Whenever you look at a car, there’s one thing that you might not notice prima facie but it contributes a lot to the overall perception of the car to you. You might not like the look of the car however sporty it may be. It cannot be compromised either. You need a place to fit the tyres on, after all. Yes, the part we are talking about is the wheels of the car. They contribute a lot to the aesthetic appeal of the car while serving other purposes too.
Talking of aesthetics, what would you prefer in your car? A funky and grey alloy wheel that goes well with the overall looks of the car or a steel wheel that looks old-school and might also snatch some of the visual goodness that your car is. Obviously, an alloy will be your preference. The alloys serve a different purpose and the steel wheels serve a different purpose. The use of different wheels also depends on the surface your car is being driven on. We will talk about what all advantages does one have over the other and what tyre is suited for what surface.
These wheels are made up of an alloy of Aluminium and Magnesium. Alloys provide more durability than pure metals. Many cars nowadays are equipped with alloy wheels as standard from the factory due to all the purposes they serve. Some of them are:
- Aesthetic value: available in various designs, alloy wheels add to the aesthetic value of the car. From 10 spoke alloys to a cross-spoke design, alloys offer a more stylish alternative to the steel wheels.
- Less weight: alloy wheels are lighter than their steel counterparts (by about 10 kilos per wheel) due to their composition which helps in increasing the fuel economy of the Lighter wheels also means that there is less strain on the suspension which helps in improving the handling of the car.
- Better heat dissipation: due to the composition of aluminium, the heat created by the car’s brakes is dissipated quicker than the steel wheels.
- Not prone to rust: alloy wheels, is composed of aluminium, will not rust, unlike steel wheels.
- Better suited for tubeless tyres: alloy wheels are better suited for tubeless tyres because of their air-tight construction. Alloy wheels might leak air only if the wheels are cracked.
- Better fuel economy: the alloy wheels are lighter and reduce the overall weight of the car. A lighter car is easier to pull and will consume lesser fuel per kilo.
However, alloy wheels are not free of criticism. There are some which are as follows:
- Not as durable: alloy wheels are not as durable as the steel wheels due to their lower weight. They are prone to cracking under rough circumstances.
- Expensive: alloy wheels are more expensive than their steel counterparts because their construction is a very complicated and expensive process.
- Maintenance: alloy wheels require more maintenance than the steel wheels because their finish can be damaged by harsh bits and pieces on the road.
Most of the cars today come shod with alloy wheels which are light and visually appealing. The wheels contribute to the aesthetics of the car and being light they result in a better fuel economy and better and sharp handling. Owing to the lighter weight the durability of the wheels takes a hit and if driven over a rough surface, they might crack and leak air.
On the other part of the spectrum, there are steel wheels which are made of iron and steel. Most modern cars have done away with it but many cars still offer this. Commuter cars such as Maruti Alto, Maruti WagonR, Hyundai Santro and the sorts still offer steel wheels on their lower trims. Everyone nowadays uses steel wheels with ‘wheel covers’ that lend a hand to the aesthetics of the wheels. Despite being old and out of fashion, there are still many benefits that they offer:
- Durability: as the wheels are made of pure iron and steel, they are more durable than alloy wheels. If used rough, they get bent instead of cracked. Bent wheels can be put back into place by hammering on the bent area.
- Cost: steel wheels are cheaper than alloy wheels because manufacturing them isn’t as complex and expensive as alloy wheels.
Just like alloy wheels, the steel wheels have their own setbacks:
- Heavy: steel wheels weigh more than alloy wheels and thus result in loss of power and also leads to a lower fuel economy.
- Prone to rusting: steel wheels are prone to rust and corrosion due to it comprising of iron.
Steel wheels weigh more than the alloys and that results in poor fuel economy. Heavier wheels also mean that the overall weight of the car also increases. A heavier weight means that there is a strain on the suspension and the overall handing takes a hit. But on the brighter side, these wheels are very durable and in case of an event which leads to a bending of the wheels, repairing them and putting them back into place is just as easy.
Many people change the wheels to after-market alloys. We have seen that people switch to carbon fibre wheels and titanium wheels to reduce weight! Some of the best alloy wheel manufacturing companies are:
No matter what alloy wheels you have, Team Automen is always available for any extensive repair that might need to be done in case you are stuck with a bent wheel or a cracked rim, ensuring that the wheels are in perfect condition to take on the road. Automen uses genuine OEM parts for each and every vehicle that is available in the market for all cars in Delhi-NCR at your doorstep! To book your PitStop, you can call +91 8010696969 or visit www.automen.in