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Rev Up Your Rims: How to Choose Custom Wheels for Your Ride

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Flickr
When you're customizing your vehicle choosing custom rims and tires is the icing on the cake: a customization just wouldn't be complete without them. Selecting the right custom wheels for your vehicle can be confusing but you can take the following tips into consideration to help you make the right decision.

Keep changes in handling in mind.

Putting custom wheels on your vehicle will actually change the way it handles. Some examples of the way custom wheels can affect handling include:
  • Larger wheels cause stress on your brakes because there is more pressure needed to stop larger wheels.
  • Steering is affected by larger wheels.
  • Smaller wheels can cause your vehicle to sit closer to the ground, which could mean the bottom of your car will scrape curbs, driveways or road debris that would otherwise not affect it.

Don't make the decision on appearance alone.

Since custom wheels affect the way your vehicle handles keep this in mind when you're deciding on the right wheels. If you'd like to keep your vehicle fast and handling smoothly, select lightweight, alloy wheels. Alloy wheels are also beneficial if you use your vehicle for your daily commute because the stop and go pace of rush hour traffic could negatively affect your vehicle without room to maintain airflow.

If you'd like to drive your vehicle off road or you are using it for heavy lifting and towing, steel wheels provide the durability you need to get the job done.

Maintain vehicle performance through proper installation.

When you install custom wheels on your vehicle, you have to be sure that you do so in a way that will allow you to maintain vehicle performance. Some tips for maintaining performance when customizing your wheels include:
  • Rims that are slightly larger than your factory installed wheels will maximize vehicle performance so aim for wheels that are approximately one to two inches larger.
  • Check that the rims you are purchasing are compatible with the make and model of your vehicle before you make a final decision.
  • Match up the size change both in your rims and tires to assure the most even wear and the best handling.
  • Keep in mind that smaller tires may make your vehicle handle better but could give you a rough ride.

Price and quality are related. 

If you think you've found a great deal on custom wheels, keep in mind that cheaper rims usually mean cheaper quality.