You got bucks, found nice looking rims (which are usually expensive) and you are determined to present your car with new set of wheels. Are you sure you didn’t overlook something?
Ok, you probably criss-cross internet, car manual, asked friends and solved these potential problems:
- number of bolts – and found lug nuts if necessary
- PCD – Pitch Circle Diameter
- rim dimensions – checked and matched with tire you planned to mount in a range acceptable for your car
- spigot/spacer rings – found adequate if needed
- distancers – found adequate if needed
So far, so good. If you still need additional information about things above check these articles How to Identify Wheel Markings and Tire Codes – What Do They Mean?. At this point with all mentioned criteria matched, you are almost ready to commit purchase. There is one small thing which would not affect functionality of new wheels but can be awful annoying later. Are your future rims directional or symmetrical?
Directional (asymmetrical) vs. Symmetrical Rim
I guess you know what directional tire is? Wiki says:
Tires may also be directional, where the tread pattern favors operation in one direction. This usually takes the form of v-shaped grooves that help to disperse water from the center to the edge of the tread…
Since the rims are not meant to have any contact with surface, therefore, there is no such a thing as a directional rim in terms of functionality. But when it comes to aesthetics, we can have left and right (directional) or symmetrical rims.
If you identified your future rims as symmetrical, your set should consists of four identical pieces, otherwise you should have two pairs: one pair of left and one pair of right rims.
I was amazed how many people overlooked this fact. After some research, I got stunned when I find out that some rim manufacturers produce only one type (left or right) of directional rim. As a highlight, one car producer mount only lefties as stock.
It’s up to you what you will decide. With symmetrical, you are on safe ground. Same goes to those who do not care much about direction but more to design of the rim since most people doesn’t pay attention for such things.
There is no obvious fault with left rim mounted or right side nor presents safety issue as it would be with a tires. Anyway, it’s up to you, just pay attention.