If you've come to this article, odds are you already understand how much the appearance and condition of your wheels can make or break the look of your entire vehicle. And when we say wheels, we don't just mean high-dollar aftermarket rims with huge diameters and custom finishes. We mean original equipment (OE) ones too.
There's no denying that automobile wheels have it rough. They're subject to a grueling onslaught of road grit, corrosive salt, oil-based contaminants, brake dust, pothole impacts, and curb scrapes. Over time, this leaves them chipped at best - or, at worst, bent or cracked to the point of needing replacement. Wheels that survive these perils sometimes look worse for wear when their outer finish visibly wears away or becomes stained.
If your vehicle is equipped with low-profile tires, you may have significant damage to your wheels and not even know it. These kinds of performance tires result in the wheel lip sitting closer to the ground. The wheel is therefore subject to more impact with potholes - often creating permanent deformations (or flat spots) in the wheel edge.
Once deformations occur, a shimmy is felt every time the wheel rotates due to the out-of-balance condition that now exists. In many cases, such shimmies can be corrected by re-balancing the wheel. Sometimes, bent wheels require straightening by specialists that use a heating process. And other times, the wheel is bent beyond repair - or even cracked.
Yes, there are many reasons you may want or need to replace your existing wheels. If you're in that boat, we can really help. In this article, we'll take a look at our large selection of OEM-factory replacement wheels that are priced far more reasonably than you think - and at a much lower cost than dealers and other vendors typically charge.
For both aluminum and steel wheels, you'll find reconditioned OEM equipment ones as well as new replicas that match OEM looks and quality. While you may be uncertain about choosing between new replicas or restored OEM equipment, we say confidently that you cannot go wrong with either selection. Make your choice based on personal preference or availability.
Aluminum Wheels - Refurbished OEM
If actual OEM wheels are your preference, Replace Remanufactured Factory Alloy Wheels offer an unparalleled selection of factory ones that have been brought back to new condition - both in appearance and in structure. In fact, they meet or exceed well-known SAE and ASTM wheel testing standards. And because the selection of wheels available is not limited to die-cast molds necessary for producing new ones, you'll find a wider choice here than anywhere else.
These refurbished wheels we offer will truly be as good as new, because Replace uses a careful inspection process to verify all parts of the wheel they're working with can be repaired to high safety standards. For example, enlarged lug bolt holes, severe dents, or any outer diameter defects will result in a wheel being labeled unsafe and rejected.
Wheels that pass initial tests are first straightened to tolerances more rigid than the ones specified by the vehicle manufacturer. This ensures any tire mounted on that wheel will balance out perfectly and remain free from shimmying at speed. Old layers of finish are removed until the wheel is stripped bare, then any nicks or gouges on wheel surfaces are filled via metal welding processes. After that's completed, exacting craftsmanship is used to smooth everything down before new finish coats are applied.
Based on the Replace refurbished wheel you select, a choice of finishes will display in the Product Options field. For example, you may be able to select factory silver match, OEM-style machined face (if applicable), with or without brightly polished clear coat, gloss black face with machined hub, black machined face with polished hub, black polished face with painted hub, or all-chrome finish. Different colors as well as highlights not originally offered by the factory may be offered as well. Wheels that are polished receive the treatment on the entire barrel of the wheel, not just the wheel face. The final step is the application of liquid clear coat or powder coat - if applicable.
Once the wheels have been completely finished, they are then subjected to a radial fatigue test - which stresses the wheel with a heavier than normal load in a straight line simulation. A separate rotary fatigue test stresses the wheel with a heavier than normal load in a cornering situation. Only then are they deemed roadworthy.
Aluminum Wheels - New Replicas
New aluminum wheels that are exact replicas of OEM ones are also a great way to save money when you want to boost the look of your vehicle. We work with manufacturers that have a consistent track record of producing quality reproductions that are a match to original equipment when it comes to size, shape, contour, structural rigidity, materials, and finish. Since our wheel manufacturers have licensing agreements with automakers, they're allowed to replicate every wheel detail exactly. This isn't always the case when it comes to other "aftermarket knockoff" wheels - many of which are forced to make significant alterations to avoid patent infringements. They may be cheaper to purchase in the end, but the less-than-perfect match that results ends up looking silly once it's on your vehicle. Take one look at the examples here and you'll be impressed once you realize it's virtually impossible to tell any of them from originals.
If you're looking for new replicas, Replace Replica Factory Alloy Wheels offer the largest selection of choices for all types of cars and trucks from the mid-1990s on.
Replikaz Factory Alloy Wheels has a good choice of new reproduction aluminum alloy wheels for popular cars and 4x4s of this time period also. And OER Reproduction Wheels specialize in new replicas for aluminum alloy wheels originally offered on second- and third-generation Chevy Camaros and Pontiac Firebirds. Many offer a choice of optional colors or highlights in the Product Options field.
While steel wheels aren't as commonplace as they once were, they're still a popular mainstay on many lower-trim new cars. And on some older classics, they're the only choice for maintaining originality. Steel wheels weigh more than their aluminum counterparts, but that extra mass serves to reduce the chance that hard pothole hits will result in a bent or cracked wheel. However, there may still be times when an OEM steel wheel needs to be replaced due to accident damage.
Steel wheels also cost less to produce. Consequentially, they make a more economical choice when you need a second set of wheels and tires - even if your vehicle is already equipped with alloy ones in good condition.
For example, maybe you need to replace a missing spare wheel and tire. "Steelies" are also a good value when having an extra set of wheels equipped with snow tires is what you need to get through ice and slush. Or, maybe you've come to the realization that degraded roads which don't get fixed until late spring pose too big a threat to alloy wheels and low-profile tires.
If you live in cold weather climates, an extra set of winter wheels and tires will buy you years of freedom from slipping and sliding, and it may just save you money when you don't have to replace expensive low-profile tires that blow out over potholes that erupt each winter.
When it comes to steel wheels, we've got a great selection for vehicles both old and new. For starters, Replace Replica Factory Steel Wheels and CCI Factory Replica Steel Wheels offer a solid selection of new OEM replicas - from 1960s General Motors rear-wheel-drive models through 14", 15", and 16"wheels for 1980s and newer front-wheel-drive American and imports. There, you'll even find "dually" style pickup truck wheels as well as several vintage steel Chevy styled Rallye designs.
If you can't find the new steel wheel you're looking for there, take a look at Replace Remanufactured Factory Steel Wheels. Because these are actual OEM wheels taken from a variety of popular makes and models, there are more steel choices for harder-to-find vehicles - especially older ones that used styled steel designs. Dorman specializes in new replicas for vehicles built in the early 1990s through today with their Steel Wheels collection.
Note that purchasing any set of new wheels and tires together from CARiD is a great deal, because we mount and balance them in our warehouse before shipping - at no extra cost to you. A clean, crisp new set of OE-style wheels makes your whole car look better and well-maintained - two factors that allow you to command a higher price when the time comes to sell it. Whether you need one wheel or four, do yourself a favor and check out the whole wheel selection!