Steel rims have been the tried and tested choice for car manufacturers. They are sturdy and long-lasting. However, they are not the best choice if you want a fuel-efficient vehicle. How steel rims impact fuel efficiency is discussed below:
The weight of a car is directly related to its fuel efficiency. The lighter a car, the less fuel it will consume compared to a heavier car. Steel rims by virtue of the metal’s properties and design are heavier than alloy rims. This adds to the unsprung weight of the car. Since the car becomes heavier with steel rims, the engine has to work harder. It has to burn more fuel to keep the car moving forward and maintain its speed.
In addition to being heavier, steel rims are also not aerodynamically efficient. They do not allow the air to pass through and this creates a drag along the car’s body. This drag hamper’s the car’s free movement. The engine has to consume more fuel to keep the car moving due to the drag.
Tougher to Maneuver
Due to being heavier, steel rims make it difficult to maneuver a car when compared to alloy rims. They will not provide the same responsiveness as alloy rims. This will not only reduce the handing and ride quality of the car but also reduce its fuel efficiency. The car’s engine will have to take more stress for maneuvering steel rims compared to alloy rims. This will cause the engine to consume more fuel which thereby reduces the car’s fuel efficiency.
Should You Consider Switching to Alloy Rims?
Alloy wheels are more efficient and designed to provide you top-notch driving experience. You can consider switching from steel rims to alloy rims for the following benefits:
- Alloy rims are lightweight. This reduces the unsprung weight of the car and improves fuel efficiency.
- They come in a wide variety of colors and designs. The aftermarket alloy rims market can leave you spoilt for choices. You can choose from different finishes, cuts, colors, etc. that is not the case with steel rims.
- Using alloy rims can provide you better traction and control while driving. They make it easier to maneuver the car and improves the overall ride quality.
- Steel rims are prone to rusting in moist and salty conditions. This can damage the rims and force you to buy replacements. However, alloy wheels do not rust and thus, have a longer lifespan.