Every day while shopping for the right wheels for our cars, we are bombarded with confusing jargon and terminology we had no clue about before. Here are two common jargon-heavy conundrums all car owners face.
- The Alloy v/s Steel Conundrum
It’s an argument as old as the invention of alloy wheels itself: which is the better wheel overall for a car- alloy, or steel? While there are suppositions for both cases, and passionate advocates for both, the truth is that in this debate there is no straight answer. With time and technological advances, alloy wheels have been proven to be the superior and indeed the only choice in performance-heavy situations: they are standard in most cars now, having the upper hand both in performance and aesthetics. Alloy wheels are lighter, faster and better-looking; they can be customised more easily and provide a far better driving experience. Steel wheels are unwieldy, and depressingly heavy; they tend to come only in 16”, and very few in 17”.
They cannot be customized or prettied up in any convenient way, and are quite unappealing to look at to begin with. However, they have two great advantages: they are almost 80% cheaper than alloy wheels, and hence easily replaceable; and their weight can be extremely useful in slippery conditions, such as in winter. So for a car meant only for utilitarian purposes, or for those operating on a budget, steel wheels are the viable choice. The fact that alloy wheels are a bit prone to breaking on violent impacts increases the odds. Balance out your needs and then decide which car wheel to go for, as making the wrong choice can prove costly.
- The Hub v/s Lug Conundrum
This is a pretty confusing idea that never really gets expounded on anywhere. Hub and lug centric wheels refer to the way the wheels fit onto a car. For hub-centric wheels, the central bore of the wheel is designed by the manufacturer in such a way that it lines up perfectly with the axle of the car, thus allowing the wheel to be fitted on according to the appropriate parameters. Each wheel is built to fit a particular make or range of cars. Lug-centric wheels, on the other hand, line up with the lugs rather than the hub. This particular kind of car wheels can be dangerous: they all need “spacers”, or plastic or metal rings of different diameters that fit over the hub of the wheel and the axle, thus effectively converting a lug-centric into a hub-centric one. Spacers are crucial for a safe driving experience with lug-centric wheels.
And there you have it- two common term-laden car wheel problems explained! We hope this article helped you.