What rims fit my car?
If you’re looking to buy some standard factory wheels for your car, getting the information on what size of rims you need is relatively easy. You can head over to your tire dealer and inquire about it, check the sticker plate that’s in your vehicle, or do some search online for based on the make and model.
If, however, you’re looking to fit some custom rims, you’ll need to take some measurements. This is especially if you want to go for a larger fitment. You’ll need three of them – the diameter and width of your current wheels, the offset, and the bolt pattern.
To measure the diameter, you’ll have to get the distance from one side of the face of the wheel to the other. The measuring tape or device you use should pass through the middle. The number will typically fall anywhere between 15 and 17 inches. You can choose to go for a bigger size than that of your factory wheels, but remember to also pick lower profile tires while at it.
Your wheels could be up to 12 inches wide. If you want to fit custom rims that are of the same width, that measurement will be enough. For larger custom wheels, however, you’ll need to get smaller tires. The vice versa applies if you’re going for smaller rims.
The offset is the distance between the mounting pad and the center line of the wheel. It is the measurement between the hub and where your wheel is installed. A negative offset means your wheel sits closer to the vehicle’s chassis while a positive offset means it sits further away from it. Getting the right measurement ensures your rims don’t end up rubbing on the car’s body or interfering with the suspension and braking system.
Lastly, the bolt pattern represents the number of lug holes on your wheels and the distance between one hole and the one sitting directly opposite. For example, a bolt pattern of 5×135 mm means that there are 5 lug holes and each hole sits 135 mm away from the other.
How much are car rims?
There are several factors that determine how much a set of rims cost. The first is the type of wheel. There are two main types that you’ll encounter when shopping. These are steel and alloy wheels. Steel wheels are cheaper to buy and replace while alloy wheels are more expensive. The former are made from actual steel while the latter combine aluminum with other metals. Typically, the bigger the size, the more money you’ll pay for both.
The second factor is the level of customization available for each wheel. While steel wheels are limited in their number of finishes, alloy wheels benefit from endless options. A typical steel wheel will be finished in white, black, or grey powder coating. An alloy wheel, on the other hand, could be powder coated, clear-coated, paint coated, chrome plated, machined, polished, or PVD chrome plated.
The third factor is the type of construction. All steel wheels tend to be manufactured in a similar functions. When it comes to alloy wheels, manufacturers tend to have more options to play around with. They can either be entirely cast, where molten metal is poured into a mold to cool down and take the shape of a wheel or, cast in combination with forged parts. Single- piece forged rims are the most expensive as they are made from a single piece of aluminum metal forged into the exact shape needed. The process involves milling the metal with a CNC machine.
The fourth factor that will affect how much your wheels will cost is where they are made. Wheels manufactured by the automaker or a contracted party are referred to as OEM rims while those made by third parties are referred to as aftermarket rims. The former tend to be more expensive because they go through several stages of testing to ensure they are safe for the car. Aftermarket wheels have little to no oversight and thus tend to be less expensive.
The fifth and final factor that affects price is the level of demand for certain wheels and the type of cars they are fitted on. If the wheels you want are in high demand, chances are, you’re going to pay more for them. This is especially if they are to be fitted on a truck, SUV, sports, or luxury vehicle. Some dealerships may upsell on a particular set. It’s always best to first shop around to find the best price.
How to clean car rims?
The best way to clean your rims is to first spray them with a high-pressure washer. This helps to remove debris, dust, mud, grit and other unwanted particles. You also get to save time since you will not need to scrub the wheels too much.
The next step is to spray some wheel cleaner on the wheels. Most people tend to use dish soap. It’s cheap, it does the job, and helps to degrease the surface. For better results, however, it’s best to go for something that isn’t acidic. Acid tends to ruin the clear coat that gives your rims their shine and protects them from rust. A good wheel cleaner is one that is PH neutral.
Once you’ve sprayed enough cleaner, scrub the metal surface with a sponge or rug. This will help remove any stubborn stains and grease. To reach the interior, use a toothbrush. You can alternatively opt for a long and gentle brush with non-abrasive bristles. Avoid using tire brushes to scrub your wheels.
The last step is to rinse your wheels down starting from the top. You can use fresh water to remove all the soap. Once done, dry them with a soft and clean towel. A microfiber cloth works best as it ensures no watermarks are left on the wheels.
Will aftermarket rims ruin my car?
Aftermarket wheels are manufactured by third party manufacturers. Unlike OEM rims, they are not regulated and are designed to fit multiple vehicles. They, therefore, may not necessarily match the specifications outlined by the automaker. This means that some wheels may have slight variations in size.
High-quality aftermarket wheels that are made with precision and performance in mind are often never a problem. However, poorly manufactured variants can cause serious damage to your car, especially if they are also not fitted well. Some tend to be of less quality when compared to OEM rims.
In addition, their ability to fit multiple vehicles means that they target a wider market. Cheaper materials are, therefore, used to produce them in mass. This is one of the reasons why aftermarket wheels are cheaper compared to OEM wheels. When buying them, it’s best to pick a reputable and trusted retailer that prioritizes quality.
Some of the most important things you should have in mind is to go for wheels that have a perfect fit. The bolt pattern must be the same as that put on your factory wheels. Your rims should also function without interfering with the suspension and brake components. Lastly, they should be able to handle the weight of your car.
Be on the lookout for wheels that may need adapters and spacers. The appropriate spacer thickness varies from car to car. Remember to go for rims that aren’t too large as these may affect fitment and your vehicle’s ride quality. Since there are no regulations enforced on aftermarket wheel manufacturers you’ll most likely have to rely on the dealer’s word when it comes to finding the right set for your car.
Which is better steel or alloy rims?
Steel and alloy wheels defer in their construction. They both have their own pros and cons. It all narrows down to what you want for your car and what best meets your needs. As you may know already, steel wheels are made from steel while alloy wheels are made from aluminum and a mix of other metals.
For those looking for a durable and less expensive option, steel rims are the way to go. They are much stronger and last longer than alloy wheels. Steel is able to withstand winter and other harsh weather conditions while at the same time, meeting the needs of more powerful vehicles. Bending or cracking is often unheard of as the metal itself would require a lot of force to damage. Steel can also be easily repaired since there’s no fear of breaking it.
Another advantage of steel wheels is that they are cheap. Replacing them will cost much less when compared to alloy wheels. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of finishes available for these rims on the market. They do not prioritize aesthetics and come coated in simple colors. Their weight is also a disadvantage that’s worth noting. They are heavy and can therefore, decrease your car’s ability to accelerate. The extra pounds can in some cases, cause pressure on the suspension.
Alloy wheels are a lighter alternative that comes with plenty of styles and finishes. They are more aesthetically appealing and generally perform better when compared to steel wheels. They do not come with the extra weight, making them great for fuel economy. They are also less likely to strain your suspension and car components.