7 Types of Wheel Rims for Cars and Their Components
The outer edge of a car's wheel is called the rim. It holds the tire and gives the wheel its round shape. A car's rim plays an important role in the vehicle's aesthetics and the way the car runs on the road.
Car manufacturers spend a lot of money every year to develop stronger and lighter wheels. As a result, there are several types of rims for cars available in the market.
What Are the Different Types of Car Rims?
There are many types of wheels used in automobiles these days. Earlier, cars used to have spoked rims. However, manufacturers have now invented split wheels for high-performance tyres and automobiles.
The primary duty of all car rims is to provide a place where the car tyres can fit snuggly. This will help the car to roll smoothly on the road. Furthermore, the car wheel and rim are made of the same material.
Below are all the different types of car wheels and rims:
1. Steel Rims
The steel wheel rim is the most commonly used car wheel. These are cheaper than all the other types of wheel rims. Car owners who value purpose and function over the aesthetics of their car prefer to use steel wheel rims.
The different features of a steel wheel are as follows:
- Steel wheels can withstand harsh driving conditions and rough driving.
- They are heavy and can carry a lot of weight.
- These wheels put pressure on a vehicle's axle, which in turn decreases a vehicle's fuel economy.
- They are easy to maintain and repair.
2. Chrome Rims
The chrome rims first came about in the 1960s and were very popular up to the 70s. Chrome is nothing but a material painted over a metal wheel of your choice. In most cases, manufacturers tend to put a coat of chrome paint over wheels made of relatively cheap metals.
The different features of a chrome wheel are as follows:
- First, they help resist corrosion which appears over time on the metal body of a car wheel. This includes both the rim and disc portion of the car wheel.
- Chrome wheels provide a shiny and fashionable look to one's vehicle.
- It requires a lot of money and time to maintain these wheels. In addition, car owners need to use a special cleaner to keep the wheels clean or get scratched.
- Scratches in chrome wheels are difficult to remove.
3. Alloy Rims
Nowadays, manufacturers use different kinds of metals to make alloy rims. To make alloy wheels, car manufacturers can mix metals like aluminium with other elements like nickel and magnesium. As a result, these wheels are light but extremely sturdy. These rims are available in a wide variety of styles and finishes.
Given are some features of alloy wheels and rims for automobiles:
- Alloy wheels let car owners customise their car wheels according to their desire, not just with paint.
- These are more expensive than most wheels and car rims in the market, but this is a one-time expense because it is easier to maintain them.
- They are lighter in weight.
- Most of these alloy wheels are made of non-ferrous materials, which protect the wheel parts like rims and discs from getting corroded easily.
4. Multi-piece Rims
Unlike classic steel or alloy wheels which are cast in one piece, multi-piece or split wheels are forged in two, three or more pieces. In a two-piece wheel, the wheel's face and the rim are fitted together with the help of rim screws. A three-piece wheel comprises two rim pieces and a central piece.
Below are some common features of multi-piece wheels:
- Multi-piece wheels offer more customisation options to car owners. However, the customisation charges can be expensive.
- These wheels are easier to repair.
- Multi-wheels are easier to disassemble.
- They are usually tailor-made for sports cars and other special requirements.
5. Diamond Cut Rims
Diamond-cut wheels are similar to any conventional alloy wheel. The only difference is that car manufacturers use cutting-edge machinery to make an incision in the metal. This gives these wheels a shinier look with a grooving finishing effect.
The various features of diamond-cut wheels and rims for cars are:
- Diamond-cut wheels are lighter than traditional steel wheels.
- These wheels and car rims are usually dual-toned, which is why they provide an aesthetic look to the vehicle.
- The cost of these wheels mostly depends on the size and brand of the vehicle. For instance, Maruti Suzuki’s diamond Cut wheel will cost around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000. In contrast, the Mercedes Benz diamond cut wheel will cost around Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000.
- These wheels might crack or break in extremely rough conditions.
- Diamond-cut wheels are expensive compared to their steel counterparts.
6. Forged and Cast Aluminium Rims
These types of rims and wheels are made of solid aluminium billets. When you visit a car garage, you will see two types of such wheels: forged and cast. The only difference between these two types of wheels is how they are manufactured.
Manufacturers forge a single piece of solid aluminium to give the shape of the wheels. In contrast, in cast rims, a manufacturer uses a mould where they pour molten aluminium to make a wheel.
The features of both forged and cast aluminium rims and wheels are as follows:
- Forged wheels and car rims are extremely lightweight, which is why they are perfect for high-performance vehicles.
- Even though forged wheels are lighter, they are sturdier and more durable than the cast variant.
- Forged wheels are costlier, whereas cast rims are cheaper.
- Cast wheels require minimal touch-ups and maintenance.
- Both these wheels elevate the overall look of the vehicle.
7. Replica ‘OEM style’ Wheels
Nowadays, people can easily find a high-quality replica of OEM-style wheels of various car brands on the internet. A car owner can purchase these wheels at much lower costs than the original wheels, but the only downside is that they don't provide the same experience as the original OEM wheels.
Some manufacturers use gravity casting to create such wheels. Here they pour the molten metal over the moulds but do not compress it. This downgrades the quality in some ways.
The features of replica OEM-style wheels are as follows:
- Independent manufacturers make these replica wheels and rims look and work like the original wheels. These are aftermarket products, but some rims are extremely good in quality.
- Replica rims are not 100% exact copies of the original wheels that the car brand manufacturers create.
- These are cost-effective, and people looking for cheaper replacements of expensive wheels and rims can opt for replicas.
- Car owners will easily find different variants of one replica, like variations in colours and finish.