///// New wheels and tires .... rubbing issues /////


Veteran Member
Apr 7, 2016
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
Hi All ,

Recently had the opportunity to change out my wheels and tires ( from Avus wheels and 205 75 r 15 tires to Volk Gravel wheels and 215 75 r 15 tires ( the Volk wheels are 15 x 7 with a 35 mm offset as opposed to 15 x6 Avus wheels with 39 ? Offset ) and now unfortunately I'm getting Tire rub When approaching full lock.

Also, the passenger side rear tire was rubbing the plastic wheel liner bump near the fuel door where I assumed a fuel filler pipe was running.

I used a heat gun to take care of the rear hump which , to my surprise, there was no real reason that I could see other than maybe the liner is the same for use in a sedan where a fuel filler pipe may run but on my wagon there was literally nothing behind the bump so that problem was taking care of quite easily with a heat gun and a little bit of black silicone to patch the one through areas of the plastic liner from where the tire had been hitting it.

Anyways, heating of the front wheel liners was a little trickier and ultimately did not fix the problem because it appears the wheel liner itself is butted up against metal and or reinforcing ribs underneath.

I had watch some YouTube videos where some 4 x 4 pickup truck driving people fit larger wheels and ultimately have to take a sledgehammer and Bash in things for clearance.

I was thinking about doing the same thing but then it dawned on me that most of the trucks I see being bashed in where body-on-frame Vehicles as opposed to uni body vehicles.

While I don't relish the idea of taking a sledgehammer and beating on my car if it does not do anything structurally horrible to it I would consider doing it.

It doesn't look like it's rubbing in a lot of spots just one narrow / small area.... sadly the passenger side does rub on the intercooler pipe area and I almost hate to have to squish that pipe in but maybe that's what it takes?

I had thought about the possibility of a wheel spacer but that may introduce another set of problems particularly under the under the fender itself and I wasn't overly enthusiastic about having to roll the wheelwell opening.

I had also thought about putting in another inch spacer on the front strut for a total of 2 in of front lift but I'm not sure if that would solve the problem ( would that take care of the problem? .... I have a hard time visualizing that in my head and before I actually had the larger tires put on I had thought in my mind there was enough clearance for everything because I could take two fingers and fill the Gap and I figured the extra little bit added wouldn't make that much of a difference but apparently it does when turning sharply).

It's taking me a little getting used to the slightly bigger tires and not being able to turn is tightly but it seems to be doable but unfortunately there are times when turning type is necessary and sawing back and forth is a little impractical

So what are your thoughts on fixing my rubbing issue ? Should I just get my teeth and start sledge-hammering? Will that weaken anyting appreciably?

On the other hand

I like the "meater" look of the bigger tires riding low which is why I wasn't overly enthusiastic about jacking it up even more even if that possibly takes care of the front rubbing issue. ( plus since these tires are brand-new I'll probably have to live with them for the next 75 thousand or so miles)

While the tires are not that much larger than the previous set of tires it does feel maybe a little more gutless than before ...

Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to weigh the previous tire and wheel versus the new tire and wheel weight.

I think the diameter difference is approximately 2% maybe it just feels worse because I am always cringing if I have to make the tight turns.

Hopefully there's an easy solution to the rubbing issue.

I did put pictures in my photo album but I'm not exactly sure how to put them here ... I've done pictures before but it's been so long and it's somewhat not intuitive so I will try but no guarantees.

Thanks in advance for any and all help.


Ps - for what it's worth I eventually plan on relocating the battery to the rear passenger side driver footwell area ....I don't know how much effect on front ride height that will have but will raising that minute amount help things ( unfortunately that's probably a longer-term project but something that still planned ).
Last edited:

Poor King

Veteran Member
May 20, 2020
'91 Jetta, '91 GTI, '04 Touareg
Start small.. try the spacers on the intercooler pipe side and go from there...