Steel Vs. Aluminum Rims

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Steel rims and aluminum rims are both commonly used by car manufacturers as stock rims on vehicles. They have slightly different physical properties with their own advantages and disadvantages. Aftermarket upgrades are available for each type .

Weight

  • Aluminum rims weigh less than steel rims. The decreased weight in aluminum rims provides a small boost in fuel economy. The amount of increase in fuel economy is proportional to the weight differential.

Durability

  • A steel rim is more durable than an aluminum rim. This is because of the extra weight in steel rims and also the way they are forged in the factory.

Construction

  • Steel wheels are usually stamped while aluminum wheels tend to be machined and cast. Aluminum rims tend to be more uniform than the steel ones, resulting in a more consistent fit.

Options and Pricing

  • Aluminum rims give you more choices when it comes to styling and tend to be more expensive than steel rims. Steel rims tend to be more cost-effective for both stock and aftermarket options.

Considerations

  • Consider buying aluminum rims if you live in an area with mountains or heavy traffic. Some aluminum rims are designed to encourage better airflow and can reduce heat in the tire.

References

  • Photo Credit http://www.vanagon.com/
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