As an integral part of an automobile, car wheels are ‘movement aiders’ which make driving possible. Typically, the quality and aesthetics of tires affect a vehicle’s riding performance positively or negatively.
When given proper attention and care, these will avoid certain issues that may impact on the driver and public’s safety. Also seen as a significant investment, these are not only functional elements that make driving control and riding performance achievable. These even improve a car’s appearance and personality.
In this article, readers will be given simple-to-understand tips and a preview on car basics. Although some recommendations may only be applicable within certain locations, situations and cases, enthusiasts and car owners will have various ideas on the dos and don’ts and some expert suggestions.
Types of Car Wheels: Alloy versus Steel Wheels
Selecting wheels for a car depends primarily on aesthetics and motoring objectives. With the numerous brands, styles, sizes, and prices accessible in the market, the choice still goes down to two main options: alloy or steel? These two types of wheels offer different advantages and disadvantages for car owners. For instance, steel wheels are more traditional and durable. These even make cars look presentable and are less susceptible with fire. Usually, genuine wheels are made from steel and the setup is created with sturdy and easy-to-repair materials. Due to the strong materials used, the weight becomes affected leading to lesser performance capacity. However, steel wheels come in a variety of sizes that makes them suitable with aftermarket tires.
On the other hand, alloy wheels are crafted from an alloy of magnesium or aluminum materials which make them highly conducive to heat. These have lesser weight than steel, and that contributes to faster acceleration, quicker halt, and reduced mass (especially on shocks and steering linkages). More often, these are more appropriate wheels for motor sports and can contribute to enhanced vehicle handling.
There are three types of aluminum alloy car wheels: one-piece cast alloys, two piece alloys, and forged aluminum alloys.
One piece cast alloys: These are wheels suitable for 4 by 4 applications which weigh less than steel and are offered in affordable prices. With its low-level of malleability, there are rims rarely labeled by manufacturers as ‘not suitable for road use’. Scratches and cracks are inevitable and sometimes these wheels can’t bear winter roads. In cases of corrosion, the car’s configuration is not gravely affected, but these need greater repairs.
Two piece alloys: These are also known as ‘modular’ which are constructed in durable and lightweight materials. Although these are prone to bends and high-level of special care, these are cheap and commonly found in street cars.
Forged aluminum alloys: Marked as the most recommended and highly priced wheels, these are more resilient than steel and lesser in weight than cast alloys.
Proper Care and Maintenance of Car Wheels
Maintenance is an integral part of ensuring that a product will look good and will last for long. In a regular manner, check the wheels before and after using them. This will aid in detecting issues present. This is very important because wheels have great impact in a car’s performance and the driver’s safety.
To assist car owners and enthusiasts, here are essential factors to consider when cleaning and maintaining wheels: Always be gentle. As an investment, wheels must be cared in a manner that these will not be damaged. Stronger solvents typically affect the tire surface and its appearance. Before washing wheels, a coat of wax must be applied to secure its ‘new’ look.
To prevent any dirt buildup, it is suggested that the wheels be washed on a regular basis. Warm water with soap or appropriate commercial remover will help in the cleaning process rather than using abrasives like steel coating and polishing products. Also, steaming water is not recommended especially that this will damage the wheels’ finish. Experts also suggest that those doing Do-It-Yourself clean-up must not wash immediately searing wheels because it will just cause soap smudges. Different sponges must also be used when cleaning wheels and the car’s body.
Cleaning techniques may depend on the type of finish used in the car wheels. For instance, steel or aluminum wheels with chrome finish must be washed with a supple brush, mild soap (degreaser) or cleaner spray. After rinsing, dry wheels with non-abrasive wipe to prevent soap and chemicals from producing spots. For car owners living in places with winter climate, regular maintenance is highly recommended. When washing is done, apply quality wax to seal and protect the finish – this will aid in reducing static for a more brake dust-resistant wheels.
For clear coated wheels, on the other hand, simple cleaning procedures involving liquid or powder soap, clean water, and soft brush is enough. Once washing is finished, enhance protection by applying wax or non-abrasive polymer coating.
If a car has polished aluminum wheels, high-level of care and oxidation technique is necessary. Newly purchased wheels must be coated with sealants to help resist effects of brake dirt and other road contaminants. As time goes by, the finish will lose its original shine. When this happens, wash them as mentioned above and apply polish then wax accordingly. However, owners must take note that polishing may take some time especially if the wheels are already in bad condition. Moreover, owners may choose from DIY methods or expert-assisted procedures when re-polishing is done.
Polished aluminum wheels are commonly loved by enthusiasts of racing cars and off-road travels which need periodic cleaning attention. Usually, regularity depends on the road conditions, a place’s climate, and wheel care practices. However, when owners want to apply permanent coating to these wheels, local services offer wheel reconditioning as well as chrome plating. Such services often involve the application of liquid or powder coat acrylic, chrome plating or polyester clear cover.
For wheels styled with other types of finishes, owners may do some research in the World Wide Web or ask local car services about dos and don’ts. In this way, wheels will be maintained properly. In terms of cleaning schedule, cars used daily must be cleaned every week, while cars utilized only every weekend must be washed once to twice a month. However, differences with cleaning method and calendar are dependent on the following: road type, length of trip, and weather. Usually, adjustments are done according to needs.
