Add flair to your car with custom alloy wheels

Car ownership advice
Custom alloy wheels can improve almost any car - even this Lamborghini Aventador - a true supercar

Having a stylish set of rims for your car can improve its looks and personalise it to your own sense of style. For those seeking to customise the look of their vehicle, a new set of alloy wheels is a quick and easy way to enhance its appearance as well as improving how your car drives.

You can find trendy aftermarket wheels in numerous finishes, with colours like white, black, grey and anthracite offering an alternative to the more traditional silver and chrome.

There are many different kinds of designs available from many different manufacturers of alloy wheels. When considering any set of custom rims, it is necessary to choose carefully to ensure that they do not affect your vehicle’s performance or safety.  Here are some top tips on choosing a new set of alloy wheels.

Alloy wheels can improve your car’s performance

  • Most aftermarket wheels are made of aluminium alloy because they are much lighter than steel wheels, which can improve the car’s ride, handling and steering.
  • Custom alloy wheels can offer the benefit of reduced tyre defection and tyre rollover. Their aluminum construction helps to dissipate heat from the wheels which is particularly generated under braking.
  • Very open design wheels, such as many 5-spoke or 6-spoke wheels, allow good airflow over the brakes thus cooling them significantly to preventing overheating.
  • It is important not to fit wheels which are significantly heavier as they may not be properly supported by the car’s suspension, which will not give a smooth ride and will affect handling.

Size matters with alloy wheels

  • Most owners upgrading their wheels usually choose larger rims than the standard wheels originally fitted to the car.  At the same time, you should not choose wheels that are too big for your car, as this can decrease your vehicle’s handling.  Many countries have legal limitations on how much you can increase the wheel size compared to standard.
  • Fitting larger wheels to your car will require new tyres as well.  A good time to change your wheels is when your tyres have worn down and are due for replacement.

Quality and fitment of your alloy wheels

  • Quality of construction is of paramount importance.  Like most things, you will get what you pay for with aftermarket wheels, and cheap wheels may be poorly constructed and prone to breaking.  Check out a well-established store that gives quality products at reasonable rates.
  • Ensure that the wheels’ bolt pattern and offset are compatible with your car.  There is considerable variation across different cars, so there is no guarantee that your preferred wheel design will fit your car.
  • Check if the wheel’s maximum load rating is suitable for your vehicle.
  • With regards to construction material, it is better to choose a low-pressure cast or forged aluminum wheel design. This is because they weigh less and are more durable.
  • Consult the wheel retailer for advice.  A good retailer will want to ensure that the wheels you buy are suitable for your car, and will be able to answer any questions you have.

Custom alloy wheels on a VW Golf GTI

Check up on all of these points and you can be sure of adding flair to your vehicle with a lovely set of custom alloy wheels that match your driving habits, improve your car’s style, give you better performance and do not compromise your safety.

Further reading on alloy wheels:

Alloy wheels – are they the real deal? – The Car Expert explores alloy wheels and how they affect the way your car drives.

Do big alloy wheels crack more easily? – The Car Expert answer’s a reader’s question about fragility of big alloys.

This article was written by Jim Henson on behalf of Pneus Online, an online tyre shop for cars and motorbikes. They also have a large selection of complete wheel and tyre packages for passenger vehicles, 4x4s and SUVs.

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