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Understanding the indications written on the rims and alloy wheels

Just like tyres, rims have specific characteristics and useful markings, which are not always easy to decipher and understand. So how do you read a rim and what information can it give us?


The marking found on a rim comes in the form of numbers and letters as such:

9JX19H2 ET45 5X112

9 represents the width of the rim in inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm)

J indicates the profile of the rim flange, here J corresponds to a rim suitable for passenger vehicles

H2 is the stiffness of the rim

19 represents the rim diameter in inches

ET45 indicates the offset in mm (here 45 mm)

5 represents the number of mounting holes

112 corresponds to the center distance expressed in mm


The offset is the distance between the middle of the rim and the bearing surface of the binding, represented by the letters ET.

When changing a rim, it is important to know the minimum and maximum offset authorized by the car manufacturer. Indeed, if you choose a rim with a greater offset, the rim will be too tight in the axle and, conversely, if your rim offset is smaller, your rim will protrude from the bodywork.

Rim Offset diagram


The center distance is the distance between 2 diametrically opposite fixing holes. When changing rims, you must scrupulously respect the center distance to be sure that the new rim will fit perfectly into its housing. It is measured as follows:

For rims that have an even number of fixing holes: the distance in mm is measured between the 2 centers of the opposite holes, always passing through the center of the rim.

Alloy Wheel Rim PCDFor rims with 5 mounting holes: measure the distance in mm between the center of the rim and the center of any hole, then multiply by 2.

Wheel 5 holes PCD


The bore is the diameter of the center of the rim. When changing rims, there are centering rings that allow the size to be adjusted in order to be able to use rims with a larger bore than the original rim.

Wheel and Rim Center Bore

Now that you know how to read a rim, you can “upgrade” your car’s look and performance! So, what style of rims are you going to choose?

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