What are the wheels/what do they do?
The wheels are a crucial part of the car. Choosing the right wheels for a vehicle is important; they play a big part in how well the car handles on the road, affecting the performance and general efficiency of the car.
The wheels are fixed onto the bolts or wheel studs on the axle of the car and can be secured into place with standard or locking wheel nuts.
Getting into the details of the wheels
Steel wheels are the standard for most passenger vehicles because steel wheels are tough and durable and built to last. This makes the steel wheel more attractive to many car owners than an alloy wheel, because, although lighter, alloy isn't as strong as steel and alloy wheels are more expensive to buy than steel ones. Being heavier, steel wheels don't perform as well as alloy wheels in terms of fuel efficiency and acceleration. A car with steel wheels tends to be less sprightly, but the heavy weight can help in certain driving conditions, such as ice and snow, making the car easier to handle on the road. Steel wheels come in a variety of finishes to suit individual tastes, and can be painted, chromed, polished or machined. Steel wheels come in a variety of bolt patterns also, which is another consideration when replacing a steel wheel on your car. Steel wheels can also be customised with wheel trims which is a disc that covers the wheel hub and wheel fasteners, shielding the entire front of the wheel on most steel wheels. Wheel trims are usually made of tough plastic and clipped onto the wheel rim. The wheel trim covers the hub cap, directly screening the wheel hub, which is in the centre section of the wheel, offering protection to the wheel as a whole. The wheel trim functions to protect the wheel hub and wheel fasteners, as well as the rest of the wheel, from rainwater, stones, dirt, grit and other road debris which can cause corrosion and damage. Often serving a decorative purpose, wheel trims come in a variety of styles and designs, dependent upon the manufacturer, often displaying the badge or symbol of the car make and/or model, which adds to the overall style and look of the vehicle. Fitting wheel trims can add that special striking touch to a set of steel wheels.
Being lighter many car manufacturers opt for alloy wheels which can enhance the performance of a car by reducing the amount of fuel the car uses, improving steering, performance, acceleration and braking. Being excellent heat conductors means that with alloy wheels your brakes are less likely to fail when under pressure. Functionality and durability aren't the only reason alloy wheels are popular with car owners. Alloy wheels have a certain look and style that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a car offering sleek bare metal finishes and various, patterns, designs and styles of wheel, allowing drivers to customise and personalise their car. Alloy wheels can be accessorised with alloy centre caps which function to protect the centre of the wheel axle and the wheel hub from getting dirty and clogged up with grime and debris from the road. The alloy centre caps also serve an aesthetic purpose, covering up nuts and bearings out of sight and creating a smart and stylish finish to the wheels of the car. It's really important the alloy centre caps fit properly so that they can protect the axle and wheel hub. Poor fitting parts, such as centre caps, will affect the performance of the part and leave unsightly gaps and in the case of centre caps, the part could end up coming loose completely and disappearing while the wheels are in motion.