Parts Of A Wheel
While the words "wheel" and "rim" are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. The wheel is often made from a single piece of metal and is what the tire is attached to. The rim, wheel disc, and hub make up the wheel. The rim is the outer edge that holds the tire onto the wheel. The disc connects the wheel and axel hub. The hub is what attaches the wheel to the suspension.
The plate, outboard face, center bore, spokes, bolt circle, and valve stem bore all give a wheel specific characteristics and play an important role in how the tire functions.
More Than Looks
The wheel is what transfers power from the axle to the tire, and has a direct impact on a car or truck's acceleration, handling, braking, alignment, and ride quality. Rims are often thought of as a way to add distinction to a vehicle without serving any purpose, but they seal the tire to the wheel. The outboard face, or decorative part, adds structure.
The durability of a wheel comes from the material it is made of. Steel wheels are heavy and basic in design. Aluminum is the most common because of its strength, weight, and cost. Carbon fiber wheels are very lightweight but expensive and brittle.
Making the decision to upgrade can be based on looks or function, but there are things to consider before jumping in. A wheel that doesn't fit properly can cause severe problems, so taking the proper measurements is crucial. A rim that is too wide will rub against the wheel well. A larger wheel may need a different sized tire, and can impact acceleration, braking, and transmission gearing. The center bore needs to match the hub exactly or the vehicle will not be properly supported. Bolt pattern and diameter have to match or the wheels will not go on. Because of the many details involved, it's best to get help from professionals. Contact us with any questions you have.