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Inexpensive, readily available wheels for winter tires

3904 Views 11 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  rvaughn801
I've ordered winter tires, and now I need to get four wheels to match. I'm not finding much on CL. If I could get along with bright chrome Lexus wheels, I could have my pick.

I like the 14 hole the van came with fine. LKQ (local recycled parts yard) has these for $130.

LKQ has 5 spoke wheels for $70, which seems very reasonable. I have a 5-spoke wheel with the full size spare. Since they are reasonably priced, I assume there enough to pick from to avoid a bunch of curb rash. I don't think they look as nice as the 14 hole, but to save $240 for the set...

I have also seen reproduction 14 spoke on Ebay, which are probably fine but it makes me a little nervous to buy a wheel from Ebay that was made in who-knows-where with who-knows-what kind of quality standards. So I am probably going to get factory wheels, and go over each one carefully looking for signs of collision damage or neglectful driving.

If you know of a readily avail Highlander or Lexus SUV wheel that looks good on our 2nd gen vans, let me know. I don't want anything too rare that would be hard to get a replacement for. With two teenage drivers, curbs happen.

Thanks in advance for letting me know what you have done or considered.
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I found posts where forum users have used Camry, ES300 and Avalon wheels. There are some questions about the weight ratings of the car wheels, versus wheels that were originally installed on heavier vehicles like Siennas and Highlanders. Is there anything to this concern?
I went with the same 235/60/17 size for winter tires, standard size for AWD, for at least a couple of reasons:

a) I didn't want to change wheel size, in order to keep the option open for upgraded 3rd gen brakes when the time comes (I'm not sure if a 16" wheel fits over the larger caliper).

b) I want to be able to use one of the all-season tires for a long term spare. If one of the winter tires gets ruined late in the season, I can install one of the all-seasons until the weather improves enough to mount the rest of the all seasons. Winter tires aren't avail for very long (maybe only through November?), so a replacement would need to wait until the following October.

I know running one different tread pattern isn't the best idea, but I do other less than recommended activities, like running directional tires in the wrong direction to even out wear.

I agree on the wheel weight rating. I think a wheel will be designed meet or exceed the weight rating for the highest capacity tire that could be fitted to it.

I have found some choices in Camry wheels that are a match for the Sienna, and am headed down that track.

Anyone who has some need for winter tires, but is still on the fence should consider:
1) If you are keeping the car, they pay for themselves. Your all season tires will last longer (no miles all winter). You can keep the all seasons longer because you don't have to replace just because it might snow a few times.
2) Winter tire technology has greatly improved. They work better, and they are quieter.
3) If it snows a few inches, you don't have to shovel the driveway just to get out. Much more convenient.
4) On the hill in front of my house, winter tires and 2WD works a lot better than giant 4WD pickups.
5) Winter tires work better at low temperatures.

There is not really any extra time involved. At the time you would rotate your all seasons at the end of Fall, have your winter tires installed. Reverse the process in the Spring.
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Has anyone used Mazda3 Wheels?

My winter tires have been delivered, but I haven't found a set of wheels. Mazda3 wheels have a 52mm offset, as compared to the Sienna's 45mm offset. If I read the offset explanation correctly, the Mazda3 wheels would stick out about 1/4" more than the Sienna wheel. Does this seem like an issue? Is anyone running 17" Mazda3 wheels right now?

I found a handy website that sells wheels, and lists wheels specs:

The wheels I end up with shouldn't have been abused (no curb rash) but can have minor scratches in the finish. My thought is that, in general, Avalon and Solara wheels may have been driven into the least curbs. Although that could backfire with the older drivers in Avalons. From what I have read, a hairline wheel crack can mean that the tire won't hold air. So if the wheels come with tires, even worn out ones, then I could spray down each wheel with soapy water to look for air leaks.

Does anyone know if wheels typically can have a hairline crack, but no impact damage? I suppose anything is possible...
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The stock Sienna wheels are right to the edge of the wheel well in the front and back. An extra 1/4" sticking out would lead to more road slop hitting the sides of the car.

