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Alloy vs. Steel Wheels: Know the Difference

Posted on 25th, March 2020

What is best for you – alloy or steel as wheels? Both types have pros and cons for different types of driving. If you want beauty and performance go for alloy and if you want tough, inexpensive, ugly workhorses, opt for steels. Too short an answer to satisfy your curiosity? Let’s dive in for more details.

Alloy Wheels

Alloy wheels offer both cosmetic and performance advantages and therefore are now standard on most cars. Aluminium alloy can be cast and worked in many different designs, unlike steel wheels, giving cars a much more individual look. It offers car owners the chance to customize even more. The aluminium/nickel alloy is much lighter than steel, which makes drive swifter with better acceleration.
But alloys tend to bend easier as compared to steels under road impacts. They have the tendency to crack if bent too far. Alloy wheels are also vulnerable to curb scrapes, saltwater corrosion, and acid cleaners. You can polish, paint, machine or chrome an alloy wheel but remember, different finishes should be taken care of in different ways.

Steel Wheels

Steel wheels are heavier as compared to Aluminium. This is why when you put steel wheels on a vehicle that has had alloy wheels, you tend to find that the extra weight reduces acceleration and agility.

Obviously, you might now wonder why invest in steel wheels then? Even though this dampened acceleration is undesirable for summer performance applications but in the winter this can be a significant physical and psychological advantage. When driving in snow heavier wheels will make tires bite the snow harder.

Not only steel wheels are heavier than alloy wheels, but they are also stronger! Steel wheels take greater force to bend and is almost impossible to crack them.

If you are into cosmetic looks of the wheels then you can buy wheel covers to put on steel wheels to make them look like alloy wheels. Wheel covers are fragile, has a tendency to come off at inconvenient times and roll away.

Steels are generally only made in 16” sizes or less but there are a few 17” steels out there too. Anything bigger than that would be ridiculously heavy. Steel wheels are also less expensive than alloy wheels which makes them great for a second set. In case you badly damage your steel wheels, it would be really inexpensive to be replaced.

When high performance and/or looks are the qualities you need, alloys are the only choice. For any cars that do not have to look pretty or do fancy manoeuvres because they work for a living, steels are generally better. They are especially ideal as an extra set of winter wheels.
Contact Ajaj Tyres at 0414 969 969 if you have damaged your wheel and want to get it Repaired or Replaced.

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