Custom wheels share over 100 years of automotive history with the gas-powered vehicle. Wheels are also commonly referred to by automotive enthusiasts as "rims."
This staple in automotive styling has come a long way since its earliest use as a wooden wheel on Ancient Chariots. Nowadays, wheels power nearly everything from bicycles to motorcars. Here are the basics: every car needs four wheels and four tires to operate. For most of the twentieth century, automotive engineers paid little mind to stylizing wheels and tires; they were considered purely a functional part of the vehicle.
In recent years, a new trend has emerged among those who own motorcars: vehicle customization. And sitting atop the peak of automobile fashion are custom wheels. Listed below are some of the most popular styles of wheels presently available:Chrome Wheels Black Wheels Custom Wheels Alloy Wheels Rims Tires Custom Cadillac Wheels Rims Custom Mercedes-Benz Wheels and Rims Custom BMW Wheels and Rims Custom Dodge Chrysler Wheels and Rims Custom Land Rover Wheels and Rims Custom Jaguar Wheels and Rims Custom Porsche Wheels and Rims Plus Size Replica Wheels Wheels and Tire Packages Cheap Rims Replica Rims Tires
And those are just a few of the options available out there
Chrome wheels originally made the biggest impact when they become popularized during the late 90s. Back then dealerships would charge thousands of dollars for chrome rim upgrades and because of the wild popularity of this new finish, customers were willing to pay whatever they asked.Chrome Replica Rims Chrome Factory Wheels Custom Chrome Wheels
Black wheels were the next big fashion trend for the custom wheel industry. Black wheels are available in a variety of finishes and can be painted to be shiny or dull, depending on the taste of each individual driver. Black wheels are available for cars as well as for trucks and there are some universally sized black wheels that will fit multiple vehicles too.Matte Black Wheels Black Rims 22 inch Black Land Rover Wheels
Custom wheelsstarted growing in popularity when drivers were demanding more from their vehicles than the factory had to offer. Custom wheels come in all shapes and sizes and can even be, you guessed it, customized to match the taste of the individual. Custom wheels have become a lot cheaper in recent years thanks to the declining economy and also because of the explosion of wheel factories overseas, mainly china --- mass producing cheap alloy wheels. Custom wheels range in style from the ultra-gaudy to the subdued and nowadays, owning custom wheels is cheaper than ever.Custom Wheels Aftermarket Custom Wheels Cheap Custom Wheels
Alloy wheels can be used interchangeable with the term "custom wheels" but there is one difference worth noting: the type of metal used. Alloy refers to a special type of aircraft quality aluminum that is lighter and stronger than steel or lower quality, less dense aluminum that is used in producing cheaper rims. Alloy wheels have grown a lot in popularity and are now the standard for OEM factory wheel manufacturers as well as aftermarket wheel companies. Alloy wheels are better for your pocket too! The lighter your wheels are, the less gas your vehicle needs to run. This means that a good quality set of alloy wheels will improve the performance and fuel-economy of your car as well as make it look great and really stand out.Alloy Wheels Cheap Alloy Wheels OEM Alloy Wheels
Rims come in all colors: black, grey, red, chrome, custom-painted and more. Rims also come in a variety of sizes ranging from 16" all the way up to 30 inches. There are many reputable companies that manufacture rims such as Cadillac, BMW and Porsche. Traditionally, people purchased rims locally at their nearest rim and tire shop. However, after the advent of the world wide web, more and more customers were shopping online for rims which resulted in an explosion of websites dedicated to selling rims online. This has also been the impetus for some serious price reductions on most rims in the market today. The internet laid waste to the antiquated two tier distribution network that rim manufacturers favored and replaced it with a factory direct model that allows customers to buy as little as one set of rims at wholesale prices.Rims Rim Rims and Tires
Wheels have made their impact on the road and on our culture as a whole. You can't watch a rap music video without seeing the latest and greatest wheels on ultra-luxury cars. Similarly, most factory dealerships now offer a variety of wheel options on every car that they sell. Wheels are featured in movies, on television, in automobile magazines and just about everywhere else that you could expect to see a car. Whether you're buying custom wheels are factory OEM wheels, the vision is the same: give you something that will express your own unique sense of individuality and set you apart from all of the other drivers out on the road. Just like the shoes make the suit, the wheels most definitely make the vehicle.Wheels Replica Wheels OEM Factory Wheels
Replica Wheels is a term that's often overused and seldom understood. The term replica or reproduction refers to an identical copy of something. Replica wheels are copies of factory original OEM wheels. Like factory wheels, replica wheels range considerably in terms of quality and performance. Since replica wheels are exact copies of factory wheels, they vary in size, color, finish and style. The most commonly sold replica wheels are made for domestic cars like the Ford Mustang, the Chevy Corvette and luxury vehicles like Mercedes Benz and BMW. Well-made replica wheels can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars off of what you would expect to pay at the dealership. However, there are many poor quality replica wheels on the market that are made in factories that use cheap materials and little or no quality testing procedures. A best practice that every replica wheel customer should employ is to check references of the replica wheel company that you are doing business with.Replica Wheels OEM Factory Replica Wheels Replica Rims
Wheels and tires are often sold together to save consumers time and money. Many website selling wheels also offer tires and usually mount and balance them for free. Some websites also offer free shipping on wheel and tire packages and offer customers deeper discounts for buying the wheels and tires together. When purchasing wheels and tires, you must make sure that the sizes of both are complimentary. For example, if the wheels you like are 18x8 (diameter x width) then make sure that the last number on the tires you purchase is also 18 i.e. 255-50-18. Because wheel and tire fitment can be tricky, it's advisable to call the company that you're purchasing your products from to check fitment over the phone before handing them your credit card. Also, make sure that the company selling you wheels and tires offers a refund guarantee and a warranty on both the tires and the wheels.Wheels and Tires Wheel and Tire Packages Tires and Wheels
A Guide to Buying Replica wheels Online
Replica wheels have been around for a long time. However, before replica wheels became a staple in the automotive aftermarket, replica wheels were regarded as second-class products. At present, due to the ever-improving technology used in manufacturing these wheels, the quality of wheel replicas has reached or exceeded the quality of factory original wheels - at a fraction of the cost.
