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Steel Wheels vs Alloy Wheels: What’s the Difference?

What Are Steel Wheels?

What Are Alloy Wheels?

What Are the Differences Between Steel Wheels and Alloy Wheels?

It is important to know the differences between the types of wheels before making a decision on which to choose. The table below draws a detailed comparison of steel wheels vs alloy wheels:

Factors

Steel Wheels

Alloy Wheels

Pricing

Steel wheels tend to be a more affordable option than alloy wheels. They cost 70-80% less than alloy wheels.

Alloy wheels are more expensive than steel wheels.

Appearance

Steel wheels look less appealing than their alloy counterparts.

Alloy wheels are aesthetically pleasing and enhance the appearance of a car.

Weight

They are usually heavy due to the weight of the material.

They are a lightweight option.

Customisation

Steel wheels come in standard designs with very little scope for customisation.

Alloy wheels have a variety of designs and sizes. Therefore, they can be selected as per one's liking.

Application

Since they are economical, steel wheels are typically present in budget and entry-level cars.

These types of wheels are usually present in high-end and sports cars.

Safety

These are usually safer than their alloy counterparts. Steel wheels are designed to be rugged. Hence, the chances of cracking remain low.

Even though alloy wheels are sturdy, they may crack upon impact. This can be lethal while driving at high speed.

Maintenance

Since steel wheels are sturdy, they don’t require a lot of maintenance.

Alloy wheels require regular inspections for cracks and bend since they are not as sturdy as their steel counterparts.

Repairing process

Since steel is malleable in nature, the wheels are easy to repair. The repairing process is easy as compared to alloy wheels.

They have a complicated repair process which is also costly.

Fuel economy

Steel wheels add a lot of pressure to the spring coil due to their heavy weight. This, in turn, reduces fuel economy.

Since alloy wheels are lightweight, they put less pressure on the spring coil, providing better fuel economy.

Performance

They reduce the vehicle's performance due to their heavy weight. As a result, braking and acceleration are slower.

They are better for a vehicle's performance due to their lightweight. They help in improving vehicle handling, braking and acceleration.

Durability

Steel wheels are robust and durable.

These are more prone to damage.

Corrosion

Steel wheels are prone to corrosion. However, methods such as powder-coating may help in reducing it to some extent.

Aluminium provides alloy wheels with corrosion resistance properties.

The above article draws a detailed comparison between steel wheels vs alloy wheels. Steel wheels are more suitable for buyers who are looking for something economical and sturdy. On the other hand, alloy wheels are more suited for people looking for something that appeals to the eye and provides better handling. Even though they are built differently and differ in appearance, they serve the same purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions