For tires, "plus one" means that you increase the wheel diameter by one inch (1") more than the original equipment (OE) wheel. "Plus two" means increasing the wheel diameter by two inches (2"). "Plus three" represents a three-inch (3") increase, and so on. However, “plus zero” would be the same wheel size as the OE wheel, just an increase in tire size.
Continuing to downsize, "minus one" is decreasing the wheel size by one inch (-1"). Minus downsizing is very common for winter use since this increases the tire sidewall height and can even lower the cost of smaller sized aftermarket wheels for a winter tire changeover.
For example: You have a 16x6.5 wheel and 205/55R-16 tire. A typical plus one (1") size would be a 17x7 wheel and a 225/45R-17. Then, a plus two (2") would be 18x8 and 235/40R-18.
Keep in mind when plus sizing your tires that larger diameter wheels are often wider and may require a wider tire as well. No matter what tire and wheel combination you choose, be sure that your new tires and wheels are of a compatible width and can maintain the original load carrying capacity.
Pros and Cons of Plus Sizing
Like any other vehicle modification, plus sizing tires and wheels has its pros and cons:
- Factory Size - Pros: Best for drivers seeking well-rounded performance in a variety of driving situations. Cons: Limited to factory size settings and features.
- Plus One (1") - Pros: Better handling and cornering. Cons: Increased road noise and decreased ride quality.
- Plus Two (2") - Pros: Aesthetically pleasing and increased responsiveness. Cons: Increased road noise and decreased ride quality.
- Plus Three (3") and above - Pros: Maximum style, better handling and responsiveness. Cons: Significantly reduces suspension and ride quality. Potholes, curbs, snow and ice, and other hazards pose extra risk to vehicles rolling on these larger wheels.
Overall, the pros of plus sizing are mostly aesthetic appeal, improved handling, increased stability and steering response. The cons are that it can diminish ride comfort and increase noise. The smaller tire sidewall doesn’t absorb impact as effectively and larger wheels also tend to be heavier. This decreases your overall fuel economy, acceleration, and road noise reduction capability.
Always consult your vehicle's owner's manual and tire manufacturer's information for their recommendations for proper wheel and tire "plus sizing". Or any of our technicians can help determine the best wheel size for your vehicle and get you the look you want.
If you have any questions or need any assistance, stop by your local America's Tire and we'll get you taken care of!