Whatever your vehicle, when you decide to replace its current wheels, make sure to purchase only OE wheels. These are also known as factory wheels and feature their manufacturer’s name, not like aftermarket wheels, also known as non-original wheels, that do not feature it.
OE wheels are, in general, made from steel or aluminum. Each of these materials present advantages and disadvantages. To make sure you add more stability, a better handling, and a greater look to your vehicle, always purchase a compatible set of wheels.
The compatibility of a wheel refers to its dimensions and the material it is made from. In other words, if you have wheels that feature a certain height, width, and length, purchase only those wheels that feature the same dimensions, to make sure they would fit your car. At the same time, it would be preferable to purchase wheels made from the same material as the original wheels of the car.
To be able to make the right decision, let us see the most important characteristics of steel wheels and aluminum wheels. First of all, steel wheels are heavier than those made from aluminum. This makes them more durable. However, aluminum wheels do not require the same amount of fuel as those made from steel, since they are lighter.
Aluminum rims can reduce heat at the tire level, that is why they are more appropriate for drivers that spend a lot of time behind the wheel. On the other hand, steel wheels are suitable for occasional drivers, or for those who live in a plain area that can better accommodate rims made from steel.
In terms of design, aluminum gives more possibilities to create various shapes and sizes. Because they come with this option, aluminum wheels are more expensive than steel rims. Not even aftermarket aluminum wheels are cheaper than steel rims, so if a low price is what you are looking for, steel rims are the best choice.
Aluminum wheels are basically of two types: wheels made from cast aluminum, and wheels made from forged aluminum. The first category refers to wheels that are created by pouring liquid aluminum into the mold of a rim, and the second one to wheels that are made by transforming a piece of almost cooled aluminum into a wheel specifically made to order.
Regardless of their manufacturing method, aluminum rims have a more uniform consistency, in comparison to steel rims. Still, this does not prevent aluminum from suffering from metal fatigue. When it comes to this, steel can last for almost an eternity. Plus, it can be easily repaired, if it gets damaged.
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