Element Custom Wheels and Aftermarket Rim and Tire Packages
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In the 48 Contiguous United States

FAQ: Wheel Tech & Information

Store FAQ's


Is Element Wheels are real store, or just a web store?
Do you have any shipping restrictions?
Do you do mounting and balancing in house?
Do you do installations at your store?
Do you carry brands not on your website?
Do you have a return policy?
What warranty does the product come with?
Do you charge sales tax?


Wheel Tech FAQ's

What are custom wheels?
What is backspacing?
What is offset/ET?
What is bolt pattern/PCD?
What is centerbore?
What are Staggered Wheels?
What are Concave Wheels?
Should I buy chrome wheels if I live in an area that snows?
Are black wheels the right look for my car?


Tire Tech FAQ's

What size tires will fit my wheels?
What is the proper inflations for my tires?
How often should I rotate my tires?
What does speed rating mean?
How do I read the tire size?
I only need 2 tires. Do they go in the front or back?



Do you have any shipping restrictions?

We ship anywhere in the United States as well as any country allowed by Fedex International.  The only restriction is that we cannot ship a wheel and tire package to an APO address because of the size and weight restrictions through the United States Postal Service.  We can however ship wheels, or any wheel accessory to an APO or FPO. Additional shipping charges may apply.


Do you do mounting and balancing in house?

Yes, we perform all mounting and balancing in house.


Do you do installations at your store?

Yes, we are a full service shop.  All mounting, balancing, and installation of wheels is performed in house.  In addition, we install performance parts, suspension, and vehicle accessories.


Do you carry brands not on your website?

Yes, the task of adding new wheels brands to the website, and keeping existing brands up to date is extremely time consuming.  We do the best to add new brands as often as we can, but only about 50% of what we carry is currently listed.  If you are looking for a wheel not found on our website, give us a call at 1-800-242-9883 or send an email to sales@elementwheels.com.


Do you have a return policy?

Yes, as long as tires have not been mounted to the wheels you can return the wheels to us within 14 days of receiving your product.  The wheels MUST be in BRAND NEW RESELLABLE CONDITION and MUST be in ORIGINAL MANUFACTURERS PACKAGING.  You must first call and get a return authorization from us, so that we can document the reason for its return.  If you do not get this authorization, we will not know why the wheels have been returned, and many times we will not know who it is returning the wheels.  Restocking fees are determined by the wheel brand.  Some manufacturers do not charge a restocking fee.  Some can charge up to 25% restocking fee.  You will responsible for the return shipping, and the initial shipping charges incurred are non refundable.  Clearance items are non-refundable and do not come with a warranty as many times the wheel is being discontinued, and will no longer be available. Wheels that are custom built or semi-custom built are not returnable and cannot be exchanged as they are built specifically for your vehicle. Any product that has been altered, modified, or customized for the customer or by the customer is sold as is, and cannot be returned or refunded for any reason.


What warranty does the product come with?

All of our non-Clearance wheels and tires come with a manufacturers warranty.  Clearance items do not come with a warranty as many times the wheel is being discontinued, and will on longer be available.


Most wheels come with 1 year warranty on the finish, and lifetime structural warranty against any manufacturers defects.  Tire warranties depend on the manufacturer and model of the tire.  Please see the manufacturers website for complete warranty information. 


Some manufacturers deal directly with the consumer in handling warranties, but generally Element Wheels will facilitate warranty exchanges.  Please note that defective products will only be replaced with the exact same product, and cannot be substituted for a different item.  Element Wheels is not responsible for any costs associated with the exchange of a warranty item such as shipping back and forth, labor charges, time, etc.  Any costs associated with the exchange will be the responsibility of the customer.  The role of Element Wheels is to only facilitate exchanges, as Element Wheels does not manufacture any wheels or tires.


Do you charge sales tax?

We do not charge sales tax unless you are in the state of Arizona.  Arizona residents are charged 8.8% sales tax.




Backspacing: (See Diagram A)

The distance from the mounting surface to the back of the wheel.


Bolt Pattern, Bolt Circle Diameter: (See Diagram A)

The Bolt Pattern is the diameter of an imaginary circle that goes through the center of the bolt holes.  Examples are 4x100 mm, 5x4.5 in, 6x5.5 in, 8x170 mm.


Centerbore: (See Diagram A)

The size of the hole in the back of the wheel that centers the wheel properly on the hub of the car.  Many aftermarket wheels will be drilled to a larger universal size, and uses hub rings to reduce the size to match the hub on the car for perfect centering.  Generally speaking, a perfect hub size match and hub rings can be optional for vehicles that use lug nuts, but are absolutely required for vehicles that use bolts such as BMW, Mercedes, and VW.


Offset: (See Diagram A)

The distance from the centerline of the wheel to the face of the mounting surface of the wheel that contacts the hub.  A simple way to understand offset, is the lower the offset, the more the wheel will stick out, likewise, the higher the offset, the more the wheel will tuck.  For example, and Honda Civic generally uses around a +40mm offset.  So if you put a +15mm offset wheel on the car, the wheel is likely to stick out about 1 inch.


