S6 Wheels and Tires

Back Story: I’ve finally got a lot of the issues with the car resolved, although I am sure there is some preventative maintenance that needs to be done, I’ll dig into that at a later time, I’ve waited too long to do SOMETHING with the car; it’s been bone stock except a muffler delete for about 2 years now and that’s just ridiculous.

The Need: I’m thinking of doing wheels and tires (mostly because I need new tires, heh). The car (as you all know) comes with stock wheels at 19". Mine are a little scuffed because, well, I’m an idiot 26 year kid–but I feel my idiocy has diminished enough that I can take care of new wheels and keep them pristine. I want to go 20’s (I think) because they’ll look better (fill out the wheel wells a little better without lowering the car maybe?) and I’ve been told that 20" tires are cheaper than 19"'s. My tires are showing some pretty bad edge-wear as well. The previous tires were like this too.

The Situation: Pretty sure I bought these tires barely a year ago and they’re already needing replacing. I don’t track or drive too crazy, but I do definitely utilize the vehicle at least somewhat in the way it was intended when built–speeds in the 140 range generally (once a week or two, not super often), sometimes the car does go sideways in the 10-25ish range depending on weather and road and mood I suppose, but I’m by no means an expert driver or anyting of the sort. I’m a banker/computer guy, this is a hobby/passion–I appreciate the freedom of owning a vehicle such as this one and what owning one really gives you. The power of the gods, at your feet–in any other time period, this would be unthinkable.

The Want: What I think I want is to do 20" wheels all around. I’ll do 20x35x285 in the rear and 20x35x255 in the front. Haven’t picked out wheels yet (definitely open to suggestion) and not sure where best to get them.

The Reason: As I mentioned, I haven’t modified the car in any way, and I’d rather not mess with the engine yet because I’m not engine-savvy enough to deal with that without great expense that I haven’t been/am unwilling to be able to afford. Just got a new job, and I’m doing well enough at work, well enough to know that I’m going to definitely going to be consistently pull in some pretty big bonuses here. I don’t want to be one of those guys who flaunts their car for attention; I want it to remain a wolf in sheep’s clothing–but I wouldn’t mind showing just a tiny, tiny bit more of the wolf. I want it to look like the beast that is just a tad more, but still blend in overall.

Now that you have all the variables, and thank you so much for your time guys, what would you recommend? Should I just buy more 19" tires and call it good? Or spend the extra money on the 20’s? And if I do get the 20’s, what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing wider wheels, and staggered tire widths?

Fire away guys, anything goes! Thank you all for your time!

20s are the way to go just be careful on your sizes.

i have 20x10 all around with 255/35/20 and it rubs in the front.

Wheel fitment will depend on size/width/offset. The offset/width is what dictates how far inboard (how close the inside of the wheel/tire clearance is to the inner fender well) the wheel and tire sits. I’ll try to cover one thing at a time below…

Going to a 20" wheel won’t necessarily close your tire/fender gap. Typically when you increase wheel size you decrease the tires profile to maintain the same rolling circumference. If you go with a larger rolling circumference you’ll close up the fender gap, but that will also mess with the accuracy of your speedometer. You can always throw on some springs or go with coil-overs if you want to close up your fender gap and give the car a more aggressive look. Also, I’m not sure where you heard it, but 20 inch tires almost always cost more than 19".

The uneven should wear is most likely control arms/bushings. Audi’s use a multi-link front suspension set-up and the bushings begin to go bad over time causing uneven tire wear and less precise steering and feel. I’d recommend having those checked/replaced before you do your tires. After replacing those, get a proper alignment, THEN replace your tires/wheels if you desire. Other things to check are inner/outer tie rod play/bushings.

What you want is bad.
First, on a AWD car you should keep the same size tires front/back. No need to stagger them. First, it allows you to rotate your tires front to back to extend tire life. But more importantly is maintaining the same rolling circumference.
A 255/35-20 is a decent amount smaller than a 285/35-20, enough so it would do damage to your drive-train and mess with your traction control system. With those sizes your front axles/hubs would have to travel 3% faster than the rears because there’s a 3% difference in rolling circumference.

Audi’s already understeer enough. Now you want to decrease your front tire width and increase your rear tire width from stock, which will make it even worse.

