Why Choose Alloy Wheels?
Fitting new alloy wheels to your car may help increase fuel economy or lower emissons but for the major part - they will primarily transform the look of your car. This may make your car easier to sell and if they increase the residual value of your car - much of the cost of buying alloy wheels can be offset by the increased value of your car with them fitted. Alloy is an excellent conductor of heat, improving heat dissipation from the brakes, reducing the risk of brake failure under demanding driving conditions.New alloys can enable wider tyres to be fitted to your car thus improving the steering response and road holding, especially when cornering.
Alloy wheels were originally developed for prestige and sports cars as a means of saving weight and improving the attractiveness and aesthetic impact of the wheel.
Because alluminium, which is the prime material in the production of alloy wheels, is lighter than steel it allowed the vehicle designers to reduce the weight of the car and therefore help towards every increasing targets for fuel economy and environmental emissions.
Using aluminium as the key material also allowed designers to create much more interesting and attractive designs of wheels which complimented the sporting or premium looks of the cars.
Remember to inform your insurance company that you have fitted alloy wheels – it is very rare for insurance companies to amend your premium because you have fitted alloy wheels but it important that they know just incase your car is stolen so you can claim the wheels on the insurance.
How to choose the right alloy for you
At G-Mac, we have taken away all the hassle and uncertainty for you. The wheels recommended for your vehicle are selected to be suitable for your car. It’s highly recommended to keep the rolling radius the same – in fact G-Mac will not fit a wheel to your car unless it is within the standard industry tolerance of +/- 3%.
Looking after your alloy wheels
Your new wheels are supplied with a protective lacquer finish to help protect against corrosion but one tip is to give them a coating of good quality car polish back and front. This will help prevent the road salt, brake dust and dirt 'keying' to the surface on first use.
You can also use an alloy wheel wax as well to help clean, restore and protect them against brake dust and moisture. Whilst not essential, using a specialised alloy wheel wax will also mean that your alloy wheels are easier to clean.
How often you need to clean your alloy wheels depends on the environment, road hazards and weather conditions. If you are in a harsh winter environment where salt and chemicals are used to de-ice the roads, it's more important to clean frequently.
Frequent washing with mildly soapy warm water, having hosed all the loose abrasive grit off first, is the best way to keep wheels clean. Never use abrasive cleansers, electric buffers or wire wool pads on your wheels.
It's important you keep alloy wheels clean of brake dust to prevent damage as the dust is corrosive.
Where possible let your wheels cool thoroughly before cleaning them.
Avoid car-wash wheel-cleaners in case they scratch.
Whilst there are dedicated alloy wheel cleaners available some may contain acid based chemicals which will erode the finish in the long term whilst giving a good result in the short term. We would recommend that you only use Non Caustic based alloy wheel cleaners
Avoid kerbing your alloy wheels.
What happens if I change my wheel size?
Many car owners can change to a larger wheel size. Increasing the size of your wheels can help to improve the look and impact of your wheels - making them even more attractive on your car.
Changing within the same rolling radius of your current wheel
“Up stepping” as it is known, is acheived by increasing your wheel size while reducing the profile of your tyre. This ensures that the “rolling radius” of the new wheel and tyre remains the same as the original.
Benefits – Up stepping should improve the handling of your car. Each step will reduce the proportion of flexible tyre 'sidewall' to rigid alloy. This will improve response, will help keep the tyre tread square to the road and will improve your car's 'feedback'.
Disadvantages - In the majority of situations, tyre inches are lighter than wheel inches. Plus-sizing can make your overall wheel/tyre package heavier. Reducing the profile of your tyres will also reduce your car's damping deflection under compression i.e. the comfort of the ride could deteriorate.
Changing the wheel and tyre so that it is different to the current rolling radius
If the rolling radius is larger, you will need to get your speedometer recalibrated . Bigger wheels are often heavier so you should compare the weights of alloy wheels with the standard wheels you have. A bigger wheel can resist a change of direction so handling can be slightly affected.
G-Mac as a policy will not sell or fit wheels or tyres that are bigger than your manufacturer recommends.