PCD: (See Diagram A)

See Bolt Pattern


Wheel Center: (See Diagram A)

This is the center of the wheel in relation to the width


Wheel Diameter: (See Diagram A)

This is the diameter of the wheel.  Keep in mind that this is not necessarily a measurement from end to end of the wheel.  It is a measure of where the tire makes contact to the wheel.


Wheel Width: (See Diagram A)

This is the width of the wheel, measured from the inside of the outer lip to the inside of the inner lip.  Generally, it measures out to about 1 inch less than the measurement from the very front of the wheel to the very back of the wheel.



What is the proper inflations for my tires?

Proper inflation pressure is necessary for optimum tire performance, safety and best fuel economy. To maintain proper inflation pressure, frequently check tires (when they are cool) with an accurate tire pressure gauge. For example, it is difficult to tell just by looking at radial tires whether they are under inflated. Always maintain inflation pressure at the level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer as shown on the vehicle placard or in the Owner's Manual. Higher inflation pressure increases stiffness which may deteriorate ride and generate unwanted vibration. Under inflation is the most common cause of failures in any kind of tire and may result in severe cracking, component separation or "blowout," with unexpected loss of vehicle control and accident. Under inflation increases sidewall flexing and rolling resistance resulting in heat and mechanical damage.


How often should I rotate my tires?

That depends. Refer to your owner's manual for exact guidelines, but most manufacturers recommend rotating tires roughly every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Again, see your owner's manual for specifics.


What does speed rating mean?

The speed symbol denoting a fixed maximum speed capability of new tires must be shown only in the speed rating portion of the tire's service description, such as 225/50R16 89S. The most common tire speed rating symbols, maximum speeds and typical applications are shown below:


Speet Rating Maximum Speed (mph) Maximum Speed (km/h)  
M 81 mph 130 km/h  
N 87 mph 140km/h Temporary Spare Tires
P 93 mph 150 km/h  
Q 99 mph 160 km/h Studless & Studdable Winter Tires
R 106 mph 170 km/h H.D. Light Truck Tires
S 112 mph 180 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
T 118 mph 190 km/h Family Sedans & Vans
U 124 mph 200 km/h  
H 130 mph 210 km/h Sport Sedans & Coupes
V 149 mph 240 km/h Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars
W 168 mph 270 km/h Exotic Sports Cars
Y 186 mph 300 km/h Exotic Sports Cars
Z 168 mph < 300 km/h < Exotic Sports Cars

How do I read the tire size?

These instructions follow the example of a P195-70-R14 90T tire


The majority of tire sizes start with a letter that identifies the type of vehicle and/or type of service for which they were designed:

P = P-metric or Passenger. The most common service type, this signifies that the tire is fitted on passenger vehicles: minivans, cars, SUVs, and light trucks.

T = Temporary Spare.

LT = Light Truck-metric. This signifies that the tire is fitted on trucks that are capable of towing trailers or carrying heavy cargo: full-size vans, large SUVs, and pickup trucks.

ST = Special Trailer Service. This tire is only used on boat, utility, or car trailers. They are not designed to be fitted on motor vehicles.

The three numbers after the first letter signify the tire's width in millimeters. For the P195-70-R14 90T tire, that's 195 millimeters if you're measuring across widthwise from the outer sidewall to the inner sidewall.

The two numbers after the section width identify the tire's profile (aspect ratio). For the P195-70-R14 90T tire, that would be 70.

What's an aspect ratio, you ask? Here's where it gets technical: 70 indicates that the sidewall height (from rim to tread) is 70 percent of its section width.

What does this equation tell us? Higher numbers mean taller sidewalls, and lower numbers mean shorter sidewalls.

The letter after the two numbers representing the sidewall aspect ratio signifies the internal construction of the tire.

Per the P195-70-R14 90T tire, the R means radial, the most common tire construction. However, a D would mean diagonal construction which is used mainly for applications in spare tires and light trucks.

The two numbers after the letter identifying the internal construction indicate the diameter of the wheel in inches.

For the P195-70-R14 90T tire, the tire and wheel diameter is 14 inches. However, many new compact and even subcompact cars today are moving up to the more luxurious 15-inch tires.

The last set of numbers followed by a letter indicate the tire's load carrying capacity index (maximum weight on the tires) and speed rating (how fast the tires are designed to go).

Using the example of the P195-70-R14 90T tire, that is 90T:

90 = 1323 pounds max (600 kilograms)
T = 118 MPH max (190 km/h) for passenger cars


I only need 2 tires. Do they go in the front or back?

If you’re replacing only two tires, be sure to have the new tires installed on your vehicle’s rear axle.  New tires will provide better wet grip than your half-worn tires.  When new tires are installed on the rear, it helps reduce the potential for your vehicle to fishtail or hydroplane in wet conditions.

 

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800-242-9883

In State Calls: 480-966-9044