Because these reproductions of original wheels have matched, and in some cases even surpassed, the quality of original wheels, the thin line that separated the two has been effectively obliterated. In the past, the question on the minds of car enthusiasts like was whether replicas were worth their value. Now, a more commonly asked question is where can I get the best replica wheels?
If you are looking to boost the appearance of your car, the first thing you would want to change is the wheels. Let's face it, most, if not all, OEM wheels rank low in the aesthetic category. Besides, you must realize that these days, original does not always mean the best.
This is a reality that has existed in the car aftermarket, where many replacement parts exceed the quality of some OEM items. Unfortunately for you, wheels are among those parts that are better off replaced from your newly bought vehicle. Besides, replica rims and wheels cost significantly less than their original counterparts without a wee bit of difference in quality and performance.
What to Know Before You Buy New Wheels
However, before you go online and buy the first replica wheels that you see, there are some important things that you should know about these essential parts of your car. First and foremost, you must determine how much money you are willing to spend for you new set of wheels. The cost of these near-exact copies of OEM wheels varies depending on the material used.
Hence, you have to determine your financial capacity before browsing through the thousands of Internet sites dedicated to selling wheel replicas. Not only will you not go over the budget, but you will also shorten the searching process because you can limit the scope of your search to those wheels that fall within your fund limit.
Advantages of Steel Replica wheels
Another important consideration when buying replica wheels is the material. There are basically three types of wheels when it comes to the materials used. There is the steel, alloy, and chrome. Steels wheels are the most bare-bones of the three. Steels wheels used to be the standard OEM quality, but they have now been superseded by the alloy and chrome varieties.
Steel as a wheel material is not as bad as it is projected to be. In fact, steel wheels rank high in the durability department, something that could be an important consideration when you are looking for a replica wheel for a truck that you want to use in your farm, for instance. In the downside, steel wheels are the least attractive of the three general types.
A characteristic that makes steel wheels probably your last option if you give a high value to aesthetics. Nonetheless, if you want to save on money for a spare set of wheels or you need durability more than good looks, then you can never go wrong with a steel wheel replica.
Cool Alloy Replica wheels
The second type of wheel as to the material used is the alloy. Replica wheels made of alloy basically have aluminum or magnesium as their main ingredient. These wheels are what you may know as "mags." If your vehicle is built specifically for speed, a set of alloy wheel replicas can do a lot to improve the performance of your car.
Alloy wheels are lighter than their steel counterparts, making them ideal for smaller vehicles that are designed for urban driving. Mags are also relatively cheap despite the high quality. Another thing that you should know is that lightweight does not mean less durable when it comes to alloy wheels. This may not have been true in the past when alloy wheels were manufactured through die casting. Today, mag wheels are made through a process known as forging, which gives the mags more ductility and toughness.
The third general type of replica wheels is the chrome. Basically made of either steel or alloy, chromes are set a part from their counterparts by their chromium finish, which is done by the process of electroplating. This process gives chrome wheels the luster that makes it more attractive than the other types of replicas.
Benefits of Electroplating Wheel replicas
Electroplating does not only help make chrome wheels get that shiny look, but it also aid in making the wheel base more durable. The electroplated finish protects the base from corrosion and rust, ensuring that the beauty of the wheels is preserved despite the passing of time. On the downside, chrome wheels require more attention from you.
Dust and grime can affect the finish if you neglect to regularly clean your wheel replicas. You should also exercise care when polishing your chromes. Some polishes may be too strong the wheels, causing them to peel or flake.
Once you have determined the budget and type you want, the next thing to consider is the size and other technical aspects of the wheel. In this step, you will need to have precise knowledge of the wheel specifications of your car or OEM wheel. This is important to avoid wasted money and time. The size of your new replica wheels must conform to the specifications of the car to ensure that the mechanical function of the vehicle is not affected.
