While buying a new car or modifying an existing one, we often direct our entire attention and decision-making process towards choosing the right model, the right company, or the right color. However, we neglect to ponder upon the type of car wheels we choose.
It is as important to choose the right car wheel as it is to choose the right model. So, it now boils down to one question: Which wheel type should you purchase? Well, there are four main types of wheels: Alloy, Steel, Cast, and Forged Wheels. Let’s delve deeper and explore the advantages and disadvantages of these wheels.
Number 1: Alloy Rim Wheels
Alloy Rim Wheels are made up of alloys of several light-in-weight metals such as magnesium, aluminum, nickel, or a mixture of these. Since they are light in weight, they provide a smooth and weightless driving experience to the car owner.
The benefits of installing these Alloy Rims are many. Firstly, as mentioned priorly, their lightness enables the car to achieve greater acceleration and a more efficient shopping process. This also enhances the fuel economy of the car and contributes to its longevity.
Secondly, the lighter mass allows these wheels to exert less pressure on the suspension system. This, in turn, decreases the unsprung weight of the vehicle and makes it easier to be handled.
The best part about these wheels is that they have many varieties in designs and sizes which allows the owner to customize the look of their cars according to their tastes.
However, many people choose to steer clear of these wheels (pun intended) due to them breaking or cracking easily under pressure. It is not ideal if your usual routes include uneven, bumpy roads accompanied by potholes every other meter.
In addition, they tend to succumb easily to corrosion when they come in contact with a salty or acidic environment.
Moreover, these wheels are quite expensive and many people may not deem them worthy of the price due to their stated cons.
Number 2: Steel Wheels
These wheels aim to seal the deal. They are made from the alloy of carbon and iron. This causes them to be heavier in weight than their foe (alloy wheels) but their durability and reliability are incomparable.
These car parts are less expensive than alloy wheels. With the quality offered, many car owners prefer them especially when they are on a budget.
Secondly, they can withstand the most severe environmental conditions, be it a snowstorm or a thunderstorm or even a road filled with bumps, potholes, and rocks. This is because they are built to be sturdy and are perfect for those who commute through such conditions. Police cars, in particular, use steel wheels so that they can chase the criminals effortlessly without worrying about their wheel cracking or breaking if they hit a curb or a bump.
Since these wheels do not prioritize looks over functions, even if they do become bent under severe strain, you can easily fix them via a hammer and you’re good to go.
On the other hand, they do have some downsides. The durability comes with an unwanted unsprung mass. This can end up decreasing the acceleration of the car as well as its fuel economy.
The heavyweight can also put an unnecessary burden on the suspension system which can overall lower the performance and efficiency of the car.
Moreover, these wheels do not look too glamorous on a vehicle. With their simple and tough looks, they might not suit the vibe of an elegant car. Similarly, there are lesser options available for customization in terms of designs and sizes – with the sizes being limited to 16 inches or less in diameter.
After choosing the type of wheel you wish to purchase, you can then move on to choose how you want them to be manufactured. There are two options: Cast or Forged Wheels.
Number 3: Cast Wheels
These wheels are made by melting the required metal. Then, it is put in a mold to let it take its shape. Once it cools, your cast wheel is ready to go out on the roads. Just like how it sounds, casting wheels is a fast and easy process.
Since the process of manufacturing cast wheels is hassle-free, it poses many benefits for car owners. Firstly, it is comparatively cheaper. If you are on a budget and don’t want the added cost of the wheels to weigh you down, then cast wheels are perfect for you.
Secondly, you won’t have to comb through shop after shop in search of these parts. They are easily available everywhere and can be bought without any issues.
Lastly, the sizes available in this wheel type are common for most popular cars. Hence, you don’t need to worry about not being able to find the right size for your vehicle.
The heating and the cooling process can lead to increased porosity in the material. This has the disadvantage of making the wheels more susceptible to cracking or breaking under strain. It may not be ideal for those who wish to have stronger wheels for their cars.
Secondly, many manufacturers try to overcome the above-stated issue by making the material denser. This causes the car wheels to become heavier in weight which can again decrease the fuel economy and acceleration of the car.
Number 4: Forged Wheels
Forged Wheels are manufactured via labor-intensive and time-consuming methods. This car part is shaped and sculpted through the process of hammering, heating, and applying pressure.
This wheel type is stronger and more durable as compared to cast wheels. It vows to stay by you through the bumpy terrains or the pothole-laden roads without cracking under pressure. This is the reason why most people prefer to buy it.
Secondly, even though it can withstand more pressure, it is lighter in weight than cast wheels. This allows for the car to achieve more acceleration, reduce the strain on its suspension system and improve its fuel mileage.
Moreover, it has more options for customization in terms of designs and sizes. So, this wheel takes the bag if you love to add a personal touch to your vehicle.
Nevertheless, this wheel type also has its downsides. Firstly, since the process of manufacturing requires hard work, the price charged for them is high. If you can afford to raise your budget by a small margin, forged wheels are the one for you.
Moreover, it is not easily available like its counterpart. You have to place an order and wait for a specific period to get your hands on these dream wheels.
To sum up, we believe that forged steel car wheels are your best bet if you have a bigger budget in mind. They are exceptionally strong, can withstand any and every kind of pressure, and can do their job well.