How to Measure Bolt Pattern on Wheels
A common question regarding car repair and maintenance, especially with older used cars, is how to measure the wheel bolt patterns to ensure you’re getting the right replacement or new aftermarket wheels for your vehicle. Wheels come in a variety of sizes and bolt patterns. You’ll want to ensure that you have the correct fit for the lug nuts and that the wheel and tire will fit correctly in the vehicle’s wheel well. Make sure you also find the right tires for your new wheels before putting them on your car.
VEHICLE BOLT PATTERNS
Bolt patterns vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Some wheels use a universal bolt pattern for their lug nuts, while others have more unique patterns to their specific brand. Let’s say you find a nice set of chrome wheels that share a similar 5-lug pattern to your vehicle and you want to make sure the new rims will fit. Do all 5-lug pattern wheels fit on every car? The answer is no. You will need to measure your vehicle’s bolt pattern as well as any new set of wheels you’re looking to buy.
MEASURE A BOLT PATTERN
On the new set of wheels you found online, they are listed as 5×100. This means they are a 5-lug pattern with a diameter from lug-to-lug of 100 millimeters. Using a metric ruler, measure the diameter of the lug nuts by following the diagram below. It’s very important to ensure that your measurements are accurate or your new wheels won’t fit properly. Notice from the diagram that 5-lug bolt patterns are the only pattern in which one of the lug nuts is not measured from the center.
Note: When purchasing new wheels, make sure you also have the correct lug nuts. Some lug nuts are tapered while others have washers attached to them.