How To Measure Rim Bolt Pattern Easily and Effectively?
Different car wheels come with different sizes and bolt patterns.
Knowing how to measure the bolt pattern of a given wheel enables you to get the perfect aftermarket or new replacement wheels for your car.
That said, most car owners don’t know how to obtain these crucial measurements. And this makes them end up with the wrong choice of wheels that don’t fit properly.
Thankfully, the quick guide below will show you how to measure the bolt pattern of any wheel easily and quickly.
First things first:
For those who might be wondering what the bolt pattern (or bolt circle) is, it refers to the imaginary circles created by the centers of your wheel lugs. The patterns usually vary from 4 to 5, 6, or 8-lug holes.
The bolt patterns are expressed using a two number system- where the first number indicates the number of holes in the wheel and the second one shows the diameter of the imaginary circle they form. For example, if you come across a rim with bolt pattern 4 x 100, it means that it has a 4-lug pattern around a circle of 100mm diameter.
Let’s see how you can accurately measure the bolt pattern for wheels with different lug-hole patterns.
How to measure the bolt pattern for:
1. 4-lug wheels
Obtaining the bolt pattern for rims with 4 lugs is quite easy. You just need to measure the midpoint of one circle/buttonhole to that of a circle sitting directly opposite to it.
2. 5-bolt wheels
The bolt pattern for these wheels is tricky to measure as no holes sit directly opposite to the other, like in the 4-lug model above.
However, experts have come up with some accurate ways of deterring this wheel diameter as explained below…
- One such method involves guessing where the directly opposite hole might be located. Once you determine the position of the imaginary hole, you can then measure the diameter from the center of that circle to the one lying directly opposite to it. If this method looks hard for you, move to the next alternative.
- You can obtain a 5-lug wheel bolt diameter by measuring the distance from the center of any of the circles to the farthest edge of any of the two farthest circles.
- Alternatively, you can measure the center to center distance of any two adjacent holes and then use the chart below to determine the bolt diameter:
If the distance equals:
- 2-5/8": the bolt pattern is 5 x 4-1/2
- 2-3/4": the bolt pattern is 5 x 4-3/4
- 3": the bolt pattern is 5 x 5
- 3-1/4": the bolt pattern is 5 x 5-1/2
3. 6-bolt wheels
Just like in the case of the 4-lug rim, the 6-bolt wheel is extremely easy to measure. You just need to take the center to center measurements of any two holes that appear directly opposite to each other.
4. 8-bolt wheels
Similarly, take the center to center of an 8-bolt rim for any two circles that are directly facing each other.
As you can see, obtaining the rim bolt measurement is super easy for all types of wheels.
However, if you’re dealing with a 5-lug wheel, getting the measurements might be a bit tricky.
Nevertheless, the few methods we’ve outlined above will help you accurately determine the bolt pattern for such a wheel.
If you follow this guide, you’ll have an easy time finding out which wheels will easily fit your vehicle.