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Tyre maintenance guide - All about Alloy Wheels

Tyre maintenance guide - All about Alloy Wheels

Snapshot: An alloy wheel can change the way your car looks. We tell you what you’ll gain in terms of performance.

Want to get a set of alloys for your car? Have you considered every aspect of such a modification? Everything has its pros and cons. And alloy wheels are no different. No doubt, if you are looking to buy alloy wheels, you already know their benefits but for the uninitiated, we will go through them once again. First things first, many cars come fitted with steel wheels only because they are cheaper to manufacture and help keep the price of the car to a minimum. Some manufactures recognizing the demand, also offer alloys as an option or an update. There is no denying that alloy wheels are aesthetically appealing and offer many colour and design choices over the drab steel wheels. But the advantages do not end there.

Alloys offer better heat dissipation under braking as there is improved airflow through the larger gaps between the spokes, leading to increased life of the brake system. Since they are lighter than steel wheels, less weight rotates around the hub, which translates into longer life for the suspension. Unsprung weight, the weight of everything connected with the wheel, is reduced. Low unsprung weight directs longer life of the suspension and improved grip on the roads.

The larger the wheel and lower the profile of the tyre the nicer it looks. It also guarantees improved grip but can impact the ride quality. It is best to ask the experts what wheel/tyres sizes will be appropriate and how to go about choosing them. Also it is recommended to approximately match the overall diameter of your original tyre and wheels through plus sizing. Plus sizing is the process of replacing the existing wheel with a bigger wheel in combination with a lower aspect ratio tyre, making sure the outside diameter of the tyre is within two per cent of the original.

Things to keep in mind
Alloy wheels require timely wash in order to maintain its look. They suffer from occasional radial runouts if not fitted properly. Alloy wheels might go through kerb damage unless you choose wide wall tyres that go well with them. Lateral runouts can only be detected when getting the wheel balancing done. If the runout is major, then whole wheel will need a replacement. Corrosion also make them look uglier than steel ones. Make sure you take good care of them. After first installation, it's recommended you check the tightness of nuts after the first 60km. If bent, they can't be repaired.

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