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Wheels tips and articles

  • Alloy & Steel Wheel Care

    A good set of wheels can make a huge difference to how your car looks. In fact many people choose wheels for the sole reason of making a statement with their vehicle. Apart from the aesthetic decision there are some major differences between steel wheels and alloy wheels, which have implications for durability and maintenance.

    What is the difference between alloy and steel wheels?

    For a long time most privately owned cars had steel wheels. These are durable and functional. However, mainly due to the car racing and tuning industry, alloy wheels have started to become very popular. They are generally made of an alloy of aluminium or magnesium, or sometimes both. They prove ideal for racing because of their lighter weight in proportion to strength, provide better heat conduction and could contribute to better handling of the vehicle.

    Maintaining your car's wheels

    A well maintained set of wheels will be vital to making your car look its best. There are a number of basics to keep in mind including:

    • Before you install your new wheels make sure they have a coat of wax. This will help them retain their new look, longer.
    • Wash your wheels regularly to prevent buildup of dirt and brake dust.
    • Use warm soapy water, and if needed tar and bug remover.
    • Never use abrasives such as steel wool or polishing compounds.
    • Be wary of drive through car washes. They can use acidic liquids to help remove dirt and stuff brushes which may scratch your wheels.
    • Never use hot steam cleaning, as this can also damage the finish on your wheels.
    • Never clean your wheels when they are still hot from driving as the water will evaporate too quickly leaving soap streaking.
    • Wash your wheels one at a time to ensure you do a thorough, detailed job.
    • Use a different sponge on your wheels to the one you use on your car's bodywork.
    • In order to maintain a great looking appearance, it is worth maintaining and cleaning your wheels regularly, especially since they may also represent a considerable financial investment.

      Avoid contact with the kerb

      Alloy wheels typically have very little resistance to kerb scuffing and can become damaged easily in parking mishaps. Once you have a new set of alloy wheels it is strongly recommended to park with care and avoid the kerb at all costs. Alternately if you are worried about kerb scuffing there are products available on the market that can be applied to the wheel to protect the wheel from the kerb.

      If you follow the tips above you will maintain the appearance of your car's wheels as well as assist them in lasting longer. Since wheels often represent a large financial outlay and can be a highly personal expression of the statement' the owner wants to make, it is worth spending a little extra time on cleaning them. Always treat them with respect, and your car will continue to look great for a long time regardless of whether the wheels are steel or alloy.

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  • Wheel Fitments

    Wheels up to 26mm wider than the largest optional wheel recommended by the vehicle manufacturer for the vehicle can be fitted without the need to notify the RTA. The overall diameter of the wheel and tyre combination must be no more than 15mm over the largest diameter wheel and tyre combination specified for the vehicle and not more than 15mm below the smallest diameter wheel and tyre combination specified for the vehicle.

    When fitting a larger wheel & tyre fitment the combination of the replacement fitted unit MUST stay within the mudguard.  Also when viewed directly from the top of the mudguard to the ground, with the tyre & wheel unit facing in a straight ahead position, the tyre & wheel MUST not be visible.

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  • Alloy Wheels vs Steel Wheels
    Alloy Wheels vs Steel Wheels - What is the difference?

    For many motorists the wheels on their car help make a statement. But apart from aesthetics, they also play an extremely important part in your safety. The wheels are the interface between your vehicle and the road, and thus anything less than the best wheels possible reduce your vehicle's optimum safety. So if you are choosing new wheels for your car it is important to know what the options are and what benefits or disadvantages may accrues from your choices.

    What is the difference between alloy and steel wheels?

    Traditionally most car wheels were made of steel. They were durable and looked presentable. But in the world of motor sport this was not enough and alloy wheels are the order of the day. Alloy wheels are different to steel wheels in a number of ways including:

    • They are made of an alloy of aluminium or magnesium, and sometimes even both
    • They tend to have greater strength compared to weight, than steel wheels
    • Alloy wheels have greater heat conduction
    • A possible problem is that alloy wheels can be more vulnerable in a fire
    • Tuning enthusiasts like them because of their look and connection with motor sport
    • Could contribute to improved vehicle handling

    Put simply alloy wheels deliver all the strength of steel wheels but with lighter weight, which in turn is always a bonus for performance.

    Why choose alloy wheels?

    For normal road drivers the benefits of alloy wheels are not significant enough to make a huge difference to the driving experience. They are a technology born out of the motor sport environment, where saving every gram in weight is precious. However for true motoring enthusiasts, they are persuasive. Good alloy wheels make a visual statement, and this is important for many people who take motoring seriously. The benefits in weight reduction can also be relevant for more performance oriented vehicles and especially those that may do a little track work from time to time. On track, lighter alloy wheels contribute to a lower unspring mass, contributing to improved handling performance.

    Choosing alloy or steel wheels

    Ultimately your choice of wheel type will depend on your individual aesthetics and your motoring aspirations. Alloy wheels tend to be more expensive so that will be a consideration for many, but if you want to have the ultimate driving experience there may be a compelling argument for it.

    To make choosing alloy wheels easy, JAX Tyres offer an easy to use Online Wheel Selector Tool, which allows you to select your vehicle and apply different wheels. You can change the colour of your vehicle and even suspension options to really give you a view of what your vehicle will look like with different alloy wheels.

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  • Wheel Guidelines
    JaxQuickfit Wheels Guidelines

    JAX Tyres also offers a range of great value wheel and tyre packages.

    Wheels and the Law Measuring Offset and PCD

    Each state has certain legal requirements, when wheels outside the manufacturers recommended range are fitted to a vehicle.

    These requirements mainly relate to wheel rim widths, the fitting of nuts and studs and the increase of track measurement.

    Modifications outside the legal guidelines are not permitted and the correct matching of wheels and tyre is vital to ensure the continued safe operation of the vehicle. See your JAX Tyres wheel specialist for the best advice on all performance and safety aspects.

    Wheel Care and Maintenance

    For lasting care of your alloy wheels it is recommended you clean them regularly with soap and water. Check first before using automotive detergents, as they may corrode the alloy metal. Re-tension your wheel nuts or studs with a wheel brace on a regular basis.


    Please make sure that you check with your insurance company to ensure that your choice of wheels is compatible with your car.

    Measuring Offset and PCD

    There are two ways of measuring offset. Centre line offset is the distance from the centre line of the wheel to the face of the wheel mounting surface. Back space offset is the distance from the extreme back edge of the rim to the wheel mounting surface. Pitch Circle Diameter (PCD) is the diameter of the bolt circle.

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  • About JAX

    At JAX Tyres we guarantee the quality of all the tyres we supply and install for the life of the tyre. Should you discover a manufacturer's fault after purchase we will replace your tyre free of charge.

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