Alloy wheels are a common word in today’s automotive industry. So if you want to have an in-depth analysis of what really an alloy wheel is then this article is the one you won’t regret reading! We will talk about what alloy wheels are, the types of alloy wheels, and their advantages too! Also, check out a tough battle sprinkled in the middle about Alloy Wheels Vs Steel Wheels!
What are Alloy Wheels?
Before we move on to everything about alloy wheels, we should understand what exactly are they.
Technically speaking the word alloy means the mixture or combination of two or more metals. In case of the automobiles, an alloy wheel is a wheel made from the blend of two metals, Aluminium and Nickel.
Although there are many different types of wheels available in the market, alloys have seen more market presence lately due to the unique properties they possess. They are lightweight, have heat resistance, don’t rust etc… All of these properties make automotive companies use them in making wheels for their cars.
We’ll be talking more about these characteristics and advantages next up, so keep on reading!
Alloy Wheels Vs Steel Wheels: Which One To Go For?
Choosing between Alloy wheels vs Steel Wheels is a common situation in which many people tend to get stuck. Both have their own advantages, so let us first take a look at the advantages of Alloy Wheels first, in the battle of Alloy Wheels Vs Steel Wheels.
Advantages Of Alloy Wheels – Why To Choose Them?
1) Light Weight
Aluminium alloys being light in weight reduces the overall weight of the vehicle. This results in 2 main things.
a) Alloy wheels are lighter than regular steel/chrome wheels. The lighter weight results in faster movement of the car, or in other words – quicker acceleration.
b) This in turn helps in reducing overall fuel consumption or in other words increasing mileage.
c) Also, alloy wheels, being lighter, put lesser tension on the suspension of the car. This increases the life of the parts of the suspension system.
Alloy wheels are not prone to rust, as compared to regular steel wheels. Thus, alloys of good quality are preferred because they are anti-corrosive in nature. Nowadays, many alloy wheels sitting idle in markets for a long time are getting rusted because of their cheap quality.
3) High Heat Resistance
Alloys have higher heat resistance than regular steel wheels. Due to the large amount of heat generated by the movement of wheels, regular steel wheels tend to absorb more heat.
On the other hand, alloy wheels have the property to resist high levels of heat. This means they can transfer more heat than normal ones. This also improves the functioning of the brakes in demanding situations, as heat generated by applying brakes is released by conduction into the outside environment of the car.
Alloy wheels possess an element of beauty too (it is easier to create designs out of alloys). They look much sportier than steel wheels. So in addition to the above properties, their elegant appearance makes them a perfect deal from the buyer’s perspective. In fact, this is the main reason why buyers choose these in the first place, and why car manufacturers make them available in top-spec models only.
Alloy Wheels add up to the performance of the vehicle in many ways. We will talk about this elaborately in the next section, so keep scrolling! For now, how about you read – Mods That Actually Increase Car Performance
Advantages of Steel Wheels
Here are the advantages of using steel wheels. Also Check out a detailed comparison right over here – Alloy Wheels Vs Steel Wheels | GoMechanic Basics
Buying Alloy Wheel is an expensive matter, as they cost way more than their steel counterparts. However, steel wheels are much more pocket friendly. The price of alloy wheels tends to be more than 75% that of steel wheels. And this is not a one-time purchase too, as maintaining them is also much more expensive as it requires a skilled technician. Many a time, they don’t have the potential to get repaired and hence are supposed to get changed, which means spending a lot of money once more.
2) Rough and tough
Although most alloys are harder than steel, steel still emerge as the winner in rough and tough usage in the battle of Alloy Wheels Vs Steel Wheels. In the case of alloys, they tend to crack and fracture more easily under pressure than steel wheels. And repairing them is extremely difficult, so one ends up buying new wheels instead, which as already mentioned before, is an expensive affair.
