Why XD Aluminum Wheels are Better Than Steel

Why XD Aluminum Wheels are Better Than Steel

Generally speaking, aluminum is between five and seven times more expensive than steel. So it should be know surprise that automotive manufacturers regularly choose to put steel wheels on our cars rather than the more expensive alternative. It wasn’t until the 1960s that alloy, magnesium and aluminum wheels became the preferred choices of racers and enthusiasts. By the 1970s, all the major car brands were offering lighter wheels on their cars.

Alloy wheels are made out of a blend of aluminum and other metals to bring down the cost of wheels. Aluminum is a notoriously expensive metal and by mixing it together with other metals you can still make a strong wheel while bring the weight down. However, a pure aluminum wheel will generally be lighter and higher quality than any alloy blended wheel.

Recently, XD Rims, a high-end wheel company, came out with a brand new wheel line, the XD Series Rims, that is shaking up the truck world. Originally, XD made race wheels out of steel in the early 1980s then moved up to alloy. Now, with the XD Series Wheels, off-roaders can appreciate the saved weight savings and strength of the new XD Series.  These stylish wheels use a large diameter and top-quality aluminum, which are then finished in chrome or gloss paint.

Aluminum Wheels Save You $$$

When you start shaving pounds off your car, truck or SUV, you will start to notice some subtle performance changes. Being lightweight will help your ride get off the line faster and give you the illusion that you gained some horsepower.

gas pump
At the Gas Pump: If you’re like me, you drive your truck a lot. Unfortunately, this means spending some big bucks at the gas station. According to some drivers, they have noticed a small bump in gas mileage when switching to aluminum wheels. Drivers have reported a nearly one mile-per-gallon increase, which adds up to a lot of cash at the end of the year.

At the Brake Shop: A heavier wheel means more rotating mass. In short – a steel wheel is harder to stop than an aluminum one. Brake pads, rotors and drums will all be happier and last longer with a lighter aluminum wheel.

On The Off-Road: Aluminum wheels now dominate the automotive aftermarket. If you’re a serious off-roader and need to run larger tires, you may have trouble finding a steel wheel that is 19’’ or 20’’. KMC’s XD series are offered in various lug patterns and a dozen different size options. For bad boys, consider lifting up your ride and going with their largest wheel, a 24’’ chrome and black monster.

The Downfalls of Aluminum Wheels

When you’re shopping for wheels, there you can have a serious case of “sticker shock.” It’s not uncommon for a quality wheel set to run into the thousands of dollars, and that’s before you even buy tires for them. However, it’s important to remember that wheels and tires are the only things that keep your vehicle connected to the road, so it’s the one thing you don’t want to skimp out on.

Aluminum wheels are more expensive than steel one because of metal prices, so if you’re pockets are tight, it may be in your best interest to keep steel ones until you can save up. Also, aluminum can be expensive to repair. If you plan on running a low-profile tire and live in an area with potholes, drive carefully or make sure you buy an extremely durable wheel. Steel wheels can usually be bent back into place if they’re damaged, but a cheaper aluminum wheel will crack under extreme use, make repair nearly impossible.

For a bit more cash on the initial investment, a quality aluminum wheel is worth it to drivers who care about looks and performance. The lighter wheels make steering a pleasure, which is great for drivers with big rigs. Plus, with more and more companies producing quality aluminum and alloy wheels, it makes it very hard to go back to steel.

If you have any questions about which aluminum wheels are right for you, give 4WheelOnline a call at 813-769-2451. They’re more than happy to answer any questions on your wheel needs.

By Sean Bowes
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