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How can I tell it’s an alloy wheel that’s on my car?

by Neomy

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Have you ever been conned by a wheel seller and bought fake wheels thinking that they were alloy wheels? You are not alone. This is a practice that has become very common as technology evolves. The funny thing is that the wheels look so much alike that you cannot tell which is which. However, you do not have to worry anymore. Here are the methods you can use to prove that the wheels you are buying are actually alloy wheels.

Metal Alloy Wheels have with time emerged to be the best wheels in the market. They are the most preferred wheels by many motorists due to their outstanding qualities. You probably have them on your car and cannot replace them with any other type of wheels. Some of the qualities of metal alloy wheels that make them stand out in the wheel manufacture industry include;

  • Light weight which makes them more efficient
  • Strength which makes them withstand great pressure and exposure
  • Good heat dissipation
  • Variety of designs and
  • Great appearance

These are the major characteristics that make up a good wheel and alloy wheels happen to have them.

Many wheel stores have emerged and claimed to sell alloy wheels, but as technology has improved, so has the knowledge of manufacturers who make fake alloy wheels. Thus, a great problem has risen where motorist have bought wheels branded as alloy wheels but they wear out quicker than the real alloy wheels. Maybe, you have been a victim.

The big question that every motorist asks is; how do I tell that the wheels on my car are actually Metal Alloy wheels?

There are a number of proven ways to determine whether the wheels on your vehicle are alloy or steel.

  • Acid test

Metal alloy wheels are made of an alloy of aluminum and another metal. Aluminum is not corrosive unlike magnesium. You have to buy an acidic solution for this test and choose a hidden spot at the back of the wheel. You don’t have to worry when carrying out this test because, if it’s an alloy wheel, no corrosion will take place. However, if corrosion happens to occur, the hidden spot will be invisible. Take some amount of the acid and apply it on the chosen spot. If it’s an alloy wheel, it will not corrode but if it is not, corrosion will take place. This will prove that it indeed is not a metal alloy wheel.

  • The Magnet Check

Another method used is the magnet check. Aluminum is non-magnetic. Steel on the other hand is very magnetic. Get a magnet and bring it close to the supposed alloy wheel. If the magnet sticks, the wheel is steel and not an alloy. The reverse will also be true. However, this is not a complete proof that the wheel you have is an aluminum alloy wheels. This is because, magnesium also is non-magnetic. This is why the acid test needs to be done.

  • The Visual check

This is where you use your eyes and the knowledge you have to check the wheels. If the rim is entirely painted black and it doesn’t appear like an aftermarket wheel, it definitely is not alloy wheel. Another way of telling by visual checking is verifying if the wheel has a hub cap. If it’s there, this is not an alloy wheel either. Most alloy wheels do not use hub caps.

There might be other ways to tell an alloy wheel from a steel wheel, but these are the most outstanding ones. However, if you are not sure about the wheels after checking, it’s always advisable that you visit your car manufacturer like the American racing Wheels manufacturers or consult your mechanic. Mechanics know a lot. They have worked with fake and real wheels for long and they can tell the difference by just a visual check.

The above stated; Acid test, the magnet check and visual check are the methods which you can apply to determine whether the wheels you have alloy wheels. The acid test is the best proof and the most appropriate of the three.

Make sure you get the right alloy wheels next time and enjoy your rides!


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