If you want to learn more about cars, why not start with the wheels? There are several types of wheels that all car enthusiasts should know about.
Though many people might not think about wheel styles when buying a vehicle, different wheels can serve very different purposes.
Plus, the wheel market is evolving fast. More efficient materials and manufacturing techniques are making the wheels on new vehicles more high-quality than ever before.
Keep reading, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about wheel types and why they matter.
Table of Contents
Steel wheels are the most basic wheel type on the market. They’re cheap and easy to manufacture, which means they’re also cheap when it comes to repairs. They’re also the strongest wheels you can find.
Steel wheels are made simply by casting a large chunk of steel into the desired wheel shape.
Steel wheels are great for driving in harsh winter conditions and off-roading because they’re so durable. They absorb shock very well for the same reason.
On the other hand, steel wheels don’t have the best handling. If you like to drive with a delicate touch, steel wheels may not be the best option for you.
Alloy wheels are made from a mixture of aluminum, nickel, and magnesium. They are typically forged, not cast like steel wheels are.
They are more expensive than steel wheels, but many drivers prefer them because they offer better handling. They also tend to look nicer than steel wheels, because they can be forged into aesthetically pleasing shapes.
If you like to customize your wheels and tires, alloy may be the best choice for you. Steel wheels are not customizable the way alloy wheels are.
Alloy wheels are lighter and less durable than steel wheels. However, their lightness will improve your car’s fuel economy.
Types of Wheels: Cast vs. Forged
As you now know, steel wheels are typically cast, and alloy wheels are typically forged. But what does that really mean?
Cast wheels are made by heating the metal and pouring it into a wheel-shaped mold. The metal is then vacuum-sealed in the cast and removed only once it is completely cooled.
Final touches are then made to the wheel by drilling.
Cast wheels can be steel, aluminum, or alloy. They are cheaper to manufacture, but not as strong as forged wheels.
The casting process allows the metal to remain slightly porous, which makes them vulnerable to breakage. Though steel cast wheels are still very durable, cast wheels made of other metals are not.
Forged wheels are made by heating a large square of metal and pressurizing it until it is the right shape. This process is more expensive than casting, but offers several advantages.
Forged wheels can be stronger because the forging process gets rid of porosity. It is also easy to customize them, so there are a wide variety of forged wheel styles on the market.
Forged wheels are more often made out of aluminum or alloy than steel.
Find the Right Wheels Today
Now that you have an introduction to the types of wheels that are on the market, you can better choose the best ones for your ride.
Whether you have a family minivan or a tough off-roader, you shouldn’t wait to improve your driving experience.
For more lifestyle tips, check out our other blog posts!