T-type tire because high speeds can cause those to come apart too; underinflated or not.)

What about just going back and recovering your old wheel?..Chances are it’s still where you left it…

Is this a common steel wheel or is it an alloy wheel?

Yeah, salvage yard, but can’t you go back now and pick up your old tire? I always carry a couple of bungees in the trunk just for that kind of thing. If the trunk is full, you can just plop the tire in there and hold the trunk down with the bungees. Never had to use them but sure beats leaving matching mag wheels on the side of the road. They can be expensive and hard to match. If you’ve got a plain ole steel wheel, not so bad.

You should read your tire size again. Factory tire sizes are either 205/65- R15 or 205/60-R16. Sounds like you have 15" rims (they measure larger to the edge of the rim, 15" is the bead diameter). The 16" wheels were also available, but it does not sound like that’s what is on your car.

Yeah I think you’re right. I think he is misreading “RIS” for “R15” . Get a bright flashlight, spit on the numbers or use chalk, or best yet just go get the old one before the road crew picks it up.

I can’t really remember where I left the tire. It’s a good 70 miles away from here, somewhere on the Interstate, but everything is so flat and featureless up there. I’d never be able to see it from the highway.

Okay I took another look at the tires, and you’re right, I misread. It’s 65-R15.

On my way to work one morning, I lost a wire wheel cover from my Riv. Heavy traffic and no way to stop. I watched it roll into the ditch through my mirror. Just noted where and a landmark and came back after work to pick it up again. If you note the next mile marker and the tenths of a mile to that marker, you can zero in pretty close-depending of course how far you have to go to the exit to turn around. And you’ve got to be quick since the patrol don’t like you stopping and especially walking the road.

If you cannot find one at a salvage yard try Keystone/LKQ. They offer reman wheels and if it is a common rim they normallt list for #189.00

Phone: 312-621-1950
Toll-Free: 877-LKQ-Corp
Fax: 312-621-1969

Call for a location near you

Don’t forget that your wheel was used on many Chrysler products (assuming steel wheel). So just because they dont have your car does not mean they don’t have your wheel.

Many years ago I was on a road trip with a friend of mine. We made a stop and, parked with the tire tuned out i dont know why but i noticed a shard of glass cut into the gap between two tread blocks. It was holding air, but i did not feel safe driving in an interstate. We were a 1000 miles from home, and on a very tight budget. So I found a junk yard and for $45 got a like new tire already mounted and balanced in a rim, bolted it on and completed my trip.

If your tire was shredded, your wheel was probably damaged. Drive to the junkyard and see show them your car, They will know what wheel you need and may have a compatible used tire also/

Do a quick search on A relatively local (to me) auto recycler has the 15" steel wheels at $35 a piece.

Hi all, thanks for your input. So here’s where I am right now.

Goodsheperd thanks for that link. I see some sources near me. I did a search for 2002 Chrysler Sebring Wheel which opened up a sub-menu for other wheels of differing sizes I chose Conv, 15x6 (steel). When I sort by distance from my ZIP code, it shows a place nearby offering wheels for a 2001 Chrysler Sebring for $55. I guess that will work just as well? I should call the place selling the part to make sure.

Here’s a separate question. The website has wheels starting at $91 a piece. Except when you add that to your cart, they automatically add a Wheel Installation kit for $45, explaining that “original equipment lug hardware will not work on aftermarket wheels”. Is that true?