Flash the Rims: How to Choose the Right Aftermarket Wheels

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In a perfect world, our cars would last forever. Unfortunately, every car owner must keep their vehicle safe for the road by buying replacements for worn or damaged parts. Additionally, many drivers are interested in style as well as function and want to show off the latest and most striking parts on the market This is especially true when it comes to wheels. If you’re curious about upgrading your own wheels, this is our guide to choosing the best aftermarket options available!

What Are Aftermarket Wheels?

When you set out to buy new wheels, you’re going to be choosing between two categories: original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and aftermarket. OEM wheels, as the name indicates, are made by the same companies that build vehicles. These are the companies that sell cars directly to the consumer, and purchasing OEM wheels means returning to that company to buy a precise replica of the original wheel.

Aftermarket parts are sold by companies that are not in the business of assembling and selling entire vehicles. They sell car components on a part-by-part basis, depending on the needs of the individual consumer. These parts (like mirrors, headlights, and, of course, wheels) are usually made to fit multiple kinds of vehicles, as opposed to the brand-specific OEM parts.

Why Aftermarket?

Why not just return to the original OEM to get a new part for your vehicle? There are several important factors when deciding between OEM and aftermarket parts. As with any part purchased directly from the manufacturer, OEM wheels will cost more than the alternatives. Your options will also be limited, as car manufacturers tend not to produce a wide range of wheel replacements for a given model.

Aftermarket wheels are generally cheaper, and the competition to attract attention with custom designs results in a wider range of styles than OEM options. If you’re looking for particularly distinctive rims, aftermarket manufacturers are sure to be your best bet.

Basic Dimensions

So, you’ve decided to look at aftermarket options; what should the savvy consumer be looking for in a new wheel? One primary consideration is the diameter. “Plus-sizing” refers to wheels of a larger diameter than the original, decreasing the amount of tire displayed, while “minus-sizing” refers to wheels of a smaller diameter than the original, exposing more of the tire. Larger diameters will improve the car’s response time but will negatively impact comfort.

Another important consideration is color. You don’t want your new wheels to clash with the rest of your car. The rule of thumb is contrast. If your car is lighter in color, we recommend black wheels; if your car is darker in color, brighter wheels will really draw the eye. Silver cars generally match gray wheels nicely.

What to Avoid

Since aftermarket products are designed with multiple vehicles in mind, it’s also possible that they will not line up with your car in terms of bolt patterns, so it’s important to check that both the number and position of lugs match. If your car comes with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), make sure to check that your new wheels are compliant, as your TPMS will likely have to be reset upon purchasing new wheels.

Now that you know what factors are at play in buying new wheels, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. Get out there and find the perfect wheels to suit your style! If you need to find the perfect ride to fit those wheels first, we can help with that too! Start your search with BestRide today.