I have spent more time than I care to admit over the last couple of days trying to find a cost effective way to get winter tires and wheels shipped to my house, mounted and balanced. Tire Rack, who I have been loyal to over the years, has recently stopped mounting tires to wheels for cars if you do not purchase TPMS and your car is confirmed to have it.

Discounttiredirect.com has the wheels and tires I want, but you can't buy a package with steel wheels, meaning they won't come mounted and balanced. Lug nuts and valve stems are also extra. 1010tires.com doesn't offer any packages with any of the tires that are within my criteria for a good winter tire.

Tire rack only allows you to search for wheels by vehicle. I can understand this, as there are a lot of precise measurements a non-gearhead wouldn't understand. Putting hub bore, offset, wheel size, bolt pattern, along with tire sizing all together is hard to do for someone who hasn't done much research on what will or won't fit a certain car. the problem is, I know for that all I want is steel wheels that are 16x6.5 with a 42 offset, a 67.1 hub bore diameter, and some 205/60/16 tires to wrap them. The only way to do this, have them mounted, balanced, and shipped to my door, is to trick Tire Rack.

Mazdaspeedforums.org shows that some members used to be able to tell Tire Rack that their car was a 2007 Mazda 3, without the TPMS option. These members were able to buy the steel wheels that fit and have tires mounted to them and balanced. It seems that Tire Rack may have caught on to this, as the only option for 16 inch steel wheels for that car now is a set with a +55 offset, which is dangerously risky as to whether or not it will clear the calipers. This is, as far as I can tell, one of the only Mazda cars that Tire Rack will allow you to purchase a 16 inch wheel for. Ironically, when I put in the 2012 Mazdaspeed3 I'm trying to buy the fucking tires for, I can buy exactly what I need, but only if I pay $250 extra for TPMS.

The 2006 Honda Civic EX Sedan has a 5x114.3 bolt pattern, allows for a selection of a 16x6.5 steel wheel with a +42 offset, and also allows for you to have tires mounted to them without requiring TPMS. However, on further inspection, it is revealed that Hondas have a hub bore diameter smaller than a Mazda. It's 64.something instead of 67.1. Tire rack does not include the hub bore diameter of the generic steel wheels they sell. They don't even have their own webpage. You can't search for them or find any other information, they just pop up sometimes for some cars as "basic steel wheels". There's almost no way to know exactly what you're getting.

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After searching through almost every year of every Mazda car that could run a 16" wheel and looking for the offset of the steel wheels the tire rack website decided to grant me access to, I read where a forum member said that he was running Ford Fusion wheels as his winter wheels. The 2006 Ford Fusion just so happens to have TPMS as an option. It also has a hub bore diameter of 67.1, and a bolt pattern of 5x114.3. For my thousandth search of the tire rack site (the page actually stopped loading in Google Chrome, guessing it's related) I found that I could purchase exactly what I needed.

So, many hours later, I have finally purchased 16x6.5 steel wheels with a +42 offset in a 5x114.3 bolt pattern with a 67.1 hub diameter, along with 205/60/16 General Altimax Arctic tires for this winter.