Lastly, if you go with a 20" wide wheel and want a 285 width tire front and rear, you can do that. But, a 285/35-20 tire is almost 6% larger (rolling circumference) than stock. So you’re speedometer will read 6% too low.
Additionally, it will close up your fender gap a little bit as it has 7/10th of an inch larger diameter, but with a wider tire, the extra diameter will make fitment even more difficult as far as clearance and rubbing.

Again, I recommend you fix your suspension issues that are causing the wear. If you decide to go 20’s I recommend you stick with something closer to the stock rolling circumference and then do you research for a set of wheels with the proper width/offset that they wont rub.

For example…

Specification Sidewall Radius Diameter Circumference Revs/Mile Difference
265/35-19 3.7in 13.2in 26.3in 82.6in 767 0.0%
265/30-20 3.1in 13.1in 26.3in 82.5in 768 -0.2%
275/30-20 3.2in 13.2in 26.5in 83.2in 761 0.7%
285/30-20 3.4in 13.4in 26.7in 84.0in 754 1.6%

Those tire sizes give you a much better match to the stock circumference. (a good tool to check tire size- http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html)

Good advice from JRach.

20s can give a fuller appearance if you get the right rim and tire combo. Rubbing is going to be one other concern. Your point on cost makes sense as 19 inch all seems more expensive.

Check fitment inspect the suspension and links. Other then that there isn’t too many poor reasons to look at 20s as a nice upgrade

Good stuff guys, I appreciate it. A few questions:

Am I correct in assuming that there is no way of changing the rolling circumference of your wheels in your car’s [insert word here for where ever it is that this vehicle stores the value referring to the circumference of the vehicle’s wheel] to a different value to account for a larger wheel/tire combo?

I should also specify that I most importantly want the wheels to fill the wheel well out better in terms of the “horizontal” dimension if standing directly behind the car. I know the vehicle’s factory camber settings are built to be a bit negative (I think that’s the term?) for performance reasons, and I want to keep them that way (hate the ostentatious camber look), but I want the wheels to “stick out” a bit more (but not so far as to cause it to kick up rocks and debris at the car). I’d like to avoid wheel spacers–I don’t want to put any unnecessary strain on anything. Hopefully this makes sense.

Speaking of rubbing, how will I know if a size will rub? And if a size that I want will, is there any way to move some stuff around to prevent that, or are the items the tires rubbing on not feasibly movable?

You might be able to adjust some wheel size calculation in vagcom but I’m not sure. That might be hard computer data

I’m not a wheel expert but I know wheel spacing plays a large roll in if the wheel will rub or not. I see no reason why larger rims wouldn’t fit fine as loads of guys do it but you generally need to find rims with the same back space and offset.

Based on everything I understand (hopefully correctly), I think my needs line up with getting going 20/255/30 or 20/255/35. So the sidewall now that I understand the math (well, I knew it before, but I wasn’t sure of some of the engineering variables)

I wonder, is a 30 sidewall a lot more expensive or wear faster or have any disadvantage versus a 35? I like the 35 width, and I don’t want to increase the price of the tire substantially. I haven’t noticed a huge difference in price in 30 and 35, but if they wear faster or aren’t as comfortable, definitely don’t like that idea and would want to make 35’s work.

Thanks again you guys have been great. I’m trying to add cars to my knowledge regime, and need to learn the basics first. There seems to be a lot of… conflicting information on the web though, but I definitely trust your guys’ opinion at this point, hence why I’m asking these really basic questions.

I talked to a few different tire places around here and the best offer I got, by far, was for the Niche Milan M135’s (9.5) with Toyo Extensa HP’s at 255/35/20 installed for 1650ish before tax (probably close to $1800 after everything). Most places were asking around the same just for tires for my current setup, or just for wheels and no tires.

Any reason not to do this before I pull the trigger?

Side wall I have always seen better with more side wall. Especially if your in a snow state with big pot holes. Generally the compound of the tire will depend on the ware rate. Winter tires will ware fast in the summer so keep that in mind.

I’m not formulae with those tires but I don’t see why it would be bad to go with them. Are these all year tires or just seasonal

Washington state so yes some snow, no big pot holes but I think 35 is the way to go. Guy at the shop is gunna test fit 255/35/20 and see if it works, if not, guess 245 it is.

