Alloy Wheels: Pros and Cons

by IndianAuto Team | 13/07/2018
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There are several compelling reasons to choose alloy wheels over steel wheels, but consideration is always highly recommended before the purchase is made. Because at the end of the day, everything boils down to the budget issue.

alloy wheel

It’s not all about the cosmetic improvement should you swap to alloy wheel

What is all the fuss about alloy wheels?

Back in the day these wheels only made their appearance on luxury cars or top-spec models. This exclusivity lasted for a couple of decades before slowly died out, giving access to this equipment to vehicles of the lower end. 

Alloy wheel

                              Before the emergence of new materials, steel wheels had been the primary choice partly owing to their decent look (in the sense of not attracting attention) 

To put it simply, it is all due to the material used to make the wheels that creates the difference. Steel wheels are significantly heavier than alloy wheels, thus increasing unsprung mass which leads to more strain/inertia to the springs, making it harder for the whole suspension to follow the terrain, and requiring more time to accelerate and stop. Meanwhile, such is not the case for alloy wheels as they have higher thermal conduction than that of the steel ones, which reduce the chances of brake failure as well. 

Thanks to the light weight of aluminium/magnesium, less fuel is burnt to overcome rolling resistance, hence a certain amount of money being saved. 

In the same vein regarding the economy, alloy wheels have the longer lifespan than that of steel wheels. They are much better at withstanding oxidizing or corrosion, which means that they could spare you the pain of replacement work after a long-time using. Besides, the tyres can also benefit from alloy wheels’ high dissipation rate in a way that it will slow down the process of weathering away by the heat. 

steel wheel

Weak resistance to corrosion remains to be a nasty problem every steel wheel manufacturer has to face

Another value of alloy wheels which is undoubtedly appealing to loads of customers is their fancy appearance. With the regard to the visual aspect, steel wheels stand no chance against their alloy counterparts; all their good qualities of durability, high strength, competitive price will just end up being totally eclipsed being put next to the premium touch oozing out from alloy wheels. And in the case of trend-following clients, an unappealing style is a deal breaker.

alloy wheel

For a certain group of customers who favour fashion over function, the visual character is the factor that determines a good buy

It pretty sums up all the edges. But what about the downside of getting alloy wheels. 

As the result of different producing techniques, alloy wheels are more expensive to manufacture compared to steel wheels. And it comes as no surprise that the alloy wheels are available at a higher price. Not to mention that their fancy sporty would make the car itself a target of thieves lurking around. 

One more reason which may make you give a second thought is that alloy wheels are quite tricky when it comes to reparation for indentations out of collision or general pressure exertion. To be more specific, the properties of aluminium/magnesium make it harder to mend the best ones back to the perfect former state.

And to sign off

Avoiding difficult roads would be the first-of-all advice you receive if you set out to get a set of alloy wheels for your car, even though it can’t be helped judging from the current state of thoroughfare here in India. All you can rely on now is your driving skills, which are quite a luxury accomplished with a long time of practice for most people. But again, problems are to be encountered no matter what choice you make (steel or alloy whatsoever). And looking at a bigger picture here, right next to drawbacks lie advantages which will definitely pay off in the long run.

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