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New here and I've learned alot from y'all in the last two weeks so thank you for the education - still a newbie though.

After seeing photos on this board, I'm about to change my stock LX 15" steelies on my 2010 for 17 inch rims with a weight of about 19lbs each. I've read another thread here that the stock steelies weigh like twice that (is that true?) so if I'm losing 20 lbs on each wheel, isn't that an MPG benefit? I am aware that will be offset by higher car stance (unless I lower it w/the Tanabe springs), larger wheel and different tires with less beneficial rolling resistance.

So, does anyone have experience with the MPG outcome in such a change from 15 inch steelies w/hubcaps and also how heavy are these OEM steelies?

Appreciate all input.
 

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1. Weigh an existing tire and wheel on a bathroom scale.

2. Look up the weight of the tire and wheel that you want to buy. Compare with 1.

3. Be aware that changing the tire height and width will adversely affect your MPG.

Sam
 

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Welcome aboard. :)

The oem alloys weigh about 18 lbs. I dont know about the steelies.

I went to ten lb rims and lost a few on each corner. It accelerates, stops faster and rides better. MPG is mixed. Its depends on your driving. Stop n go lighter wheels help. Lots of coasting at a constant or so speed heavier helps.
 

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Not sure if advice is still needed for he OP, but I'd like to chime-in on the weight of the OEM steel rims. They are definitely not "twice as heavy". In fact, they are lighter than most 15" alloys except for some super lights like Enkei RPF or Konig Helium. For steel wheels they are rather light, mainly because they are only 5.5" wide, but also with a lot of holes in them. My estimate for the stock 15" steel wheels weight is thwt they are no more than 15lb, since the wheel and tire together are something like 35lb.

Going to larger diameter wheel will pretty much guarantee a heavier wheel weight and weight distribution that will negatively impact acceleration, stopping, and suspension, even if one gets the lightest 15lb or so 17" wheels out there and stays with narrow-ish tires...
 

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For best mileage you will want a small diameter rim, skinny tire, and a spokeless wheel design with the least amount of open area. Basically, you want the generation 1 insight rim and tire combo.
 

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A quick update. I just put 17" x 7" wide Enkei RPF1 wheels on my 2011 Insight and I can confirm with 205mm wide tires they weigh just slightly less than the stock 15" wheels with 175mm tires. I'd be surprised if it is more than a pound or so difference. The stock wheel/tire is quite light on our cars. A comparable aftermarket steel rim in 16"x6.5" weights at 19lb about 2x more than the stock steelies on the Insight in 15"x5.5". Keep in mind these RPF1 are just about the lightest (and not that sturdy) aftermarket rims available in 17". The 15" version is lighter yet.

I should also mention that with 43mm offset on the new rims and 205/40/17 tires there is no rubbing. Yes, these tires are 40 profile and 45 would have been a closer match to the stock 175/65/15 size, but compared to "stock" in some Asian markets, they are actually only 5mm smaller diameter. So a negligible difference in overall diameter. Speed on the odometer vs. GPS seems virtually identical, so no issues there.

The car rides straight and is a bit more planted in corners. Hard to tell if traction is increased (my main reason for the switch in rim size), since the off-brand "high performance" tires are an unknown vs. the pretty good Michelins I had before.

I would say offset between 40 and 45mm or so seems right ("stock" offset varies from 46mm to 51mm depending on what wheels came on the car). There is space inside with a 7" wheel so even higher offset might work. Smaller offset (like 35mm) might push the front wheels too much out and be a concern for rubbing (plus it does not look good to have the wheels stick out there).

As for fuel economy, hard to say as it depends a lot on tire brand and type and tire pressure. I expect a few MPG drop. I ride 36psi front 34 rear on these and on the stock size tires - anything more and the ride is too rough on the poor roads around here, regardless of tire/rim size. Plus, an overinflated tire reduces the contact patch size (reason for increased fuel efficiency) which leads to even worse braking and turning on a car that is already not very spectacular at either...
 

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A quick update. I just put 17" x 7" wide Enkei RPF1 wheels on my 2011 Insight and I can confirm with 205mm wide tires they weigh just slightly less than the stock 15" wheels with 175mm tires. I'd be surprised if it is more than a pound or so difference. The stock wheel/tire is quite light on our cars. A comparable aftermarket steel rim in 16"x6.5" weights at 19lb about 2x more than the stock steelies on the Insight in 15"x5.5". Keep in mind these RPF1 are just about the lightest (and not that sturdy) aftermarket rims available in 17". The 15" version is lighter yet.