The Guide of Buying the Right and Quality Car Wheels
Making a wise buy is different from merely purchasing. In the former, essential factors are checked to ensure maximum satisfaction. On the other hand, simple purchasing is based on pure wants. When it comes to wheels, wise buying is highly suggested. Indeed, it may take some time and effort, but this will assure purchasers that their money will be given its right worth.
In order to achieve the right and quality option, below are some competitive elements to consider. Each will give buyers the idea on what things are important and which are pure wastes of time. Customers must take note that things mentioned below will give them a list of bases geared towards competitive choice.
Product Specifications – For beginners, it is not suggested to obtain just any type of wheel. In the large expanse of wheel market, there are various specifications and suspension designs for particular kinds of cars. Remember, there are appropriate wheels for specific vehicles. Therefore, several wheel aspects such as the wheel’s balance out, tire width and aspect rate, in connection with suspensions, are regarded as very essential. Offset, which is the distance from the middle of the wheel to the mounting surface, is also an important product factor.
Company/Brand – Some people think that this will only affect the pricing of products to be purchased. This is correct, but brands also affect the quality of items offered. Brands are suppliers and if they are strict in providing standard wheels, then customers will get long-lasting products. Moreover, brands are companies that provide warranties, discounts and policies (no-return, no-exchange and money back guarantee). If the product providers lack these consumer rights and privileges, then it will be a great loss to buyers.
Wheel Reviews – Feedbacks are based on experts’ opinions, customers’ experiences, and researchers’ case studies. These are comments, statements, and articles that will help buyers, car owners, and enthusiasts in grasping ideas about wheels. Mostly seen on the internet, most of these are unbiased and are based on pure observations. For people who can’t decide on what brands, styles or finishes to trust, these reviews will be of great help.
Considerations and Requirements when Changing Car Wheels
Normally, major wheel changes must be evaluated by a certified engineer or an expert recognized by transport authorities. Evaluation comes in a signatory form that shows if the chosen wheels are safe for the car. A certificate will then be given to the owner or driver as a proof. Through the certification of an engineer, limitations on wheel sizes are recognized. In order to understand these, this article will share easy-to-comprehend facts about each limit.
First, rear wheels are allowed with a maximum size determined by the car’s tare weight in accordance with certain factors. Front wheels, on the other hand, must encompass the following: 204 mm on the least weighing front wheel (not wider than the maximum allowed for rear wheels); size not narrower than the 70% of that fixed on the rear wheels; and size not smaller than the regular wheel fitted to the car as an original gear.
Front wheels of vehicles except those provided by the original producer must have 26 mm bigger than the widest possible wheels supplied by the car manufacturer. Four wheel drive cars, in contrast, must have a maximum width lesser than the utmost size of rear wheels (204 mm), while the width of the front and rear wheels are of the same extent.
In changing car wheels, one should keep the following in mind:
Size of Center Spigot: The two types of wheel design must also be regarded. For the hub-centric design, the spigot which shows from the car’s axle is used to center the wheel. On the other hand, the lug-centric design, the axle spigot does not show which makes the wheel centered during and not before the tightening of lug nuts.
Pitch Circle Diameter (PCD): This refers as the diameter of the imaginary circle formed by drawing a circle that passes through the center spot of every mounting hole. The wheel will not fit if the spacing is mistakenly identified – even if the figures about holes is right.
PCD notation: This shows the PCD values as well as stud patterns. For example, a 5 x 114 means there is a five-bolt pattern on the invisible circle of 114 mm diameter.
Number of studs or bolts: Of course, a five-bolt wheel will not fit in a four-bolt wheel hub. Therefore, a car owner must not purchase costly set of wheels without even checking suitable specifications.
Inset or Outset: This is one of the most significant considerations because mistakes may lead to mishaps. Inset or outset refers to the distance in millimeters between the center of the rim and the line through the fitting face. Either of the two may be chosen or none at all. However, this determines the performance of the suspension and the automatic centering steer. One of the common challenges to face is the difficulty to control the car due to heavy steering or light routing.
For additional conditions in acquiring replacement car wheels, take note of the following: the width of the wheel must not be lesser than the minimum size fixed by the car’s manufacturer for the specific model; both tires and wheels must be limited within the framework (mudguards) when wheels are in a straight forward position; the tires and wheels must not affect any portion of the suspension during all operations; wheels set to the axle shall have the same width, offset, diameter, and mounting design except the spare wheels; speedometer precision shall be maintained for the chosen tires and rim arrangement; and the setting of wheel adaptors (dual wheel conversions) or spacers between the mounting feature and the road wheels is not allowed unless installed as original gear by the car’s maker.
In conclusion, car wheels are not just part of a vehicle that makes it move forward or backward. These are functional elements that provide significant power to the people’s means of transport. With all these said, it is integral that car owners, enthusiasts, and interested buyers take note of significant guides and tips on what kinds of wheels are present in the market, how to maintain wheel performance, how to buy the right wheels, and what things to consider when undergoing changes.