Are Re-Drilled Wheels Safe?
When purchasing new wheels, it is always recommended to acquire OEM wheels meant for your car. When buying aftermarket wheels, you run the risk of buying wheels with a slightly different bolt pattern. This can mean the lug holes are either smaller or larger, or there are a different amount of lug holes all together. Properly fitting your wheels is a must for safety concerns.
Because of this, people might be easily tempted to re-drill their wheels with different bolt patterns. Although there are countless DIY videos on YouTube and many wheel shops offer re-drilling, we DO NOT recommend re-drilling your wheels. Fill and drill (as it is commonly known) involves welding the existing lug holes and then drilling a new bolt pattern on to the wheel.
Whether done at home or at a professional wheel shop, re-drilling a wheel will mess with the structural integrity of the wheel. For the majority of cast wheels, the bolt holes are a part of the casting mold and are not drilled out. Unless the wheel is forged, making additional holes where there shouldn't be any, will compromise the wheel's strength.
If the wheels are forged, then the original lug holes were machined in the first place. Most forged wheels are available with blank bolt patterns. Reputable wheel shops can then drill out the lug holes to your required bolt pattern. These types of wheels are safe to be drilled and should be of no problem. They are specially engineered for the lug holes to be drilled out at a later date.
If you are not using forged wheels for your vehicle, then we highly recommend purchasing OEM wheels designed specifically for your vehicle. If you are looking for bigger and more premium wheels, check out the OEM wheels offered for your vehicle's premium and luxury trim levels. If you must purchase wheels that don't fit your car's bolt pattern, then you can buy wheel adapters.
If you are interested in safely changing the bolt pattern on your vehicle, read our article on wheel adapters and spacers.