alloy wheels

What to Think About When Buying Alloy Wheels

People decide to buy alloy wheels for many reasons – they want to make their cars look better, or they may need to replace rims damaged in an accident. There are alloys available in almost every size, and there’s sure to be a set that suits your car perfectly. Here, you’ll learn what to look for when buying alloy rims in Australia.

Size is Important

No matter what you’ve been told in the past, size matters. Wheel width and diameter are two factors limiting your choice in wheel design. 22 inch wheels may make some vehicles look ‘flashy’, but they may not work with your car or 4wd. The most popular choices in Australia go up to about 17″, which are suitable for almost every passenger vehicle. Wheel size is a factor in maintaining the wheel/tyre combo’s rolling radius, and in ensuring that no tyre rub takes place inside the wheel wells.

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Finding the Perfect Fit

Proper wheel fitment has two aspects: offset and PCD. A wheel’s offset is the measurement from its centre line to its mounting face. For most cars and 4x4s, offset is positive and the wheel rests under the car’s body. Some 4x4s, however, have a negative offset, which allows the wheel to protrude from the vehicle’s body. PCD, or pitch circle diameter, is a measure of the wheel’s stud pattern. Finding wheels with the right PCD and offset ensure that your drivetrain and suspension don’t suffer premature wear.

Looks

Your tastes will go a long way in helping you choose the right wheels. Many Australians choose alloy wheels as a way to improve the looks of their vehicles; when choosing a new set, colour, finish and spoke pattern are all important. The design of your new wheels will determine how often you have to clean them; for instance, polished alloys require frequent care.

Value

In today’s poor economy, cost is a very important consideration. Alloy wheels are often considered a luxury, but many brands sold here offer a great value for the price. If you consider all of the factors above, your purchase will be successful and you’ll get the wheels you want.

The Best Way to Clean Alloy Wheels

Alloy wheels can change the looks of your car or truck, and they’re an easy way to make a statement that the whole world sees. However, like other kinds of wheels, they get dirty – fast. Road grime and dirt builds up when you drive, and it can make your entire vehicle look dirty. For that reason, it’s important to learn how to clean your alloys and keep your car or 4wd looking as new as possible. It’s not hard to clean your wheels, as long as you follow the steps below.

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  • Rinse your wheels thoroughly. When your alloys get dirty, you should rinse the loose debris, dirt and dust as soon as possible. It’s a simple task, easily done with a garden hose and a spray nozzle.
  • Rub them gently. With a damp sponge, rub away the dirt and dust that the hose didn’t remove. Doing so will keep you from scratching the wheels when you scrub them later.
  • Remove debris and dirt. Buy a professional cleaner specifically designed for alloys, and apply it with a sponge. It will take some effort on your part, but this step will remove most of the caked-on debris and dirt. For inaccessible places, use a spoke or caliper brush.
  • Rinse the wheels once more. The cleaning solution is useful, but it shouldn’t stay on your wheels. Rinse it away thoroughly.
  • Dry your wheels carefully. Don’t use a kitchen or bath towel for this step – pick up a chamois or a microfiber cloth, which is specially designed to remove moisture without leaving fibers behind.
  • Take away the stains. While the steps you’ve followed are certainly effective, some stains are tougher to remove. However, household items such as aluminium foil, cola and vinegar can help.
  • Wax the wheels. A good coat of wax will help your wheels shine their brightest, and it will give them a layer of protection from road grim and the elements. For optimal results, apply a fresh coat of wax every three months.

Alloy wheels have many advantages, and they’re a great addition to any vehicle – but they require regular maintenance to stay looking new. By following the steps we’ve listed above, you can keep your alloys looking bright for years to come.