19" alloys nightmare

19" alloys nightmare

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Discussion

mark24r

Original Poster:

3 posts

55 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
I've got a 2015 e350cdi estate (amg night edition) with 19" alloys (standard) and they're a nightmare. I've had to replace one rear one due to multiple cracks & now the front 2 are damaged (not cracked) which causes a constant tremor/vibration at motorway speeds.

I want these wheels gone & replaced with smaller rims that (a) don't grind on the kerb and (b) don't break when I go over pot holes. I can see that Merc sell 16 & 17" wheels that are compatible with this car (https://configurator.mercedes-benz-accessories.com/en-MB/e-class-s212-0321/Wheels/Light-alloy_wheels?cartransporter=car)

Does anyone have any experience with 'downgrading' (read: upgrading) to smaller wheels (proper Merc oem, not some random wheels) in terms of insurance premiums & any ride/handling problems?

samoht

2,522 posts

114 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
Sorry you've had so much frustration with the wheels.

On my C55 I have two sets of wheels, the original 18" running summer tyres, and another set of 17" running winter tyres (I believe they're from the pre-facelift C32 model, so equally appropriate fitment for this chassis).

IMHO any wheel that fits over the brakes, and fits the hub, is ok ;-) certainly I'd think the options you're considering will be fine.


The ride and handling will be different with smaller diameter wheels shod with higher profile tyres that may also be narrower. It's hard for me to comment definitively as winter tyres introduce their own variables, but based on my experience on this and other cars with different wheel/tyre combos on:

In general on the smaller wheels:
- The turn-in will be 'softer', with more of a delay from turning the wheel to the car turning.
- The car will be more throttle-sensitive while turning, i.e. the accelerator input will make more difference to the car's line. In extremis on tall narrow tyres at full throttle exiting a tight turn you may feel the car move into oversteer more than expected - not breakaway, just a little bit of an angle.
- You may notice the fundamental chassis characteristic (likely understeer) emerges earlier (at lower cornering speeds)
- You may notice less 'tramlining' ie steering input from uneven road surfaces
- The ride will generally be better, especially over sharp little impacts.

I'd note that the tyre model will also affect all the above, some tyres have stiffer sidewalls than others, which would tend to reduce these effects.

I don't class any of these effects as 'problems', even when my S13 was on 14" steelie 'pizza cutters' with high profile Bridgestone Blizzaks when they were quite noticeable, I consider them 'characteristics' which I'm happy to drive with. But then I'm generally happy to drive anything with four wheels on.

Personally I would be inclined to go for 17" rather than 16" wheels on your car, just because it's quite big, heavy and torquey, and a two inch drop should definitely be enough to fix your problems. I'm sure either is fine though.


If you fitted larger wheels you'd definitely tell your insurer, I'd be inclined to let them know in this case also, although if they charged more than a normal admin fee then I'd protest / change insurer, it shouldn't be an issue for them as they're official Mercedes wheels for your car.

Scrump

14,774 posts

126 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
I have a 2014 E350 AMG sport which came with 18 inch wheels. Four years of ownership and no problems with the wheels (apart from the common corrosion).
I would say the 18s or smaller are going to be better.

With regard to the insurance, if you fitted 18s which were standard on the 2014 car and use tyre sizes presumably shown on your tyre pressure label then how would they know they weren’t standard?

Hashtaggggg

754 posts

37 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
I would guess that 16 or 17 inch wheels will not clear your brake calipers.

Perhaps 18's would work?

It maybe worth picking up the phone and discussing the question with a chap in the parts department at your dealer?

samoht

2,522 posts

114 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
Hashtaggggg said:
I would guess that 16 or 17 inch wheels will not clear your brake calipers.

Perhaps 18's would work?

It maybe worth picking up the phone and discussing the question with a chap in the parts department at your dealer?
The configurator link the OP posted suggests that the wheels offered are compatible with the E350 he has. But certainly fitting over the brakes is an important thing to be sure of, as you say maybe worth a call before committing.

I'd imagine the 18" would avoid the cracking/bending issues, OTOH it appears that smaller options are possible which would probably generally better avoid kerb damage, so may be preferable.

mark24r

Original Poster:

3 posts

55 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
Scrump said:
I have a 2014 E350 AMG sport which came with 18 inch wheels. Four years of ownership and no problems with the wheels (apart from the common corrosion).
I would say the 18s or smaller are going to be better.

With regard to the insurance, if you fitted 18s which were standard on the 2014 car and use tyre sizes presumably shown on your tyre pressure label then how would they know they weren’t standard?
Thanks for everyone's replies - all useful. Interesting to see that you have the 18's & they are ok for you. Yes, this model came with the 18" & 19" options so they are both totally standard.
Re the smaller sizes - entering my vehicle number from the (what used to be called) log book on the Merc wheels page it tells me the 16" & 17" are compatible with my specific car, which is interesting.

Paddymcc

743 posts

159 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
mark24r said:
Thanks for everyone's replies - all useful. Interesting to see that you have the 18's & they are ok for you. Yes, this model came with the 18" & 19" options so they are both totally standard.
Re the smaller sizes - entering my vehicle number from the (what used to be called) log book on the Merc wheels page it tells me the 16" & 17" are compatible with my specific car, which is interesting.
Check your spare wheel in case its a smaller wheel and you can check if it will clear your calipers.

Had similar problems years ago with 2 x sets of 19" AMG rims cracking. In the end i went aftermarket 19" rims and never had the issue repeat itself.

mark24r

Original Poster:

3 posts

55 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
Paddymcc said:
Check your spare wheel in case its a smaller wheel and you can check if it will clear your calipers.

Had similar problems years ago with 2 x sets of 19" AMG rims cracking. In the end i went aftermarket 19" rims and never had the issue repeat itself.
Interesting you didn’t have the same issue with aftermarket 19”. I don’t have a spare wheel - this is now the adblue tank with this model. This one comes with a can of foam & a compressor.

Paddymcc

743 posts

159 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
mark24r said:
Interesting you didn’t have the same issue with aftermarket 19”. I don’t have a spare wheel - this is now the adblue tank with this model. This one comes with a can of foam & a compressor.
I would suggest its down to the crap quality of Mercedes rims. The first time i went to get what i thought was a slow puncture reparied the tyre guy said ill guarantee you have a cracked alloy wheel rim, such was this experience with Mercedes wheels.

I even tried getting one of them welded which cracked again, so thats a waste of time too.

Im driving a 2014 E220 estate at the moment with 17" rims so if theres anything i can measure for you with brakes clearence let me know.


Edit to add: ive never had this problem on any other cars having had M3s and 911s with 19" rims and currently also an XKR with 20" rims driving on the same roads too.



Edited by Paddymcc on Friday 18th June 14:44

niva441

1,828 posts

199 months

Saturday 19th June
quotequote all
Check in the handbook what is allowable fitment. It may be for other markets the smaller diameter wheel is available and certified for use on the car.