A wheel bolt pattern (also known as the lug pattern) is a measurement that forms a circle through all the lug holes of a wheel. This pattern is used to perfectly tighten the wheels onto your wheel assembly which means that it needs to match. Not all cars come with the same wheel bolt patterns, but many brands share the same measurement.
Volvo, a Swedish premium car brand uses the 5×108 bolt pattern which is also being used by brands such as Citroen, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Peugeot, and Renault. There are many other brands that use the 5×108 measurement, but not for the entire catalog as is the case with these brands.
This means that you can interchange the wheels between these brands if you also match other essential wheel metrics such as the diameter and the wheel width. There are ways how one can mount wheels on a car with a different bolt pattern, but that requires you to either do some machining or invest in aftermarket solutions.
If you do decide to swap wheels between different brands, be sure to do so in accordance with the car’s owner’s manual. Your wheels and tires are vital for your on-road safety which means that you need to do everything perfectly.
Volvo bolt pattern – The specifics
A 5×108 bolt pattern (Pitch circle diameter) essentially reads that your wheel is made out of 5 studs which form a circle measurement of 108mm. These can also be measured in inches which in this case is 5×4.3 inches. As previously mentioned, different brands use different bolt patterns for a variety of reasons that are going to be mentioned later in this article.
The reason why Volvo shares the same bolt pattern with brands such as Land Rover and Ford is that Ford purchased Volvo back in 1999 and Volvo was part of Ford until 2010. Volvo was later purchased by a Chinese company, Geely Automotive, but they decided to keep the same bolt pattern for various reasons.
However, not all Volvo models come with the 5x108mm bolt pattern as certain older models, such as the Volvo 40 series, use a classic 4x114mm bolt pattern. This means that Volvo Series 40 models can’t use wheels from other Volvo models, at least not without certain modifications.
In order to always be sure that your car uses a specific bolt pattern, go through your owner’s manual as this information can commonly be found there.
Why do brands use different bolt patterns?
When you think of it, it makes no sense that brands use different bolt patterns if there is absolutely no reason for it. However, when most of these brands started making cars, they picked their own bolt pattern because they deemed it to be superior to all the others in one way or another.
As such, Volvo pretty much always used the 5x108mm ever since they started making newer cars. This goes for all other brands out there. There is some merit for certain cars to use different bolt patterns, especially commercial vans, trucks, or heavy equipment as these need more bolts to hold onto a much heavier wheel and tire.
Off-road vehicles also tend to have more bolts for similar reasons. We also need to mention the fact that more bolts mean more steel being used to make them. More holes on the wheel also mean more steelwork needs to be done. This may not seem like a significant expense, but it can become one after decades of continuous car production.
How can I interchange wheels between different brands?
When it comes to swapping wheels between different car brands and car models, some measurements simply have to match perfectly. For starters, you need to make sure that your wheel size (diameter and width) and wheel offset measurements are the same. A specific bolt pattern should also be the same, but as previously stated, these can be altered with so-called wheel adapters.
The two most important measurements are your wheel diameter and width and you shouldn’t change these yourself. Cars with differently sized tires can be extremely unsafe, especially if the wheel diameter is different. If the wheel width is different, your car’s traction is going to be unbalanced which can increase the chances of understeer and oversteer significantly.
All in all, be sure to consult yourself with someone who has more experience with this than you do.
Are wheel adapters safe?
A wheel adapter is designed to alter your bolt pattern so a wheel can fit on a wheel assembly even if the bolt patterns don’t match. These are typically made out of aircraft-grade aluminum but some are cast from stainless steel. These also need to be precisely machined as opposed to just forged as forging does not necessarily bear the same fruit when it comes to fitment.
All in all, wheel adapters can be perfectly safe if you buy one from a reputable dealer. You also need to install them perfectly as any wiggle room between the wheel assembly and the wheel can cause huge vibrations, especially on the highway.
How to measure a wheel bolt pattern?
If the wheel is made out of an even number of holes (4,6,8…), all you need to do is to measure the distance between the centers of two opposite holes. Be sure to always use holes that are directly across from each other as this is the only correct way of doing so.
On the other hand, an odd number of bolt holes is measured from the back of one hole to the center of the second hole. All you need to do is make a perfect circle which means that the circle line needs to go directly through the center of all holes on the wheel.
Can I swap wheels if both wheels have the same number of holes?
Not necessarily. You need to keep in mind that a specific bolt pattern is made out of the number of holes and the circle diameter. This means that two wheels can have the same number of holes, but not necessarily the same circle diameter.