It’s the exterior of the car that hooks drivers and the interior that seals the deal when it comes down to cars. We won’t discuss the many features in the vehicle interiors, but we will talk about one important exterior feature that can make a vehicle more appealing – the wheels.
There are various different types of wheels that vehicles can be outfitted with, with the two most popular being steel and alloy. This article will focus on alloy wheels and what it means to be an “alloy” wheel. This post can be referred to as Alloy Wheels 101.
What is Alloy?
Before we get into the benefits of alloy wheels, let’s first discuss the alloy material. When “alloy wheels are mentioned, it refers to a wheel made from a mixture of metals such as aluminum and magnesium. They are often called “mag wheels” because of the many metals in alloy wheels.
Casting or forging is the most common method of making alloy wheels, but gravity casting has been used throughout history. They are lighter than steel wheels and are more durable than cast alloy wheels. The manufacturing process allows for complex designs to be made, whether they are cast or forged. This helps alloy wheels to achieve the look many drivers desire to match the styling of their cars.
Because alloy wheels are more costly to make than steel wheels, they have historically been more of an aftermarket choice, unless you were buying a sports car or high-end luxury vehicle. Fortunately, this has changed since the turn of the century. Automakers now offer alloy wheels on certain trims of budget, compact, and sub-compact vehicles.
Alloy Wheel Advantages
Many advantages are available to alloy materials over other materials, many of which translate into wheel benefits. Here are some top benefits of alloy wheels for vehicles:
- As we mentioned in the opening, alloy wheels are often more elegant than other types. This is due to the more complicated manufacturing process that alloy wheels require, which allows for more creative and custom designs. It’s easy to see which alloy wheel is more attractive than a steel one.
- Performance: Alloy wheels can improve vehicle performance. Alloy wheels are lighter than steel, which can help a vehicle’s fuel economy, braking, and acceleration. Alloy wheels can also improve steering and handling. Lighter wheels reduce wear on other components of the vehicle, such as the transmission, engine, and suspension. Aluminum wheels allow for better heat conduction, dissipation, and braking. Because they are cooler, these tires will last longer and be less susceptible to premature wear.
- Lightweight: Although we have already mentioned this benefit, it is worth mentioning again. Alloy wheels are considerably lighter than steel counterparts. This helps to improve the vehicle’s fuel economy, reduce stress on various components, and improve its handling. Remember that a 10 percent weight reduction can result in a 7 percent increase in fuel economy. This is a huge number.
- Alloy wheels are corrosion-resistant. This is a key advantage over steel and other metals. It’s obvious that alloy wheels will last a long time if you pay more for them – either as an after-market option or on the whole lot. You can trust them to last because of the quality of the alloy and how they are made.
Alloy wheels are more than just another type. They are the most important type of wheel for many. You now know what an alloy wheel is and can decide if it’s the right wheel for you.
Contact us for more information about alloy wheels and their advantages and benefits.
This post was written by a wheel and tire expert at Tennessee Tire. Tennessee Tire is Clarksville Tennessee and Fort Campbell Kentucky’s leading tire and custom wheel shop. We proudly offer Southern Hospitality combined with the lowest prices in town! Come see us, call us, or message us for a quote on a Custom Wheels in Clarksville TN today. You won’t be sorry you did.