There’s nothing sweeter than hearing someone whistle and call out, “Hey, nice wheels!”
Wheels are such a crucial component of a well-maintained vehicle that people even use the term ‘wheels’ to represent the whole car. So, if you’re looking to take your automobile to the next level, then it’s time you looked at the parts that keep it rolling.
However, you shouldn’t pick just any wheel for your car. There are a variety of car wheel types to choose from today, and it’s easy to get confused if you don’t have your priorities in order.
Whether you’re after speed, style, or strength, you need to understand what you want out of your vehicle. The wheels should fit your standards, not the other way around.
If you’re looking for a little guidance on selecting your next set of wheels, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn about the many wheel options out there and how you can find the best wheels for your car.
The Major Car Wheel Types
Perhaps you’ve never thought much about the materials your car wheels are made of, and that’s okay. But it’s time to pay attention since wheel materials impact the entire vehicle. Here are the major wheel materials you should keep on your radar.
Steel wheels have been around for a while and for good reason. They are long-lasting and stand up well to driving conditions in the winter.
However, the tradeoff for durability is weight. Steel wheels are a little heavier, so they’re not the best for acceleration. But if you’re not worried about speed or style, then they make for excellent cheap car wheels that can withstand the test of time.
Alloy wheels provide a fresher and lighter alternative to their steel counterparts. Because of their lighter weight, they facilitate acceleration and contribute to your car’s fuel economy. Less weight makes it much easier for your car to get around.
Alloy wheels do cost a little more and tend to crack more easily, but their long-term benefits offset any concerns you may have in the short-term.
The Formation Process
Although this process happens behind the scenes, you should still be aware of how wheels are made. Techniques for crafting wheels affect pricing and endurance, which you should factor into your decision on a new set of wheels.
Cast wheels are the fastest and least expensive wheels to make. The process involves pouring molten aluminum into a wheel-shaped mold and letting the material harden. After cooling, the wheel goes through a few final steps before it’s ready to hit the road.
While cast wheels are a convenient choice, they are prone to cracking under pressure. They operate well enough under normal driving conditions, but it can be a disaster when they do fail.
Forged wheels go through a more detailed process, which leads to a much more solid product. Starting out as a block of aluminum, the material is trimmed and heated, leaving behind a leaner and more resilient structure to work with.
The final product will be much more expensive than a cast wheel, but forged wheels are stronger, lighter, and sleeker than cast wheels. If you’re willing to pay an extra buck, these wheels are sure to give you your money’s worth.
Flow formed wheels act as a hybrid between cast and forged wheels. While the center of the wheel is still cast, the wheel endures a heating process that fills out the rest of its shape.
Because of their cast center, these wheels remain vulnerable to cracks. However, they are slightly stronger and lighter than cast wheels.
So, if you want something more durable than cast wheels and less expensive than forged wheels, flow formed wheels stand on nice middle ground.
Numbers to Know
When people ask, “Which car wheels should I be looking at?” they often think of the more flamboyant aspects of car wheels, such as bright colors. Rarely do they think of the math that goes into selecting the right wheels for a car.
You can select a wheel with a larger diameter to earn more style points and increase vehicle control. However, it’s recommended you stick with a diameter that matches the one on your previous wheels.
Keep a few numbers in mind to ensure that your wheels not only look good but feel good too.
While looks aren’t everything, it’s impossible to deny that car wheel designs will influence what new set of wheels you select for your car. Of course, a lot of it comes down to personal preference, but style does follow some rules.
Contrast is the most important thing to remember when selecting wheels. Dark wheels provide a nice balance for a lighter-colored car, and light wheels can highlight a darker vehicle.
As long as you stand out without overwhelming people with your color scheme, you can feel confident as heads turn to follow your smooth ride.
Choosing the Right Car Company
When searching for car wheels, you want to make sure you’re getting a good deal on a great product. In order to find the best car wheels for your vehicle, you’ll need a trusted partner to help you out.
A well-established car wheel company should be knowledgeable and well-connected. Check out their blog to see what insights they have to offer and whether they’re staying on top of the market.
Customer reviews are also a sure way to gauge if a company can back up their talk.
Buying car wheels can be a stressful process. Put your trust in a reliable partner, and they can find you polished products that will last for years to come.
The Right Wheel Fits Your Preferences
A vehicle is as put-together as its owner, so you need to know yourself before you can know what set of wheels are right for you. There are many car wheel types out there, but there’s only one that can satisfy your needs and wants.
Once you decide what you want out of your ride, you’ll know what wheels will give you the most confidence on the road.
To help narrow your search, visit our automotive blog for more ideas on finding wheels that will allow you to cruise in comfort and style.