How do I calculate wheel offset?

Calculating wheel offset is an important part of understanding the geometry of your vehicle and ensuring that it provides maximum performance, both in terms of handling and speed. In this article we’ll explore what wheel offset is and how to calculate it for your specific vehicle.

What is Wheel Offset?

Wheel offset is essentially the distance between the center line of the wheel and the mounting surface of the hub. It can be positive, negative or zero depending on whether it is inboard, outboard or centered respectively. A positive offset means that the mounting surface is closer to the outside of the wheel while a negative offset denotes that it’s closer to the inside of the wheel.

Calculating Wheel Offset

The first step in calculating wheel offset is to measure the distance between the mounting surface and the center line of the wheel. This can be done by measuring from one side of the wheel to the other, or alternatively you could use a caliper or ruler to measure directly from a point on the mounting surface to a point on the center line. The next step is to measure the wheel width and then subtract this from the first measurement. The result of this calculation is the wheel offset.

Does wheel offset need to be exact?

Measuring offsets can be tricky business. Even if the tire and wheel have enough clearance, incorrect offset measurements can decrease stability of the vehicle. As a general rule of thumb, with new wheels you don’t want the new offset to differ from the old one by more than 5 millimeters.

How much is too much wheel offset?

If the offset of the new wheels is more than 5 millimeters in either direction, it may cause problems. Too much negative offset may make the wheel sit too far out, and this can look bad. On the other hand, if there is too much positive offset,the wheel will be pushed into the suspension.

What offset will stick out more?

A negative offset will cause the wheels to stick out more than a positive offset. This can give the car an aggressive look, but be aware that too much negative offset can negatively affect the handling and performance of your vehicle.


Calculating wheel offset is an important part of properly fitting new wheels to your vehicle. While it may seem like a daunting task, with the right tools and knowledge you can get it done in no time. It’s advisable to measure the offset before buying new wheels so that you don’t run into any compatibility issues down the line. With proper calculations, you can ensure that your vehicle performs to the best of its abilities.

Leave a Comment