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Alloy Wheels


Regular rims do the job of keeping the tyre of the car in place and are found in most base models of all hatchbacks and entry level sedans. So, why is it that alloy rims come as a standard equipment in luxury cars and why aftermarket alloys are fitted into hatches and three boxes. Besides a cosmetic upgrade, Alloys also have hidden mechanics in it. Here is how an alloy works

They come in various designs and are most appealing in chrome. Of course, they are expensive, but, its not just for the looks, they also have a hidden technical advantage over normal iron rims. 

First of all, alloys are made up of lighter and harder metals like magnesium or aluminum, or a mix of both, making them more durable as well. In a number of top-end variants of hatchbacks and executive sedans, alloy wheels come as a part of the package. Sometimes, made out of magnesium instead of Aluminum, and also called ‘Mag’ wheels, they serve the same purpose as an alloy made out of Aluminum would. 

The upside of an alloy rim being harder and lighter improves the fuel efficiency of the car and gobbles up the nasty bumps a whole lot easier. A steel rim would bend if it hits too hard in a pit. Getting the rim straightened so that it does not deform the tyre and can handle a tubeless tyre is surely a waste of time, energy and money.  

Making them lighter and harder are not the only factors that make an alloy rim an important equipment of the car. The heat conduction in an alloy rim is faster than a steel rim. So, the situation of brakes getting overheated and not working gets ruled out. So, not only alloys make the car look good, they do a lot more than that.

The aftermarket also has a plethora of options in alloy wheels. These start from Rs. 9000 for a 12-inch 155 mm wide rim and can go up to as much your pocket can afford. 

A few things that you should keep in mind while buying an alloy wheel in the aftermarket are:

1. Know your car:

Don’t just walk into any shop that deals with alloys. Understanding your car’s dynamics before buying an alloy is very important. Consult your mechanic if you know less about the right set of alloys for your car. While at it, also see what would best fit your tyre than going in for a wider alloy and not changing the tyre. A wider alloy and a thinner tyre would compromise on handling at corners and even may not take the stress the alloy would have to transfer to the tyre.

2. Know your alloy:

The sacrosanct before buying an alloy is to do a bit of research on them. Look on the internet and talk to experienced people before you go ahead to buy one. Whether a set of four or a set of five would be best for your car, what brand to go for (Indian made, or Chinese) and if the alloy wheels would not compromise on handling or ride. Companies like Aura, Neo etc. have the most reliable set of alloy rims.

3. There is more to Alloys than what meets the eye: While looking at the design of the alloy, also understand how much an alloy would suit your driving conditions. If you have frequent highway trips, prefer an alloy with more less of spokes so that the heat conduction is higher, which is required at high speeds.

4. Don’t put and forget: A little maintenance like wheel alignment, wheel balancing and tyre rotation, just like it would be required for a rim is as important for an alloy. 

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