Aluminum is about five times costlier than steel, so it’s no surprise that automakers often use steel wheels instead of those made of aluminum alloys. By the end of the 1970s, however, many brands offered lightweight alloy wheels on their automobiles.
Alloys, as the name implies, are made of aluminum and various other metals. By combining expensive aluminum with different types of metal, it’s possible to make a strong, yet cost-effective wheel. Here, you’ll learn why alloys are better than steel wheels.
Alloys Save You Money
When you’re trying to make your truck, car, or sport utility vehicle lighter, you may notice several changes in performance. Lightweight vehicles leave the line faster, and they offer the illusion of increased horsepower.
If you’re like many drivers, you like to put your vehicle through its paces. While that’s certainly fun, it can be costly in terms of fuel consumption. Switching to aluminum wheels may slightly increase your vehicle’s fuel economy, which will help you save money with each visit to the filling station.
Heavier steel wheels increase a vehicle’s rotating mass. In simple terms, steel wheels are tougher to stop than aluminum alloys. Rotors, brake pads, and drums will all last longer and work better when they’re used with light aluminum alloy wheels.
Increased Off-Road Capabilities
Aluminum alloy wheels have begun to dominate the automotive accessory aftermarket. If you are an off-road enthusiast, like many of our customers are, you may find it difficult to locate steel wheels that are 19 or 20 inches in diameter. Speedy alloy wheels, however, are available in numerous size options and lug patterns. If increased ground clearance is what you’re after, consider installing a lift kit and one of our 24” rim and tyre package options.
A Few Drawbacks
When you’re looking for new rims for your ride, you may be surprised at how much they can cost. It’s quite common for top-of-the-line wheel sets to cost thousands, even before new tyres are purchased. However, it’s important to consider that wheels and tyres are what’s keeping you in touch with the road, so it’s best not to buy the cheapest set possible.
Aluminum alloy wheels are costlier than steel wheels because of the price of the raw materials used in manufacturing, so it may be better to keep your steel set until you’ve saved up the cash for the upgrade.
Aluminum is pricey to repair; if you live in an area with rough roads and run low-profile tyres, drive more carefully or choose a durable set of wheels. Though a steel rim can typically be hammered back into shape when it is damaged, aluminum wheels can’t always be repaired.
For the initial investment, high-quality aluminum wheels are a worthwhile purchase for drivers who are focused on performance and appearance. The decreased weight makes steering and stopping easier, which is a definite advantage for those of us who drive bigger vehicles. Furthermore, as automotive manufacturers increasingly provide high-quality OEM alloy wheels, it makes it more challenging to stick with steel.
If you have questions or concerns about which alloy wheels are best for your car, truck, or SUV, give us a call or visit our website. Visit your local fitment experts and they will gladly answer your questions and help you find a set of King rims that meet your needs.