Take note though that you need not have the exact same size of original wheel. You have the option to replace the original wheels with larger or smaller wheels, as long as you ensure that the replicas can support the vehicle.
If you decide to use a set of wheels with a different size from that of the original, you need to tell the mechanic to also look into the brakes and speedometer, among other things. An ill-fitting wheel can compromise the braking function of the car. Hence, to prevent accidents, make sure that the brakes have been adjusted. In addition, the speedometer should also be recalibrated if you decide to use a non-standard wheel replica. The speedometer of a car is designed to calculate the speed of the vehicle with the standard and original wheels.
How to Get the Replica Design You Want
Lastly, you also have to consider the design of the wheel replica you want. Here, you are given leeway to choose whatever design or style you deem appropriate for your car. Because of more advanced technology, manufacturers can now make complex and designs.
Your personality would be a good barometer to use when choosing the design or style of your wheel replica. In conjunction with your preference is the appropriateness of the design. Some wheel designs may not fit right in a particular vehicle. Hence, it is best to get some sort of a preview of how your vehicle would like with a particular set of replica wheels.
You can do this last bit online, where many companies provide tools to help you decide the right replica for your OEM wheels. Some websites allow you to mix and match wheels with vehicles so that you can see the finish product and how it would fit in your car before you actually pay for it. This eliminates the instances where you find out that the wheels you bought look horrendous when fitted to your car, forcing you to negotiate for a replacement, which of course means additional expenses.
After you have determined your budget, the type wheel, the size and other specifications, and the style of the wheel replica, you are one step away from the finish. However, in a tough economic situation like what we have today, you need to go for the bargains.
Where to Look for Cheap Wheels
In this aspect, the Internet can be your best friend. Various online sites are offering wheel replicas at a bargain. Seek out these online sites and compare their prices. What is being sold by one seller for over $1,000 may be available at another website for a couple of hundreds less. If you are not well acquainted with the Internet, you can benefit from the help of a tech-savvy friend who can help you locate bargain sites that offer replica wheels.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Wheels
So, you now have bought your wheel replicas for a bargain, and the wheels have been installed by your trusted mechanic. This is now the part where you take care of your new wheels to ensure that they will last long.
Cleaning your wheels should never be ignored. Dirt that accumulates in your replica wheels can deteriorate their quality and compromise their appearance. Car owners have the tendency to ignore the wheels and just focus on cleaning the body of the car. This should not be your attitude if you value your newly installed wheels. Regular cleaning is actually easy. Cleaning becomes a burdensome task when you delay it and allow, say, a month's worth of dust and grime to collect before deciding to clean your wheels. When done regularly, cleaning can be finished in a few minutes.
In addition, a mild soap and water mixture is usually enough to wash away dirt. Industrial grade cleaners can destroy the finish of your wheels. You don't want that, especially if you have decided to get chromes. An important tip to remember is to first let the wheel cool down before cleaning it. Cleaning hot wheels can ruin their finish, chromes specifically.
Chrome wheels should be wiped dry after washing to prevent dust from sticking. You may also use wheel seal or wax for added protection and to reduce the frequency of cleaning. However, make sure that the wax, if you use one, does not contain ingredients that may ruin the surface of the wheels. Also, never use scouring pads, as these could scratch the finish of your wheels.
When cleaning, you should also check the wheels for brake dust. These particles that come off from the brakes can cause corrosion. Any products that contain petroleum should not be used in cleaning your replica wheels. By following these cleaning tips, you are assured that your wheels will last long. That is, of course, barring any accidents or damages that the wheels may absorb.
Changing your wheels is not always necessary. Some OEM wheels are actually good enough to show off to your friends and acquaintances. However, if you want to personalize the look of your car or you want your vehicle to reflect your attitude, then by all means go for a replica wheel that fits your needs. After all, the main purpose of changing wheels is really to accentuate the look of the vehicle more than anything else.
Some people may argue that they are changing wheels to improve the performance of their vehicles. However, more often than not, you would change your wheels to give the car a new look or to make the vehicle a reflection of you.
Replica wheels have indeed come a long way since they were first introduced to the car market. So much so that the biggest car manufacturers now consider replica-wheel makers as major competitions in the fight for the worldwide automobile sector. After all, why would you buy a set of wheels worth more than $1000 when some replicas cost more than half without any difference noticeable difference in performance and appearance? Indeed, with the economy in the downturn, practicality is the name of the game, and replicas fit the bill right.
In the end, the decision is really up to you. If you decide to change your OEM wheels for replicas, it's your call. Choices are something you will never run out of. The Internet is a goldmine of wheel replicas. You can practically have any wheel type you dream of for the right price. Nonetheless, the number of choices can also overwhelm and cause you to make the wrong decisions. Hence, it is important to follow the steps to determining the replica wheels you need before deciding to close out a transaction.