I should also mention that with 43mm offset on the new rims and 205/40/17 tires there is no rubbing. Yes, these tires are 40 profile and 45 would have been a closer match to the stock 175/65/15 size, but compared to "stock" in some Asian markets, they are actually only 5mm smaller diameter. So a negligible difference in overall diameter. Speed on the odometer vs. GPS seems virtually identical, so no issues there.

The car rides straight and is a bit more planted in corners. Hard to tell if traction is increased (my main reason for the switch in rim size), since the off-brand "high performance" tires are an unknown vs. the pretty good Michelins I had before.

I would say offset between 40 and 45mm or so seems right ("stock" offset varies from 46mm to 51mm depending on what wheels came on the car). There is space inside with a 7" wheel so even higher offset might work. Smaller offset (like 35mm) might push the front wheels too much out and be a concern for rubbing (plus it does not look good to have the wheels stick out there).

As for fuel economy, hard to say as it depends a lot on tire brand and type and tire pressure. I expect a few MPG drop. I ride 36psi front 34 rear on these and on the stock size tires - anything more and the ride is too rough on the poor roads around here, regardless of tire/rim size. Plus, an overinflated tire reduces the contact patch size (reason for increased fuel efficiency) which leads to even worse braking and turning on a car that is already not very spectacular at either...
This is very helpful! I am actually looking at Enkei GW8 17x7- do you know if that works? Thanks!
 

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They should work, I'm pretty sure. My RPF1 are also 17x7" and only 1mm difference in offset. I think 45mm offset would be better than 42mm. Much more than 45mm and you might get rubbing on turns in the front with 205 wide tires (should't be an issue with narrower). Less than 40mm, and I think the wheels stick out too much, but that's a matter of taste.

I just swapped the front Velozza for a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3, 84W in a slightly taller sidewall: 205/45-17. Even though they are the same 205mm size as the Velozzas, the Michelins are wider. And slightly taller. They fit fine on the front, no rubbing on full turning, and I have not yet felt them rub the fenders, but I have not yet gone through huge bumps, so not yet 100% sure. I have not yet installed matching Michellins on the rear, still have a pair of Velozzas there (found only 3 Michelins on sale, had to mail-order the 4th so I'll have the rears fitted next week). Why W-rated? Found 3 W-rated tires locally on sale for $89 each vs. at least $140 delivered for the V-rated and $150+ delivered for the W-rated, so with the other 3 tires I got a set of W-rated tires for less than lower rated tires).

There is plenty of clearance between tire and suspension.

I added $4 hub plastic centering rings off eBay, which I think are good to have with non-hub centric wheel hub bore sizes like on Enkei.

To be honest, I think a slightly narrower and less aggressive tire would be a better match for our cars.The Pilot Port A/S 3 are almost as aggressive as summer tires, so they are a bit harsh on rough pavement and noisier than ideal. The noise migh have something to do with the W rating, but I think it's the stiff construction, lower profile, and aggressive thread pattern. The 175/65-15 H-rated version of the same tire on the steelies is quieter, though probably still noisier than grand touring tires would be. The Velozza are between the new and old Michelins in terms of road noise. Actually, I kind of like the Velozza - they are comfortable and fairly quiet, given the fairly low 205/40 profile the rim protector on them is just bigger than the rim and the tire does not stick out, is neatly tucked in. The Michelins stick out more and have much beefier rim protector.

Anyway, if you drive on decent roads, the 17" tires are not harsh and the car is more planted. When I shake the car when parked side to side, when on 15" wheels, it shakes and oscillates a lot. Same as our Prius with 15" wheels. With 17" wheels the car does not move pretty much at all when I try shake it side to side. Most of the wobble on our cars is in the tall tires.

I'll post some pics soon. I think the black wheels look good on gunmetal grey car, I think better than the silver wheels do.


This is very helpful! I am actually looking at Enkei GW8 17x7- do you know if that works? Thanks!
 

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I should mention that the 205/45-17 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 84W tires do rub slightly during extreme compression in the front. It might be because my left fender is sligjtly bent due to an accident, but it looks like they might make contact anyway - just too wide. Only happens when I go over a large depression on a smoith road, like whencrossing some streets coming down from a side street.

Also, just weighted the 15" stock steel wheels with 175/65-15 OEM sized tires at 34.0lb without hubcaps. The new Enkei RPF1 17x7" wheels and tires in 205/45-17 are 2.4lb *heavier* at 36.4lb. I suspect a pound or two of that difference is the new thread vs. wornout thread, so I'd say they weigh virtually the same. A 15" RPF1 wheel would reduce maybe 5lb per corner.
 
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