Last updated on January 12th, 2024 at 05:51 pm
The concept of tire wheels has existed for a long time since the first moving vehicle was introduced. Because back in the day, when carts and other manual moving vehicles were driven, instead of rubber tires, only wheels were used.
First, the introduction of wooden wheels made a name with moving horse carts and other carts, then slowly after adaptation, the introduction of steel wheels took the market. And since then, every moving vehicle usually a transportation vehicle, has been equipped with four steel wheels that move the vehicle to its destiny.
The history of wheels is far older than you may think; wheels were first introduced in the bronze ages for group and good transportation. Although the shape, material, and quality were different from today’s wheel, the concept was still the same.
In this modern age, the usage of the wheel describes the importance of this invention made by the first human societies, with no greater knowledge or equipment.
There are different types of wheels, ship wheels, steering wheels, and flywheels but the most common and widely used type of wheels are tire wheels that sit on axles.
So, in this post, we will explain everything about tire wheels, how you should take care of them, their importance, and many other things so you can avoid any chance of trouble due to faulty wheels.
Table of Contents
What are wheels
Tire wheels are round-shaped steel-built and sit on axle bearings. All wheels are designed with holes so that they connect with axle shafts. The purpose of installing wheels on axle bearings is that the mechanics of the vehicle move the car through axles, so if there are no wheels on axles, the car won’t move just on car axles.
The tire wheels have rims on the outer layers, where the rubber tire is beaded, and that is how the whole transition is complete. When you accelerate, the force comes to axles, axles move bearings, and as wheels are installed on bearings, wheels move, and so as tires, and you get all that in just a matter of seconds.
Importance of tire wheels
The importance of tire wheels is clear because, without them, it won’t be possible to drive your vehicle just on rubber tires. Instead, the invention of rubber tires is the result of tire wheels, so maybe we might still be driving and traveling on camels.
Other than that, if we take tire wheels out of the world, everything will stop, and chaos will rise in the world, although transport is not the greatest thing for the environment, still it has become a need of every person. In concept, it seems great that no vehicle will be able to move, but it will cause much pain to every single person in the world.
Cost of tire wheels
Changing all the wheels of your car could cost $400 or less, and also $2000 or more, the price is dependent on the size of the wheels and the quality and brand of the wheels. Unlike tires, tire wheels stay intact for longer. Usually, two tire sets can run with one tire wheelset, and sometimes more than that.
When to replace wheels
Rust or old wheels
Contacting with water, dirt, and both particles can damage the wheels and rims of the tire, so if it’s been more than 10-15 years, you should get more proactive and keep looking if the wheels are showing any signs of damage.
Old wheels usually weaken over time, especially if you drive in off-road and harsh conditions. The unbalanced ride puts more fractions on wheels, which can cause breakage during the drive; that is why to replace tire wheels if they look like they have given what they could be given in their lifetime.
Broken or slashed rims
Don’t take the risk of driving with broken or little damaged wheels, because you never know when it will stop working and you lose them completely. If the wheel brakes at a fast pace on highways or somewhere, it could cause a very dangerous accident; that is why replace that specific wheel if you see any sign of damage.
While changing tires, you should also think about changing wheels, if not on the first set replacement, but after 2 sets driven with the same wheels, you should definitely change your tire wheels. In my experience the tire wheels stay good and fair for 200K miles of dive; after that, I replace them as they don’t look so good to dive.
Also, if you want to change the tire sizes, then you should change the wheel sizes as well. Because the misalignment and imbalanced ride with different tie sizes and wheel sizes might get you in big trouble which would be more costly than replacing tire wheels.
Wheel size and accessories
Wheel sizes are written in inches, the first number, usually written between 12-18, is the total diameter of a wheel in inches, you can manually check it by putting sizing tape on one side of the wheel vertically to the other side.
The second number measures the width of the wheel, just like sidewall widths in tires. Similarly, the width of a wheel is measured from one rim corner to the other. It is also written in inches; you have to multiply it by 25 to get the number in millimeters.
The third number is written in plus or minus, which explains the offset of the wheels; too much or low offset will make your tires look smaller and shorter based on the wheel you pick.
The purpose of wheel spacers is to drag your tires away from the axle shaft and bearings. It is an expensive extension that the drivers of sports cars or luxury vehicle drivers use to get better looks and performance.
It is attached to axle bearings and then wheels are installed on it, usually 2 to 3 inches of wheel spacers are enough; anything above that will make your car look strange and also, it is not the safest thing to do.
Wheel alignment and balance
This is the most important thing you need to verify before you start driving with your new tires or wheels. Unaligned wheels or tires are very common and cause big accidents on roads. Similarly, wheel balancing is crucial to getting safer rides.
That is why if you have installed your wheels or tires on your own, make sure to check their alignment and balance from a professional, because not only unaligned tires will deliver an unsafe ride, but they will also damage your axles, wheels, and tires.
Can the wheel be repaired?
Compared to alloy wheels, steel wheels are easier to repair, and usually, steel wheels are repairable in most cases. Steel wheels will easily be repaired if the problem is with bent rims, scratches, or small dents. However the damage is troublesome, like cracks in between rims, or broken wheel caps, then it won’t be repairable.
On the other hand, alloy wheels are hard to repair and usually not repairable, sometimes, even a small dent or curved rims are hard to repair on alloy wheels.
Can wheels be painted or wrapped
Yes, you can paint or wrap your wheels; there is no trouble in that; just make sure to keep them safe from water and other greasy material so that it won’t get rusted. Also, after applying paint, don’t drive till it soaked completely.
Can the wheel get unbalanced?
Usually, the wheels don’t get imbalanced if you have balanced them previously. However, if you change tires or do some repairing with your axles or bearings, the wheel can lose balance. That is why make sure you rebalance your wheels after any changes you make within your vehicle.
Tire wheels just like any other part of the car are very important to take care of. As it makes contact with the ground, any fault in it could create big problems. For that reason, you should always check and balance wheels and tires as you get the time, properly aligned and balance wheels also increase the life and wear of the tire.