Are Stretched Tires Safe? Is it Legal?

Tire stretching has been a popular term in automobile maintenance for decades. Specifically, stretched tires also have long been a craze among many car enthusiasts. Many people in recent years are actively opting for this add-on. It is because tire stretching makes their vehicles look more powerful and heavy-duty.

1. What Are Stretched Tires?

Stretched tires are the narrow tires that have been stretched to achieve a wider rim or wheel. It is a modification of the wheels by widening them a few inches. The ideal stretch is from one to three inches. The stretch technique will allow a wider wheel to be fitted that does not rub the fender. They will rest perfectly on the lip of the wheel.

Theoretically, stretching a tire is a custom method to put on a tire that is thinner than the proper size for the thickness. It is famous as a stretched tire because it features the appearance of the wheel popping out of the tire when the narrower tire is pulled out.

Stretched Tires

What are stretched tires?

2. Why Do People Stretch Tires?

Stretched tires have the utmost advantage if your car will look good. The tires look thinner, so you can dress up for a sharper, sportier look. You can even stick out the wheels to insist boldly on the design of the wheels.

Even though stretching tires will cause damage to the vehicle in some rare cases, many people believe it helps with drifting because of the loss of traction in the wheels. Since the wheels cannot touch the arch of the foot, you may get a few extra perks like better flank control and a higher contact area.

To some extent, it will give you the most comfortable driving experience, like driving to heaven. Stretched wheels will provide excellent performance on smooth pavement such as racing tracks. For this reason, it will be better to change the wheels of sports models rather than commuter cars. And yes! If you only drive to take your children to school or go to the National Park for a family picnic, tire stretching is not ideal.

Normally, when aiming for a state where the wheel is worn at the very limit of the fender, there is no gap between the fender and the tire. Because it may cause abnormal noise or damage to the fender. Applying a stretched tire custom is also a countermeasure.

Finally, stretched tires also improve running performance. It is possible to replace low flat tires, which are expensive with stretched tires at low cost.

3. Is Stretching Your Tires Safe?

Tire stretching is a preference. The experts guarantee it does not affect the car's performance. However, from many realistic experiences, it still can cause several problems, such as unpacking, blowing a cable, loss of tire pressure, increased risk of hydroplaning, tearing of the sidewall of a wheel, and wear of the wheel lips, tires wear faster.

Stretched Tires

Is Stretching Your Tires Safe?

4. Is It Legal?

It is legal to have tire stretching as long as you follow the allowed tire pressure. However, in most states of the United States, it is illegal to let your tires stretch outside the side of your vehicle. Before you decide to stretch your tires, you should carefully research the laws in your area and where you often go. We want to introduce that one disadvantage of stretched tires is that if the air pressure is not balanced, the worst accident may occur.

The air pressure is about 2 kilograms. But think about the appropriate air pressure for a tension tire with ±0.3 kilograms as a guide and with 3 kilograms in the middle. In addition, the air pressure increases and decreases depending on the driving environment and passaging time. So, it is safer to check once every half a month to a month.

Tire stretching is also concerned with the line of whether it exceeds the regulations of the vehicle inspection. It is because no rule restricts the wheel from sticking out of the tire. So, the tire must not stick out from the car's body.

5. Popular Tires for Stretching

If you are a beginner in this game, here are some off-the-top tire brands for stretching:

  • Falken 512
  • Falken 452
  • Dunlop DZ 101
  • Dunlop SP9000
  • Toyo T1R
  • Toyo Proxes 4
  • Nankang
  • Hankook
  • Bridgestone

6. Can You Stretch Your Own Tires?

The answer is yes. Many mechanics refuse to do the stretch, citing it as responsible for deteriorating the mechanical integrity of a vehicle. But if you insist on this game, please follow our DIY guide below. Remember that the process is complicated. It will require adequate mechanical skills and your patience.

Stretched Tires

7. Steps to Perform a Tire Stretch

Step 1:

Select a popular tire brand. Remember to choose tires carefully that will suit the make and model of your vehicle. There are many online stores such as Tyrestretch. It is where you can get the information of many popular manufacturers. They also provide the best suggestions according to your specifications.

Step 2:

To put on tires that are thinner than the proper size of the wheel, first, let the wheel temporarily put on the tire. First, leave enough space for the tires and the part (bead) where the wheels are fixed.

Apply sealant to both ends of the rim to prevent unwrapping. Next, use a mixture of soap and water on the bead of the tire to slide it easily over the rim. Please apply a flathead spoon or a suitable tool. It can help secure the tire to the rim.

Step 3:

Fit the tire and wheel on one side. You can raise the bead by putting a rubber ring on the inside of the rim to hook the tire. Then, press it hard so that the surface is facing down, and gradually inject air.

You can use a flammable aerosol (spraying deodorants or cleaners for tongs) around the interior level. Then connect an air compressor to the tire. Finally, ignite the flammable substance you applied around the inner tire. Remember to keep a fire extinguisher near you.

Step 4:

While fixing the side where the bead is completely installed so that it does not loosen (there are various fixing methods), use a rubber ring to inflate the other side in the same way and fit the tire. We should bead the tire after all those steps. After pulling out the rubber ring and confirming that the beads on both sides are firmly installed, we can complete the pull tire. In this final stage, compress it to the required tire pressure.

Video created by Fitment Industries

8. Conclusion

Should people go for stretched tires? There is no perfect answer to this case. But a modification could be technically dangerous and cause security problems. Could the heavy-duty and cool look be more desirable than the risk of your health? If you can answer all these questions, you can continue with the add-on only if you can handle it.

Stretched tires are a custom method that requires the latest attention to tire pressure. After ensuring safety through regular maintenance, you can consider this experience.

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