I want these to be all season. I’ll start changing tires based on season when I can, but for now I’m just doing what I can to keep the damn thing running 100%! CEL came back, flashes at high revs, must be misfiring. Guessing I suppose but we’ll see, may have to post yet another thread. Not looking forward to it, just paid 3500 for ABS module, oil pan and thermostat replacement

A 35 sidewall is going to ride much more comfortably than a 30 sidewall. I’d be surprised if 255’s had any fitment issues as the stock width tire is a 265. Any reason you’re going with a narrower tire than stock?

Where in Washington are you? I work in Redmond, and live in Shoreline. I’ve been an Auto Tech for years. Haven’t been on this forum long as I was always a Subaru guy before picking up my S6 last month. But i’d be happy to take a look at it for you if you’re local.

I actually live in Mukilteo so yeah I’m definitely local (20ish miles away). My grandparents have lived in Bellevue for like 50 years in the same house and I lived with them for a couple years so I visit often, try to at least once a month so I know the area well-ish.

Anyways, since the stock tire size is 265/35/19, I figured 265/35/20 would be too big, or is that not the case? I don’t want the wheels to rub when turning. The car has a pretty good turning radius for being a boat, and I’d prefer not to lose that if I can.

I’m also considering doing very, very minimal wheel spacers at some point to give the car a slightly more aggressive look without going nuts–maybe a half inch or so–and I’d like to avoid lowering the car if possible. I probably will lower it slightly at some point (probably do coil-overs after I do some research and weigh the advantages and disadvantages), but only if it’s still fairly practical.

All in all, the car is my daily, and I’m very big on keeping it practically impractical. In other words, I want don’t want to sacrifice daily driving comfort or inconvenience my daily driving significantly with modifications. That comes later, when I start working for Merrill Lynch (if all goes according to plan), and probably on a different Audi :wink:

The shop is willing to test-fit 245 and 255 on the M134’s when they arrive either Friday or next week. The offset is 34mm, although I will admit, I’m not sure exactly what that is. If someone can explain, I can follow the math, it’s the terminology I’m not up with.

See my earlier reply on tire size.

A 265/35-19 and a 265/35-20 will be the same width. However, the diameter will be larger on the 20 inch size.

If you want a 20 inch wheel i’d suggest going with a 30 profile sidewall (265/30-20 or a 275/30-20).

Offset is the distance (in mm) from the center of the wheel to the backface of the wheel (where the wheel actually seats to the hub).

So the higher the offset, the further inboard the wheel will be on the car. Lower offset, and the wheel will sit further out.

(illustrations help)


Is your car lowered? And how bad does it rub?

its lowered on h&r springs and the front has rubbed off the paint on the inner fender. im thinking of getting some 255/30/20s or buying 2 front wheels 20x8.5 so i can get away with the tire size 255/35/20

sounds like adding spacers wont help. Going to a lower profile tire will add a harsher ride but it might help give just enough room to not rub

From what I’m seeing, I’m going to keep the 245/35/20 tire size for now, unless/until I decide to dive into the tire arena in depth. The width is definitely quite a bit smaller, but not enough for it to be a real dealbreaker, from what I know. Definitely don’t want to go 30’s so 245 it is.

I had to take the car in for a fuel leak (shop is taking care of it as it was their mistake) so it’s been in for over a week now as they had to back-order the part. Originally, when the wheels first got installed, the steering wheel is getting a lot of “feedback” at speeds above 60. I’m going to have the shop do an alignment and re-torque the wheels, but is there anything else I should do? Or should I just expect the 20" wheels to just produce this increase in “vibration”? It’s a fairly significant difference.

I have a killer deal on some 20x10 et33 255/30/20 tires and wheels that i’ve been interested in for years… but that offset worries me. I’ve seen 20x9.5 et 35 on an A6 but, the rear well isn’t any different for the S6 correct? These probably wont fit but for piece of mind a second opinion wont hurt.

10 wide +33 won’t fit.

Mine are +40 and there is no more room if you’re running a 265/275. Rears scrub a bit with my 275/30s.

255s on a 10" wheel look a bit out of place - really stretched looking on a 20".

The 9.5 +35 should fit, but I’d stick with 265/30R20s. The decreased wheel width will give a straighter sidewall which will scrub more than with the same tyre on a 10".

I thought both the front and rear were 15mm + over the A6, or is that just the fronts?

The wheels already have 255’s on it. But i though it was only the front that was +15mm. That worth research because i’ve definitely seen an A6 with 20x9.5 +35 and it fit. If they are plus +15mm then the 10’s should fit.