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Old 07-13-2019, 07:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Aftermarket Wheels Vs Factory Wheels

Hello Since we just ordered a new 2019 Sonata PHEV and we live up here in Canada I have started looking for wheels for my snow tires.

I have never really concerned myself in what affect rim and tire combos will do to the MPG. However I do know that wider/gripper tires are harder to turn so that will affect it a bit.

I usually drive my vehicles to get the best MPG I can with them (other vehicle is a 03' yukon xl 4x4). and I do say usally because sometimes you just have to see what the limits of you car are.

Now I'm not looking to change the dimensions of my tires for winter ... Well might down size form the 215/55r17 stock to 205/65r16 for winter. Or might stay the same 17" size for winter and use my stock wheels for them and look at aftermarket wheels next summer.

The question I have will I see a decrease going with a 17" spoke aftermarket wheel if I keep the width and offest and Weight about the same, or will a more open wheel affect the drag of the car and the MPG.

I know that the Nokian Hakkapeliitta 9 factory Studded (best winter tire for our conditions) as well as the colder temps, but would like to know how everyone has found a more open wheel vs the factory wheels.

Thank you in advance for the help

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Old 07-13-2019, 08:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A more open wheel design will (I believe) always be aerodynamically inferior to one which is much more enclosed. There’s plenty of design ideas here to fab some wheel covers to negate this.

Someone will chime in on the math for a contact patch, but I think a narrower tire with a kinda similar overall diameter will reduce the contact patch, and the overall frontal aero drag.

I would want to think a lot about how light the wheel and tire combo will be. Less unsprung weight is an easy way to improve ride, handling, turn-in, and braking.

A smaller wheel with more sidewall will also be good for your ride quality.

I really have never driven in the snow, but by osmosis, the thinner tire idea on an aftermarket wheel appeals to me. The thinner tire cuts through the snow better, and having the winter tires permamounted on a separate set of wheels negates the ass-pain of having them swapped over twice a year at a shop which couldn’t care less and probably won’t balance them. That’s the strategy I plan to pursue someday when we *sigh* move up to NY state.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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jcp123 I was a tire guy for about a decade so I know that a narrower tire is better in the winter unless you have a heavy truck then a nice big wide tire is better in situations.

and yes the 1" more sidewall will soften the ride a bit.

I have always go with a mounted set of winters with an open face to make cleaning the ice and snow out easier then steel wheels. (don't care for the look of the Canadian mag anyway lol).

but if there is little to know change for mileage then I might make the factory wheels my winter wheels ( don't really car for the look of them either) and go with the more open ones for summer, but if there is a big change then I'll keep the factory ones for summer and look for a more closed wheel for the winter ( maybe a set of stock 16" hybrid wheels) as buying a PHEV is all for the savings in fuel.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KootenayAllens View Post
jcp123 I was a tire guy for about a decade so I know that a narrower tire is better in the winter unless you have a heavy truck then a nice big wide tire is better in situations.

and yes the 1" more sidewall will soften the ride a bit.

I have always go with a mounted set of winters with an open face to make cleaning the ice and snow out easier then steel wheels. (don't care for the look of the Canadian mag anyway lol).

but if there is little to know change for mileage then I might make the factory wheels my winter wheels ( don't really car for the look of them either) and go with the more open ones for summer, but if there is a big change then I'll keep the factory ones for summer and look for a more closed wheel for the winter ( maybe a set of stock 16" hybrid wheels) as buying a PHEV is all for the savings in fuel.
Iíll probably have more questions to ask you, then!

Summer is your MPG season. Seek the aerodynamics. The contact patch, I think, is less of a pain to MPG than aero if you do higher speed driving. Someone math me here please.

Winter means youíll be operating at a lower avg speed, and is by virtue of the cold, less efficient anyway. Get your traction and be safe in winter.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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For sure I know the Warmer months are where I will see my best results.

I do however fight with the idea of filling tires to there sidewall max . Is the small gain worth prematurely wearing out set of tires? (brings back memories of conversations with customers back in the day.) and as much as it was good for business it did reduce the contact patch and thus reduce the ability to turn and stop. I guess there is always a trade off.

which is why I always go for Nokian's newest factory studded tires for winter.

but would like to go with a set of aftermarket wheels for summer for the new car.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KootenayAllens View Post
For sure I know the Warmer months are where I will see my best results.

I do however fight with the idea of filling tires to there sidewall max . Is the small gain worth prematurely wearing out set of tires? (brings back memories of conversations with customers back in the day.) and as much as it was good for business it did reduce the contact patch and thus reduce the ability to turn and stop. I guess there is always a trade off.

which is why I always go for Nokian's newest factory studded tires for winter.

but would like to go with a set of aftermarket wheels for summer for the new car.
I don’t go sidewall max either, I kinda go 2/3 between mfr specs and sidewall safety reasons; I put used tires on my beater, and the date codes don’t inspire me with confidence. It makes a difference, though.

What’s your summer driving like? Look for a svelte weight combo for fun times, more sidewall for ride, aero for MPG.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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summer driving will be 80% Hiway 20% city commutes, I'm 48km round trip from work my wife is about 90km round trip. I'll get it for 2 weeks then when it her turn to drive ever 3rd week she has it for her car pool. Then then a couple out of town trips during the summer.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KootenayAllens View Post
Is the small gain worth prematurely wearing out set of tires?
But does running tires at sidewall max wear them faster? My experience over 4 sets of tires now is, no. And before I got into ecomodding, autocrossing three different cars I always ran tires at higher-than-placard pressures to minimize shoulder roll, maximize contact patch, and minimize wear because that's what everyone else was doing.

Also, if you check out the i3 thread in the Aerodynamics subforum there's an extended discussion about the effect of tire pressure on coasting distance, with some data collected by MetroMPG and the thread's author, snax. Might be worth a look.

As far as open vs. closed face wheels: A few years ago, I tested pizza pan wheel covers against stock Prius wheels and found 1.8% improvement in fuel economy at 55 mph. There are a few older threads on here with test results, usually on the order of 1-3%. However, generally--closed wheels in front increase front lift. Everything's a trade-off, and it's a question of what you want and what it's worth to you.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hyundai has a crap load of wheels from over the years.
Juat get a set of used factory wheels. Save hundreds of dollars.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KootenayAllens View Post
Is the small gain worth prematurely wearing out set of tires?
I should Have added Your Mileage May Very.

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