Aluminum Wheels

Are Al wheels functionally any better than steel or are they design only?
It is a real pain when they get old and won’t hold air!!
Please tell me there is a good reason for them.

Alloy wheels weigh less than steel wheels. So there’s less rolling mass. This saves fuel.

There are methods to seal alloy wheels that leak.


Wheels are basically all SHOW! Cast aluminum wheels are not any lighter than pressed steel wheels. magnisium wheels are brittle and the worst choice of all, in spite of their cost.

A recent Auto program on the Speed Channel called Stunt Busters tested 3 types of wheels for their strength in running over a solid object like a chunk of train rail. The magnesium fractured badly, the steel bent, and surprisingly, the aluminum held up best with less bending than the steel.

Those are not good reasons to spend large dollars on fancy wheels. The best combination, in my opinion, is plain steel wheels with stylish plastic wheel covers that cost $40 a set and can be discarded when they become unsightly or damaged. With 2 sets of rims (summer & winter), it’s the only way to go. And steel wheels hold their air best over time.

Spoked aluminum wheels allow better cooling of your brakes, but for most of us, that is not a real issue. It is if you are on a race track though. Some aluminum wheels are lighter than their steel counterparts, but again those are mostly the competition wheels. Most street alloy wheels are show only and weight about the same as the steel wheels.

The biggest issue I see is the wheel size/tire profile. Under 50 seems to result in more bent rims, factory rims included (BMW in particular).

As technology improved the reliability, reduced the maintenance and increased the usable life of automobiles a secret government agency was created to mandate that each manufacturer must opt for inclusion of several “we gotcha nows” in their product line. And of course, our current president has made a personal commitment in that effort. The huge Rimz will be an Obama legacy. How has Fox News missed such an obvious conclusion…

They look nice. On the other hand, Rod may be onto something.


Many plain jane automobiles come standard with alloy rims nowadays

I would imagine most people driving by car dealerships would be a bit turned off it they looked down a row of shiny new cars and trucks and saw them all riding on steel rims; maybe some with dog dishes on them…