Changing from 17 inch to 16 inch. advise please


#1

My car has 4 badly bent rims. I need new rims. I was considering moving from the 17 inch rims that are on the car now to 16 inch because i feel it will be more cost effective now and in the future.
The car is a 2002 chrysler sebring lxi coupe 3.0 engine
Tire size on it now are 215 50 17. Am i able to switch to 16 inch rims and tires. If so what size do i need. Also can i use any 16 inch rims with the same lug pattern.
I believe mine are now 5x114.3. Not really sure what that means but a buddy of mine said thats the rim size i have now.

Thank you


#2

Tirerack.com should have the info and wheel/tire sets for your car.


#3

When shopping for rims, there are a couple of critical measurements to consider. Since you want to go smaller, you need to make sure the smaller diameter will clear the brake calipers. Then, make sure you have the correct backspacing. This is the distance from the back of the outer rim to the mounting face of the hub. FWD cars have a lot of backspace. I’ve seen a lot of people make the mistake of buying rims for looks only to find they don’t fit due to incorrect backspacing and failure to clear the brake caliper.


#4

You also need the correct lug pattern and hub bore. The 5 X114.3 your buddy stated is the lug pattern. 5 lugs in a 114.3 mm diameter circle. That May or may not be correct you need to check…


#5

A second vote for using Tire Rack as a resource. Use the winter tire package as a guide.

Doing the math, Tire Rack recommends using a 205/55R16. They also only list a single black steel wheel - but I’ll bet they have alloy wheels that will fit - so you should call and ask.

Interestingly, Chrysler used a 205/60R16 on the sedan versions of this car - and Tire Rack lists that vehicle - AND Tire Rack has a HUGE selection of alloy wheels for that vehicle.


#6

There are a number of things to consider when buying replacement rims. In addition to the number of lug nuts and the diameter of the ring they make, there is the offset which BustedKnuckles called backspacing and the hub size. If all these do not match, your handling will be adversely affected.

More and more cars are going to 17" rims as a standard, you may really want to stay with them. You might check around to see if there is a wheel straightening service in your area. That could be the most cost effective.


#7

In addition to the factors already mentioned, reducing the wheel size and adding sidewall will also mean reduced handling and stability on the highway.

I also recommend staying with the same wheels. However, Tirerack is also a good site to find less expensive replacement tires for your car. Spend some time there. That’s a much better way to reduce costs than changing the wheels.


#8

I third the Tire Rack site. If you order wheels and tires together, the Tire Rack will mount, balance and ship them with centering rings (trust me, you need these) and lug nuts.

New 17 inch rims aren’t really any more expensive that 16 inchers. I agree with @keith that 17 inch tires are getting to be very standard. Oddly enough, the only car in my driveway that is on 16’s is my SUV! The rest have 17’s. Most standard tires are available in both 16’s and 17’s, high performance tires are often no longer available in 16 inch sizes.


#9

Imagine what its like to have vehicles with 14" wheels, I have two of them. Selection is getting thin.


#10

I agree TireRack is a great source of information. After you gather that information and decide what you want to get, you’ll often find that local independent tire shops can get you those tires and rims at TireRack prices.

Then if something goes wrong, being local makes it easier for you to get the issue resolved.

(Note: YMMV, but to me, local independent tire shop does not equal tire chain shop.)


#11

215 50 17 was the pnly wheel and tire size offered by Chrysler for this car. The 4 doors were an entirely different chassis.
The LXI came only with the V6. I wouldn’t change the size myself. Do not under any circumstances go to a tire with less load capacity even if they fit.