OEM splash guards can be had for under $60 delivered. I haven't had a Sienna for the sloppy months... Are splash guards (mud flaps) a good idea even with stock offset wheels?
The Mazda bore is bigger than Toyota... Are the Sienna wheels hub centric?
I have searched CL for several weeks for OEM 17" Camry/Highlander/RAV/Lexus. There are a lot more choices in 16" and 18", but I can't find anything in 17" to go look at. I ordered a set of take off 2012 Camry SE wheels.

I could have saved a few bucks by getting a steel set from a RAV4. But I really don't like the look, and if steel is any heavier than alloy, I don't need the extra work.

If I do need a replacement, a replacement will be easy to find.
The Camry wheels from Ebay turned out to be a no-go. The Seller had one set of four wheels. Ebay turned that into four sets of four, and I wasn't the first one to order.

So back on CL I went, now responding to old ads for RAV4 wheels. RAV4 wheels are everywhere (except when I need a set), and I was committed to going to a salvage yard for a set if I couldn't Craigstlist some up for cheap.

One of my inquiries turned up a set in Tulsa, which was on our way back from a Thanksgiving family trip. The ad was months old, and was for $150 for a set of 4. I texted the Seller, and he called, immediately offered to drop the price to $40, to get them out of his way. They wheels were in his way because his workout equipment is in the garage, and he works out every morning. I was going to offer full price just to try to get him to hold on to them for a 10 days until I can get there, but a discount is always nice.

So we met Craig in Tulsa, at the Rent-A-Washer/Dryer/TV/Couch where works. Except he didn't say "Rent-Some-Stuff" he just gave me a street address. So I spent some time texting and trying to figure out where he was (there were lots of businesses at the same strip mall). But Craig is the Rent-A-Manager, and his time is valuable, because in Craig's words "the mice play when the cat's away". Craig, in this case, being the cat.

So Craig led us to his bachelor pad/race car storage/home gym, a short distance away. Craig was sporting a thick gold chain, and Craig's Honda Civic was sporting a phat coffee can muffler. There may have been some Beastie Boys jamming on Craig's sound system, but I couldn't hear it over the muffler. I thought these fads had disappeared in the '80s, but they were alive and well in Tulsa on the day after Thanksgiving.

The wheels were from a 2012 RAV4, and were in excellent shape. We loaded the wheels in the Sienna, admired Craig's race Civic and workout gear, and were on our way without too much delay and only $40 poorer.

I would like to think the kids learned something about being patient when searching on CL, and being clear where CL buyers should go to meet, and never renting or working at Rent-A-Ripoff. But I think they were too mesmerized by Craig's open shirt collar to notice anything else.
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I got Shore Tire to mount the winter tires mounted on Craig's wheels. I didn't find any good options to make the TPMS system work. The first way is to have the tire store change the programming every time I change from winter to three season wheels. This seems expensive, and I like to change wheels in the driveway.

I found a solution where the Sienna's computer is programmed with two sets of sensors, but that requires buying a programmer for ~ $200, plus four sensors. I'm kind of new to TPMS, and I don't feel like investing in a programmer until I'm convinced which way the technology will go.

I took a set of Schrader TPMS EZ-Sensor 315 to Shore, which I got at Advance for $50 each. Schrader says that several different programmers work on the EZ-Sensors, so a local tire store should be able to program them. The EZ-Sensors are cloned to the existing sensors, so re-programming is not needed. From the Sienna's point of view, the sensors don't change when the wheels are swapped.

Unfortunately, all did not go well at Shore. The tech patiently showed me how each of the sensors could not be scanned by any of their TPMS programmers. The programmers the tech was trying to use were pictured in the Schrader user guide, so I don't think it was a programmer issue. Shore recommends buying OEM sensors, and re-programming with each wheel swap.

So for now I left the TPMS off. I will put most of the miles on the van in the winter, and I'm comfortable with using a tire gauge. I do intend to figure out a solution, but I didn't want to drive away from Shore without getting tires mounted. I had to tell Shore that the wheels were for an older vehicle, because they didn't want to mount non-TPMS wheels on a TPMS equipped van. And I can't blame them for that.

If anyone has this TPMS thing all figured out, I would like to hear about it.
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