Alloy wheels - pure styling with a little function.
"Alloy wheels - wheely good styling."
Alloy wheel changes are probably one of the most common styling modifications performed today.
Alloy wheels come in a wide variety of sizes shapes and colours. Generally the larger the wheel and the lower profile the tyre the nicer it looks.
There are practical limits though as large wheels will adversely affect handling and can even rub on the wheel arches on full lock. For more information on the practical side of fitting alloy wheels have a look at the alloy wheel article in tuning.
This article is purely discussing the aesthetics of adding an alloy wheel to your car. Cars have different numbers of nuts on their hubs, the distance and size of these nuts also varies and the amount of internal space in the wheel for brake discs also comes into play.
Choose carefully, you will need to know the PCD and offset and bore measurements of your standard wheels and ensure that your new ones are within this tolerance.
Complicated wheel patterns can make cleaning a real problem and brake dust does tend to cause pitting especially on rough textured alloy wheels.
Mating a new alloy to low brake dust pads will help to reduce this problem.
Spinners add another layer of complexity to cleaning as well but make an interesting effect spinning at a different rate to the rest of the wheel.
When you get the wheels fitted ask for the balancing weights to be fitted to the inside as these can look really unsightly.
Many alloy wheels allow a better view of the brake disc and calipers so ensure that these are in good condition perhaps using a little caliper paint as well.
Chrome alloys look really good against dark paint work (VIP style) but remember that most wheels can be painted and this opens a wide selection of possible looks.
Spray them dark for a sleeper look. When alloys get kerbed they can look really unsightly so a good choice of tyre would include a wide wall to help avoid these scrapes. Bear this in mind when choosing an alloy wheel as some designs stick out so much they are just asking for kerbing.
Spacers inside the wheel against the hub will make the tyres line up with the edge of the arches and this widening of the footprint can improve the handling of the car. Split rims are two parts which have multiple bolts connecting them together and this can also make the wheel fill the arch and allow a much wider tyre to be used.
Remember that if the wheel is much wider or bigger than standard you will need to get the suspension realigned and set up otherwise you can compromise your handling and safety.
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