QLD Transport legislation for replacing wheels & tyres
Many vehicle owners like to replace the vehicle’s original rims and tyres with alternatives of different width, diameter and profile.
The following sub-sections outline the legal requirements for replacement rims and tyres fitted to a passenger car or derivative, or an off-road passenger car (but not light commercial), which will ensure your vehicle continues to comply with Queensland legislation while allowing for your individual preferences.
Low Profile Tyres
It is common practice for manufacturers to fit low profile tyres to high performance motor vehicles as standard equipment.
Low profile tyres (e.g. 50 series), replacing standard profile tyres (e.g. 70 series or above), are normally fitted in combination with rims of larger than standard diameter to maintain the correct overall diameter of the wheel.
The rim diameter may be varied from the standard size but the overall diameter of the tyre must not vary by more than +15mm or -26mm.
These limits have been set for a number of reasons. Varying the overall diameter of tyres affects ground clearance, centre of gravity, brake effectiveness, steering geometry, performance and speedometer accuracy. Generally, to meet these limits, 60 series tyres are fitted to rims with a diameter 26mm larger than standard and 50 series tyres are fitted to rims with a diameter 50mm larger than standard.
General conditions for alternative rims and tyres
The rims and tyres must not protrude beyond the bodywork of the vehicle, including flares, when viewed from above with the wheels facing straight ahead. If the vehicle was originally constructed with a portion of the wheel protruding, the wheels must not protrude further than originally constructed.
The tyre to rim fitting and the tyre to rim combination must be in accordance with the Tyre and Rim Standards Manual published by the Tyre and Rim Association of Australia. Reputable tyre retailers should have this information and be able to advise on the correct combinations.
All rims fitted to an axle must be of the same diameter, width and offset. They must not have a circumferential weld other than that which attaches the outer rim to the centre. All rims must have stud hole pitch circle diameters suitable to the hub. Wheel nut tapers must be appropriate to the wheel and must engage the thread of the wheel studs for at least the same length as the nuts provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
Slotted and elongated stud holes are not permitted. The fitting of spacers or adaptors between wheels and hubs, additional to those provided by the vehicle manufacturer, is not permitted. The tyre and rim must not foul wheel arches or suspension components under any conditions. Steering limit stops must not be adjusted to reduce the turning circle in order to allow the fitting of the alternative rims and tyres.
The tyres must have a tread depth of at least 1.5mm on every part of the tyre that touches the road and not have any apparent defect that is likely to make the vehicle to which they are fitted unsafe. It is not permitted to fit tyres that have been treated by recutting or regrooving unless the tyre has been marked by the original manufacturer as ‘suitable for recutting or regrooving’.