If you want to change your rims, one of the main aspects you need to consider is your car’s bolt pattern. If your bolt patterns aren’t a complete match, it is not recommendable to mount to those wheels. If you do decide to mount them, you are facing a potentially catastrophic situation in which the wheels can cause an accident.
Audi and many other German cars use either a similar or a completely matching bolt pattern which means that interchanging wheels between Audi’s and other cars is possible. However, you need to be 100% sure that the bolt pattern is a 100% match if you decide to do so. So, what cars have the same bolt pattern as Audi?
Cars that have the same bolt pattern as Audi are Bentleys, BMWs, Lamborghinis, McLarens, Mercedes Benz cars, certain Porsche models, certain Mini models, VW cars, and Skoda cars. As such, Audi uses a 5×112 bolt pattern which is fairly common in the European car market, but even some Japanese and US cars use the same bolt pattern.
Either way, you need to be able to find out the bolt pattern of each individual car you are looking at before you decide to do anything with the wheels.
How to find out a car’s bolt pattern?
There are a few different ways how one can find out a car’s bolt pattern and the most popular one these days is to use an online bolt pattern finder like this one here. All you need to do is insert all the necessary data from your car, and the search engine will cross-reference a large database of known bolt patterns to find you the exact bolt pattern you need.
You can also measure a car’s bolt pattern by hand simply by counting the number of bolts used to tighten the wheel to the car. If the wheel uses five bolts, then the bolt pattern formula starts with the letter 5x. If the car wheel uses 8 bolts, then the bolt pattern formula starts with the number 8x.
To find out the second number, you need to measure the diameter of the circle formed by all the centers from the wheel lugs. These can be measured in either millimeters or inches, so be sure to measure them accordingly. The easiest way to do this is to just take a ruler and put it in one of the centers of two opposite bolt holes.
For example, if you want to measure a rim with an even number of bolt holes, you should take a ruler and place it in the center of the upper and lower or the left and right circles. If you want to measure a wheel with an odd number of bolt holes, you will have to measure them diagonally (like in this example).
Can I mount wheels with a different bolt pattern?
Without any modifications, you are not likely going to be able to fit a wheel that has a different bolt pattern. However, some people say that you can modify your wheels by either drilling into them, or using special compounds that can alter the number and the diameter of the holes inside a rim. This is not something you should ever do because this simply is not safe and voids all warranties known to men.
The only thing you can technically do, but also isn’t an advisable thing to do, is invest in quality-made certified wheel adapters which can effectively change a car’s bolt pattern in order for the car to wear different wheels with a different bolt pattern.
According to many mechanics and enthusiasts, wheel adapters can only be safe if they are sourced and installed by trained and experienced technicians.
Why do cars have different bolt patterns?
When you think about it, all of this would be much easier if all cars simply started using an identical bolt pattern. This would mean that you will never again have to measure or find out a car’s bolt pattern as there simply would be no need for that. The reason why cars have different bolt patterns is that cars simply evolved that way.
Not only that, some cars either use more bolts or use bigger bolts for safety reasons. If you pay close attention, you will probably come across many semi-trucks and large buses that come with 8 bolts or even 10 bolts. These hold the wheel in place better and the weight distribution is more even across all parts of the wheel.
You also need to keep in mind that making a 4×115 bolt pattern wheel and lug combo is a lot cheaper than making an 8×285 bolt pattern. There is simply more material that goes into it and the overall manufacturing costs and time needed are not the same.
Is it a good idea to use non-stock wheels on a car?
It depends on the wheels in question as not all aftermarket wheels are made equal. Some of them are as strong or even stronger than 99% of wheels that come on cars from the factory. Some of them can be extremely unsafe and therefore not something you should mount to your car.
All in all, you should always source your wheels from reputable dealers with great service history. Your wheels should also be mounted by a professional and torqued to the exact limit recommended by the manufacturer.
Are wheel adapters and wheel spacers the same?
No, they are not. Wheel adapters are designed so you can mount wheels with a different bolt pattern to a car while wheel spacers are designed for making your car’s track wider. People sometimes need to use spacers to fit certain wheels, but they also often use spacers because it makes the car look nicer, especially with a wider wheel.
As such, these are not the same and they do not serve the same purpose even though many people believe otherwise.
Do 5 lug wheels fit cars with a 5 lug bolt pattern automatically?
No, they do not. There are many other measurements that need to be satisfied in order for a wheel to be mounted onto a car. The two most critical measurements are the wheel diameter and the wheel width.