What Are Aluminum Alloy Wheels?

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Aluminum alloy wheels are used on many cars and trucks as OEM (original equipment manufacturer) equipment as well as after-market upgrades. Alloy wheels have many benefits over steel wheels.

Types

  • Alloy wheels are made from aluminum or magnesium. Aluminum alloys are more durable and cheaper to make and are much more common than magnesium wheels, which can be fragile (though extremely light) and expensive to make. Magnesium wheels are more commonly used on race cars and high-end street cars.

Advantages

  • The casting or forging process gives alloys a better look than steel wheels, which are stamped. Alloys also are stronger than steel wheels and usually are lighter, though not always, and they dissipate heat better. There is a huge range of alloy wheel sizes and styles.

Disadvantages

  • Alloy wheels are much more expensive then steel wheels.

Cost

  • Alloys wheels range in cost from less $100 per wheel to more than $1000 per wheel, depending on the brand. Many companies make alloys, including BBS, Forgeline, Enkie, American Racing and Rota, to name a few.

Where to Buy

  • Car dealers, auto-parts stores, wheel and tire stores and eBay all offer large selections of alloys.

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Ramon Llorensi
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