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Most brand new vehicles and especially those in the budget category come with steel wheels preinstalled. Steel wheels have over the years become the norm and are probably the most common ones you can find. Also, compared to alloy wheels or rims steel wheels are a lot cheaper i.e. in most cases half the price, and they end up lasting you a lot longer. It is for this reason that the vast majority of people who are on a budget, and even car manufacturers looking to keep costs down with their budget models use steel wheels.
The biggest advantage as stated above is that steel wheels are cheap and they are extremely durable. Even the most affordable steel wheels will last you a decade if not more. Steel Wheels are also easier to repair as compared to alloy wheels in the event they are dented or break. However, we still recommend that you replace a steel wheel with a new one since a repaired wheel is not as reliable. The other advantage is that they provide much better traction at slower speeds and so are best used in 4x4s, tractors, and buses. As a matter of fact, 4x4s deliver the best off-road performance with steel wheels. Also, if you happen to live in a part of the UK where it snows having steel wheels makes the car less agile when you accelerate, and so it helps to give a better sense of security. Some experts also believe that it can prevent a car from aquaplaning because of steel being heavy.
The biggest drawback is the weight of steel wheels. The weight alone can cause your vehicle to consume more fuel though the fuel consumption is not highly significant. The other major disadvantage is aesthetics. It is near impossible to find the type of fancy steel wheels because steel is not as easy to mold as non-ferrous alloys which are used to make alloy wheels. Performance wise there is a noticeable difference in the handling and acceleration of your car. Steel wheels can slow down acceleration and tighten the handling slightly which may not always be a bad thing. But if you own a lower end model with a small engine the weight and slow acceleration will be more noticeable.
If your vehicle has not come pre-installed with steel wheels, then there is no reason to downgrade to them. However, on the other hand, if youíre looking to upgrade to alloy wheels but are unsure consider the fact that steel wheels are more durable and cheap. If your budget is tight, then you canít go wrong with steel wheels. But if you want performance and aesthetics then alloys are a good choice. If you need help deciding between steel and alloy wheels feel free to call or email us today.