You see them every day and they catch your eye. Different models, shiny or dull, they make you wish having them. Or, if you have them, this makes you very proud. But, is there any other reason to equip our cars with this good-looking wheels or it is just about stepping out of the crowd and satisfy our own pride?
To answer this question we need to analyze the options – and they are not too many.
When we purchase a new car, it is usually equipped with regular steel wheels. The alloy ones come as an extra option and are, of course, increasing the price of the vehicle. The steel wheels are the cheapest ones. They satisfy the basic needs. They are easy to repair in case of damage but, in the mean time, heavy enough to increase the fuel consumption. They meet the standard safety requirements and are time resistant, but too ugly to be left uncovered.
Another choice may be the magnesium wheels – or mag wheels, as they are quite well known. Many people confuse them with the alloy wheels, but, I am telling you, there is a very big difference between these two. The magnesium wheels are lighter than other types and they seem to improve grip, handling and fuel consumption. In UK they have been banned in some motor sport areas. And there is a very good reason for it – magnesium is a flammable element and the fire hard to be extinguished. They can burst on fire because of a minor tyre puncture. Sometimes they offer low corrosion resistance. They are far more expensive than other types.
The alloy wheels are placed somewhere in the middle. Safer and cheaper than mag wheels and offer a better look, better fuel consumption and handling compared to regular steel wheels. They prevent the braking system from overheating which leads to a better functionality. Anyway, depending on the manufacturing process, they can cause tyres to leak air. In exceptional cases they are still heavier than regular steel wheels and you will have to sacrifice the low fuel consumption and a good handling in the favor of cosmetic purposes.
The decision is yours to take.
Article by: Chris U., Webmaster
A car tuning & styling and car care products website.