There’s nothing more frustrating than installing a brand new set of wheels and tires, getting on the freeway and feeling a vibration in the steering wheel. You picked out the perfect set of wheels. You love the way they look and fit. It’s important that also you love the way they feel on the car. We’ll answer what is a hub centric ring, any how they can easily fix annoying vibrations that occur when you don’t use them.
Installing aftermarket wheels is complicated. First, you need a wheel which fits perfectly. You need a proper tire size for that wheel and the right tire tread and compound for your driving conditions. Then, there’s the installation hardware. TPMS Sensors may be needed, or valve stems. Lug nuts need the proper seating for the wheels, and right thread size for the vehicle. And with all that, there’s still one component that is often overlooked: The hub centric ring. Ok, enough. You’re still wondering what is a hub centric ring. We’ll go over hub centric rings in detail starting with the basics.
What is a Hub Centric Ring?
A hub centric ring or “hub ring” is a simple device that inserts into the back of an aftermarket wheel to ensure the wheel is perfectly centered around the hub of the vehicle as it’s installed on the vehicle. Lug nuts or lug bolts fasten the wheel to the vehicle, so the ring won’t bear any weight once they’re fastened but it helps to make sure the wheel is centered around the hub which is key to avoiding vibrations. Hub rings are an easy, inexpensive way to complete your new wheel installation. They install in seconds, and typically cost about $10 for a set of four (4).
Installations without hub centric rings rely on the lugs to center the wheel; sometimes called lug centric. Lug centric wheel installations are safe but often result in annoying vibrations of various degree at high speeds from one or more wheels
If They’re So Important, Why Didn’t My Car Come With Them?
Your stock, factory original equipment (OE) wheels were designed specifically for your car. The wheel is specially designed so that the center bore of the hole in the back of the wheel matches up perfectly with the hub bore of your vehicle. As a result, your factory wheels are hub centric from the factory.
On the other hand, aftermarket wheels are designed to fit a wide range of cars. Many cars share the same bolt pattern, but have different hub bore. For example Subaru WRX, Infiniti Q50 and Toyota Rav4 all have the same bolt pattern, and can theoretically use the same wheel but all have different hub sizes. A hub ring can make that one wheel fit all three vehicles perfectly. Wheel manufacturers make the center bores larger than just about every car on the road, so they can easily be adapted down by the use of a hub ring.
Congratulations! You know what a hub centric ring is and why you need them. Continue to Part II to learn What Hub Centric Rings Do I Need?