Everything You Need to Know About Wheel Rims, How They Work, and Why It Matters

wheel rims

There are about 253 million cars and trucks on the road in the United States. That means there are over a billion wheel rims keeping the tires on all of those vehicles.

But have you ever stopped to think about how these round pieces of metal actually work? We depend on them every day to keep the tires on our cars, but do you understand how they make that magic happen?

Keep reading to find out!

Why You Need Wheel Rims

Metal rims provide stability and leverage while the vehicle moves. They also reduce the amount of friction, which also keeps the heat down. The wheel rotates around the tire rod, which transfers the force from the engine to the wheel.

Wheel Components

There are several different parts to your wheel, and understanding what they are can help you buy the right type and size wheel for your car.

  • Outboard face
  • Center bore
  • Plate
  • Spokes
  • Rim
  • Bolt circle
  • Valve stem bore

The important ones to know are the rim and bolt circle. The rim is the size of the wheel, such as “rollin on 22s”, which means you have a wheel that has a 22-inch diameter. If you want a direct replacement of your stock wheel, then you should stick with the same size wheel that’s currently on your vehicle.

The other component to pay attention to is the bolt circle or sometimes called bolt pattern. It needs to match what’s currently on your car. There could be anywhere from 5 to 8 bolts holding on each tire.

Wheel Materials

Three types of metal are most often used when manufacturing wheels, steel, aluminum alloy, and carbon fiber. Steel is the most affordable and usually features a basic design. They’re also the heaviest.

Aluminum alloy is the most common and is an excellent balance of strength, durability, and affordability. Carbon fiber isn’t common, but if you find a set, they’ll be super lightweight and strong. They’re best used on the track.

How They Work

There is a lip around the edge of the wheel that the tire catches on. This is what holds the tire in place on the wheel. You then slide the wheel and tire onto the tire rod and secure it into place by tightening the bolts.

There is a disc that connects the rim and the axle hub. It’s important to pay attention to the stock measurements of your wheels because if you divert too far, you risk your wheel or tires rubbing on other components of your car.

Upgrade Your Wheels Today

Now that you know what wheel rims do and how they do it, you’re ready to upgrade yours. The stock wheels maybe work well, but they often lack when it comes to looks and style. Find out the size of your wheels, and you can easily do a direct replacement.

Just buy your new wheels and have them shipped to a service center. They will take your tires and move them from your old wheels to your new custom ones.

Browse our selection of wheel rims and find the perfect set for your ride.