3) Longer Lasting
Because of the fact that steel wheels are the winner in the battle of durability between Alloy wheels vs steel wheels, it is obvious that steel wheels last longer than alloys. While alloys last typically about 4 years, steel wheels can extend the same tenure by upto 1-2 years more i.e 6 years. However, one should always be cautious of the symptoms that the car wheels give, such as cracks in the rims, or treading of tires. (If you want to clarify the difference between alloys and rims, scroll down and refer to one of our FAQs below)
Alloy Wheels: Major Effect On Performance
Alloy wheels act as booster dose when it comes to the performance of an automobile. You will be surprised to know the wonders it does to your vehicle. Following are the ways in which it creates its impacts
Suspension: Since aluminium alloys are light in weight so they create a better suspension as compared to other metals like steel. The better suspension directly leads to higher overall performance of the car, as the efficiency levels increase.
Offroading: Since we already know that alloys have a positive effect on suspension, they are bound to perform well over bad roads too. In fact, alloys perform better in tough conditions like bad potholes, and unpaved roads because of its flexible nature.
Acceleration Again the reason is the same. Since alloys are light they have better suspension and better suspension means faster acceleration! This is the reason why they are successful in cars demanding high performance (like Formula one cars)
Brake System Alloys are considered to be heat resistant. All the heat generated while applying brakes gets transferred to the outside environment of the car. This prevents overheating of brakes which in turn prevents the wear and tear of the brake pads.
Mileage and Fuel Economy. Since alloys are lighter so they cut down the fuel consumption even in the city. Thus we get better mileage on both highways and cities.
Also Check Out: 5 Ways To Get Most Mileage Out Of Your Car!
In a nutshell, one can clearly say that alloys are better not only from an aesthetic and pleasant looks point of view but also from the performance point of the vehicle too!
Types Of Alloy Wheels
Moving on from the advantages of alloy wheels, and comparing them vs steel wheels, let us take a look at the types of alloy wheels available in the market. Depending upon the method used for their production, the different types of alloy wheels are classified into the following categories:
This is the most common production type of wheels. These wheels have mould on their circumference into which the molten metal is placed. Here the molten aluminium metal is mixed with a small quantity of nickel to improve and provide more rigidity to the cast mixture and also reduce the cracking.
These are the wheels on which solid aluminium is fixed on the rims by applying pressure and heat. Forged alloys are named after their process of manufacturing. A single or double aluminium sheet can be used for forging. The process of forging makes this wheel less porous which in turn means more durability and more resistance to corrosion.
Here are some frequently asked questions about alloy wheels. Check them out and clear everything in your mind about it.
#1) What is the difference between alloy wheels and rims?
As the name suggests an alloy wheel is simply a wheel combined with metals mostly aluminium or magnesium. Whereas the alloy rim stands for the part that connects the tyre with the outermost part of the wheel itself. In other words, we can say that a wheel consists of rim + tyre + nuts and bolts. So Alloy rims is just a part of the wheel. It also acts as the cover for the metallic part of the wheel.
#2) Which alloy wheel is best?
#3) What are the alloy wheels Advantages?
There are many alloy wheel advantages, some of which include better heat resistance, lighter weight for increased performance, better aesthetics, better steering response etc… They also have anti rust properties which makes them even more suitable.
#4) Do alloy wheels save fuel?
#5) How long should alloy wheels last?
#6) What Is The Difference Between Alloy Wheels Vs Steel Wheels mileage:
#7) Can Alloy Wheels Rust?
#8) Can You repair cracked alloy wheels?
Repairing cracked Repairing alloys is a bit of a task. Ensuring proper care before actually starting to repair it is thus, essential. Only proffessionals should handle such situations as simple fixes (like welding) is not likely to work.
#9) Can We Paint Alloy Wheels?
Although you can paint alloy wheel, it is not a good idea. Painting them most probably wouldn’t give a better design, or overall look from before, as Alloy wheels themselves look beautiful. Besides that, the paint could scrub off quite easily as it has very close exposure to dirt, dust, water etc… This would eventually end up flaking off of all the paint initially done.
#10) Should I upgrade to alloy wheels?
Alloy Wheels definitely have a lot to discuss about, which is what we have done here. If you liked all of this consistent and fresh content about Alloy Wheels, then make sure to drop in to other blogs of ours! Find more informative content only at TheGoMechanicBlog!