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Aftermarket Wheels

Top Tips When Choosing Aftermarket Wheels for Your Vehicle

Car Wheel


Aside from a fresh paint job, one of the most eye-catching ways to customise your vehicle is to get a set of aftermarket wheels. With the right combination of size, colour, and material, new wheels can give your car a whole new personality. In the same manner, the wrong choice can affect not just your car’s aesthetics but also its performance.

As such, you need to be extra careful when shopping for aftermarket wheels. Buy only from trusted suppliers so you can be sure of the quality. Besides finding a reputable shop, here are some more things to keep in mind to make sure you’re getting the best wheels:

Pay Attention to the Diameter, Width, Offset, and Backspace

There are plenty of important measurements you need to take into account when buying aftermarket wheels. These are the following:

1) Diameter

This is the distance between the two bead seats, which are surfaces where the tires are sealed onto the wheel. If you want better off-road performance, you should go for wheels with smaller diameters for less weight and more tire sidewall. If you’re going for a formidable stance, then you definitely want wheels with bigger diameters.

Do note that if you use larger wheels, you’re also going to have to use larger tires and these can affect your car’s speedometer and odometer readings.

2) Width

The wheel’s width is the distance from the inside to the outside of each bead seat. Narrow and wide wheels each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Narrow wheels improve cornering in wet conditions and also enhance ride comfort. However, they provide less traction on dry roads. Meanwhile, wider wheels have greater dry traction and off-road performance but don’t perform as well in wet conditions.

3) Offset and Backspace

The wheel’s offset is the distance between the mounting surface and the centerline. The backspace, on the other hand, is the distance between the mounting surface and the back lip of the wheel. These two measurements determine how far the wheel and tire will sit inside or outside the wheel well. Improper offset and backspace can result in the wheel getting in the way of the suspension, steering components, and brakes.

Steel or Alloy?

There are two common materials used for constructing car wheels: alloy and steel. Alloy wheels, a combination of at least two elements (one of which is metal), are stronger and lighter than steel wheels. Thus, alloy wheels can make your car easier to handle and also more fuel-efficient. However, they are more expensive than steel and are also non-repairable if they sustain heavy damage.

Meanwhile, steel wheels are usually heavier and can therefore withstand heavy-duty driving conditions. If they get bent, you can hammer them back into shape. The downside is that their weight can result in a decrease in performance, particularly when it comes to speed and fuel consumption. Steel wheels also don’t come in as many styles, colours, and finishes when compared to alloy wheels.

Ultimately, the choice between alloy and steel will depend on three factors: your budget, your performance needs, and your style preferences.

Check the Stud Pattern

Different auto manufacturers have different stud patterns. The diameter and arrangement of the studs can also vary depending on the model of the car. You need to look for the numerical arrangement that looks something like 5x120 or 5/120. In this example, 5 is the number of mounting holes and 120 is the distance between each mounting hole. If you get a wheel that doesn’t have the same measurements, then it won’t fit onto your car.

Hub-Centric Fit

Many modern vehicles have a centering hub, which is designed to keep the wheel precisely fitted and centred. With a hub-centric fit, you’ll minimise the risk of imbalance or improper alignment that can result in various driving and comfort issues.

Not all wheels are manufactured to fit your vehicle’s centering hub, so you may need to use spacers to make sure that the installation is secure. However, spacers can’t solve all problems with regard to hub-centric fitment. If this is the case, you may have to choose a different wheel altogether.

Pick a Style YOU Love

Once you’ve considered your budget, as well as the wheel’s fit, safety, and performance, it’s time to decide on the style! This all depends on your personal preferences, of course, so the choice is really all up to you in the end. Still, if you need some help, you can consult different websites for inspiration.

If you have a light-coloured car, dark wheels will stand out more. Darker cars, on the other hand, might benefit more from light-coloured or shiny wheels like those with a chrome finish. However, there are some cases when black-on-black can look really sleek and sophisticated (or even powerful, if you have a big car).

It can be a little challenging to choose new wheels, especially if you’re doing it for the first time and considering the vast selection of products. Hopefully, this simple guide can help you make a good choice.

Happy shopping!

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