Other than the fact that they have the potential of making your car look like a supercar, alloy wheels are bought for a number of reasons. They are lighter than regular wheels, so you can imagine a major difference in driving and handling with alloy wheels. The reduced weight may show into your car’s fuel economy stats as well.
All in all, people buy alloy wheels not just to make their ride cool but also for many other tangible and practical reasons. If you are one of those people who are thinking about getting them, read this blog before buying them. It will save you a lot of hassle and money and more importantly, this information will help you get the best alloys for your ride.
So, let’s start by clearing the biggest misconception.
Alloy Wheel vs Rim: Are Alloy Wheels and Rims One and the Same?
Every car enthusiast has heard of “alloy wheels” and “alloy rims” as these two terms are often used interchangeably. But are they the same?
The term “wheel” means the entire metal structure, including the rim, hub and disc, while “rim” represents the outer edge which holds the tyre in place. Rim can be made up of alloy, steel and chrome.
Now that you know their difference, let’s talk a bit about the alloy wheels because this is what this blog is about.
The term “alloy” means a metal made of two or more metallic elements. For example, bronze is an alloy made of metallic elements like tin and copper. So, it can be said that an alloy wheel is made of different metallic elements, inhabiting their strengths, etc. It is therefore the reason why alloy wheels are lighter but stronger than regular wheels.
How To Buy The Right Alloy Wheels for Your Car?
There are three ways to find the best alloys for your car:
- By size
- By vehicle
- By registration Number
If you already know which size will fit your car, you can simply browse through a wide variety of alloy wheels by the size. Alloys are measured in inches with 10” being the smallest and 30” being the largest.
Figuring out which size will fit your car will not be a problem if you are getting alloys installed from the market. However, if you order alloy wheels online, there are a couple of things you need to consider or you could end up ordering the wrong size.
- Bolt Pattern – There are four different common bolt pattern styles – four, five, six, and eight lug. If you have a four, six, or eight lug wheel, measure from the middle of two holes directly across from one another. Five-lug wheels are measured from the back of one hole to the center of the second hole.
- Offset – Wheel offset is the dimension from the rear of the mounting face to the centerline of the wheel.
- Backspacing – Wheel backspacing is the measurement from the rear of the mounting face to the back side wheel lip.
- Diameter – Diameter is the measurement across the face of the wheel, excluding the wheel lips. Wheel lips are the part of the wheel that helps to retain the tire in place.
- Width – Width is the measurement from the inside of the wheel lip, across the wheel to the other wheel lip.
The easiest way to figure out which alloy wheel is the best for your car according to its make and model, is to search online. Simple and quick search online will help you narrow down your choices. For example, if you Google “Alloy Rims in Pakistan” you will find a wide variety of alloy wheels in different sizes, patterns and prices.
The third option, which also happens to be the most accurate way to find the right sized alloy wheels for your car, is by plugging in your car’s registration number in one of the third-party alloy wheel suppliers’ websites. Though this option may not be widely available in Pakistan at the moment.
What pattern or design alloys you get for your car is purely your choice. You can’t go wrong in this department; however, what size alloy wheels you should choose is not up to you. So, make sure that you use this guide as your go to manual when buying alloy wheels for your car.
There is one more bit of information you need to know before buying the best alloys for your car – the types of alloy wheels.
Types of Alloy Wheels
Alloy wheel types depend upon their manufacturing process. There are three types of alloy wheels available in the market:
- Forged Wheels – They are the toughest and therefore the most expensive. They are made out of a single chunk of aluminum billet and therefore require less alloy content to reach a specific level of strength. Strong and yet very light weight, forged alloy wheels are 20 percent lighter than cast alloy wheels and twice lighter than steel alloy wheels.
- Cast Wheels – Casting is one of the most common methods to make alloy wheels. Cast alloy wheels are abundantly available in the market and are also the cheapest.
- Flow Formed Wheels – Flow formed alloy wheels are manufactured by adopting a hybrid method of making cast wheels and forged wheels. Flow formed wheels are 25 percent lighter than cast alloy wheels.
So, which one of these should you buy? There are no wrong answers here as everything depends upon your budget and why you are getting the alloy wheels in the first place.
If you’re on a budget but can manage to afford buying flow formed alloy wheels then it would be an ideal choice. If you’re on a tight budget but still want to “soup up” your car, go for the cast wheels and if money is not a problem then don’t think twice and go for the forged wheels.
Stay tuned to this space as we get you more blogs on this topic. In the meanwhile, we are interested in your expert tips on how to get the best alloys for your car.
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