What are these kids THINKING!

I saw the weirdest thing on the highway yesterday on my way home.

For some backround, lately some of the kids here have taken to putting wide rims with narrower tires on their ricers. It causes the sidewall to splay out, make the rims stick out, and make it look like a hotwheels car.

Yesterday I saw an older model eceonocar (Civic or Rabbit, I’m unsure) with little tiny tires on steel wheels that actually appeared to be mounted with the beads on the inner portion of the rims, leaving the rim edges sticking out beyond the tires. Has anyone else seen this? Is this a new fad?

No, I haven’t seen this, but few things would surprise me at this point in my existence.
As we all know, teenagers tend to do some extreme things with their cars (and with their clothing, and with their hair, and with piercings, and with…), and many of their auto modifications would cause an engineer’s hair to fall out.

If I were you, I would give them a very wide berth when driving near them!

Good advice.

Kids probably think this “looks cool”. Safety is not an issue with kids, never has been. Can’t you remember some cool stuff you did that now looks like total lunacy? I sure can. Hopefully this new fad will quickly fade away as the cost of tires rolling off the rims becomes apparent.

Then you have the other extreme. In Switzerland (I worked for a BMW Dealer in Switz.) no engine mods that increase power more than 10% (how they would know is beyond me) and only 1 tire size increase over what the manufacture tested.

We do have a lot of freedom as to modifying our cars here in the States

Then they have rules like the common “headache racks” we see on pickups are forbidden and you can’t add items to the body of the car that won’t break-off in times of contact,no railroad tie bumpers in Switzerland.

Yes, I have seen it. Mostly in 3rd world countries where it is more difficult to afford the real rims. So bunch of teenagers doing something stupid and it involves a car-nothing new to me. I agree; just give them enough room when passing and be prepared for a round object heading towards you.

What always amazes me is the speed with which the population and manufacturers embrace these screwy ideas. Right now we are seeing cars and pickups with huge rims being sold to cruise the streets and highways of America, jammed traffic and potholes and all. These rims, and skinny tires, are harsh riding, wear out fast, and are very likely to have sidewall damage from road hazards.

Look at car ads on TV. If they are shot in a city, there is never any traffic at all. Cars are sold to cater to fantasies, speed fantasies, sex fantasies, macho fantasies, etc. Sure, some folks really use 4 wheel drive in snow country or for those few who live on back roads or have to use a vehicle as a work tool, but here in California I see more big SUVs on suburban streets (where the worst weather we get is 4 months of winter rain) than I do in Vermont or Wisconsin.

Don’t dismiss these foolish teen ideas, because they are often reflected in the next cars offered for sale.

Yes, yesterday in south CA there was a huge truck driving next to me. I think it was a Dodge, it was raised with HUGE tires. They made so much noise that when it was going next to me I couldn’t hear my radio. So I peek in and a younger thin lady is driving it, cell phone in hand. I seriously doubt she needed any truck capabilities, let alone the raised car and huge rims. It is a status thing I guess.

I’ll admit I haven’t seen this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I had. Kids will do just about anything to be “cool”, most definitely if it makes them think they’re “cooler” than the guy next to them.

Safety, utility, good sense?? None of these thing even enter the equation.

You see it a lot here in low-rider country.

That’s a new one on me and hopefully it’s a fad that will quickly die before some of the owners actually do expire.

Surely there’s a law on the books about an accident waiting to happen like this. If so, the cops should be all over them.

Speaking of low riders, what really irritates me is being behind one of these low riders and having them STOP in a lane of traffic on a busy road because there is a bump in the road and they have to weave their car over the bump one tire at a time very slowly. You dont know how many times I wanted to give them a little push with my Dodge Ram Dually to help them along. LOL Anything that is so low that you have to stop in the road to go over a bump shouldn’t be on the road in the first place.


I’ve seen one or two old(80s) Accord, or similar vehicle with rims that probably barely clears the brakes and the rims are so wide they stick out half a foot or more beyond the wheel well. I can’t remember the exact name for them, but I know it can’t be good for the vehicle.
Then, there’s the other extreme where they put 30 inch rims on old car like the 80s Monte Carlo. I know they call these Donks, boxes and bubbles, depending on the decade.

I remember a few years ago seeing a brand new GMC truck raised really high. The roof of my Civic was lower than the top of the tires on the thing. How it was street legal is beyond me, since I seen it out on the road, and there wasn’t any car show that I knew about at that time either.

The issue here is law enforcement. While many of these things are against the law, when a lot of people do them, law enforcement can’t keep up. It gets worse when dealers begin to put these mods on brand new vehicles in order to increase sales. Then the factories follow suite and finally law makers actually change the law to accommodate the manufacturers, as happened with bumper height laws.

Many of the laws concerning modifications to vehicles are not primary violations, that is a policeman cannot issue a ticket for that alone, you must break a primary law first. Then comes the fact that the fines for such violations are very small, simply not worth the cops time to write them.

If modifications deemed to create a safety violation were primary violations and carried a major fine, like say a $1000, then this kind of behavior would stop. Add to that, that the vehicle would be impounded until the vehicle is returned to a safe state of a court decision is reached that says the violation is not a safety violation would really cost the offender. Impound fees run several hundred $ a day.

Um, in which country are you advocating this?

In NH the cops can (and do) stop vehicles for defective equipment when they see it and are not otherwise engaged with something more pressing. In our state they don’t need a moving violation to stop you.

But I don’t know if the scenerio I describe would hold up in court. How does one define proper tire mounting? Who’s to say these beads are any less safe than one properly mounted? I think it’s nuts and unsafe, but that doesn’t make it illegal.

It’s pretty much the same in ALL states I’ve lived in. Show me the state that you can’t be pulled over for having a light out!!

I don’t know what the laws are where I live now but in the past, if the cops saw you driving around with a tire that extended past the edge of the fender, the bubble gum machine went into action. Typcially, they would issue a fix-it ticket. Fix it in 10 days and no fine.

If a tire extends past the fender, it’s a hazard to yourself and others by the junk being tossed up. That’s why they sell plastic fender flares although I’m sure the XYZ generation would be embarrased beyond belief to be caught dead with them on their phat ride…

they probably spent all their money on the rims/tires :stuck_out_tongue: