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January 05, 2016

Wheel Backspacing and Offset

The offset of a Buick wheel is the measured distance between the backspacing and the centerline. The offset value of an OEM Buick wheel can be a positive number, a negative number, or have a value of zero. To determine the offset of a factory Buick wheel, a few steps must be taken.

First is to determine the wheels backspacing. This is done by placing the Buick wheel face down (preferably on a safe clean surface as not to damage the finish of the Buick wheel's face) and place a straightedge across the inboard flanges. Measure the distance from the mounting surface to the point where the tape measure or ruler meets the straightedge and save that number. That number is the Buick rim's backspacing.

Next, you can determine the Buick wheels centerline using the width of the wheel. Properly measuring the width of the Buick wheel requires a measurement using the distance between the inside of the inboard bead seat to the inside of the outboard bead seat. That distance divided by two results in the Buick wheels centerline measurement. Save this number as well.

The final step in determining the offset of a Buick wheel involves a small amount of math. Take the number that represented the backspacing and subtract from it the number that represented the centerline. Take that number and subtract an additional .5" (this is to compensate for the approximate .5" of inboard flange). This final number will result in a positive offset, a negative offset of a zero offset.

To convert inches to millimeters, multiply the inches by 25.4. To use the millimeter value, round the number to the nearest whole number. This is the Buick wheel's offset.

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) California Tire Dealers Association Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)