The alloy metals are light in weight, they are stronger and also shine more than their steel counterparts. This adds up to their overall performance and aesthetic as well as cosmetic appeal. However, steel wheels have their own set of advantages to look out for.
The light metal alloys that the alloy wheels are made up include magnesium, aluminium or sometimes both. They do exhibit many advantages especially given their performance over the steel wheels. This is primarily because the wheel spacers are lighter in weight per wheel by several pounds. This indicates the increased speed of stopping and acceleration. Being lighter in weight also means that there is less pressure on the suspension components. In conditions of extreme driving, alloy wheels can dissipate heat away in a better way from the components of the brake than the steel wheels.
Steel wheels do have their own set of benefits given that they are the regular equipment and hub centric spacers on the base model of many of the newly launched passenger vehicles that are non-luxurious. Alloy wheels are more expensive than steel wheels, forged alloys of aluminium particularly. This difference is mainly because of the difference in the technique of production. The steel wheels are made to be repaired more easily than the alloy wheels, as the steel wheels can be hammered to repair the bent. The differences that are seen visually form to be the factor for many drivers all across the globe to decide whether they should buy alloy or steel wheels. In this, alloy wheels are counted to be more suitable to complicated styling of the wheels.
Advantages of alloy wheels include:
- Upliftment of the aesthetics of the whole vehicle in many variants that are high-end and presented as a luxury feature.
- The rustproof nature of alloys makes them an ideal buy for people especially staying in the coastal areas.
- The lighter weight of the alloy wheels makes them a desirable option for many, as they help in acceleration, braking, weight reduction and improved fuel consumption.
- The longevity of the tyre is also improved by faster dissipation of heat.
- Minimum weight is transmitted to the coil spring, offering better traction and grip.
- A noticeable difference can also be seen in the cornering and steering abilities.
Disadvantages of alloy wheels include:
- Repairing alloy wheels can not only be expensive but also a tedious task.
- They can be damaged by cracks, curb rashes and dents as they are prone to it.
- The procedure to manufacture these wheels amounts to its increased costs.
Advantages of steel wheels include:
- These wheels are way stronger than their alloy counterparts and used on the most rugged vehicles.
- These wheels are much cheaper than the alloy wheels as the process of manufacturing involves stamping the steel wheel into the desired shape.
- Only the bent portion requires hammering to get it back into its original shape.
Disadvantages of steel wheels include:
- They might not be able to tolerate the humid environment, ultimately corroding.
- They are very heavy, adding to the unsprung weight of the car, and affecting the suspension. This aspect may be good for the manoeuvrability and traction of the vehicle in certain cases.
- Makers of luxury cars do not consider steel wheels as their first option as they look completely radical.