Will any rim fit any car? Of course not. The question is how to measure the bolt pattern of the rims to find the right rim for your wheel.

This is important because the lugs in the rim must match the wheel bolt pattern. If they are fitted properly then the bolts can be correctly tightened to the rims, which is necessary to remain safe while driving. 

Close up of red detailed black bolts screws on a wheelMeasuring the wheel bolt pattern is not difficult.

How to measure the bolt pattern on a wheel made from steel or aluminium?

The bolt pattern is determined for each given car and it is to this parameter that we have to match the new rims. There are ways to compensate for small differences (for example floating screws), but a more precise choice, especially if you're not experienced, is always recommended.

Here’s an example: 

4x114. The first value is the number of bolt holes, which you will be able to determine just by looking at the wheel. The second one indicates the diameter of the ring on which the bolt pattern has been placed.

The specific parameters can usually be found among the rim markings, but if they’re not, you may have to look for another way of checking the bolt pattern.

5 lug wheel rim

If you're looking for wheel rims, our configurator will help you.

Simple way to measure the bolt pattern of 4-lug rims

Measuring the rim bolt pattern is unlikely to be a problem if the number of lugs is even. However, it’s good to equip yourself with a caliper to make the measurement as accurate as possible. It is an inexpensive gadget that’s a must-have for any DIY enthusiast.

The easiest way is to measure the distance between the inside edge of one lugs and the outside edge of the opposite. You can also measure distances between the centres of opposite lugs, but this way it’s harder to get an accurate measurement. You can also measure individual sections and then add or subtract specific distances, but the first two methods should be enough.

Be careful! These methods of measuring the wheel bolts in a rim will not work for rims with an odd pattern. Also note that the diameter of the lugs does not affect their spacing.

bolt pattern measuring diagram

How to measure the bolt pattern of 5-lug rims?

Measuring the wheel bolt spacing is a bit more difficult with 5 lugs, because the opposite lugs will not help to determine the diameter. There is no way to measure this bolt pattern without using maths, but don’t worry you won’t need  complicated calculations. Simply sum up the following values: one diameter of the centre ring, two distances between a lug and the central ring, and the diameter of a lug. This way you will get the correct result.

Remember to cautiously take the measurements, because even a small mistake can bring you many unpleasant consequences and pose a threat to our safety.