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General Inspection – Alloy Rims

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PURPOSE
Alloy rims are beneficial to the braking system as they allow a faster cooling down period.  Most alloy rims should last the life of the vehicle if driving on sealed roads.  Alloy rims should be fitted with the correct wheel nuts with one of those being a locked nut.  They are very popular but they are expensive, not repairable and can affect your insurance policy. 

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
A dented alloy rim is easily detected and better replaced as it may continue to deflate.  If your vehicle is fitted with an alloy rim , make sure you always keep the locked nut of the alloy rim in a safe place as it makes it easier if you breakdown.  Sometimes people keep their locked nuts in a spot where they cannot find it.  If your vehicle is fitted with four alloy rims and a spare that is a steel rim, make sure the wheel nuts will fit the spare in case of a wheel replacement on the side of the road, as some wheel nuts won’t fit the steel rim.  This makes it very dangerous to fit a steel rim with the wrong wheel nuts.

IS IT EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR?
The only way to repair an alloy rim is to replace it.  You may be lucky to get one at the wreckers otherwise you will have to buy from a retail outlet.

TEMPORARY REPAIR AND LONG TERM REPLACEMENT
If your rims are hard to get or very expensive and you decide to leave the steel rims on for a while, be very sure that if on the front, both tyres are the same make and the same pattern, to maintain the same braking reaction for both tyres.  The same applies for the back tyres.  Also the differential can be affected if one tyre is a higher profile and one tyre is a lower profile.  Basically what we are saying here is that all tyres should be the same profile and the same type.  The rims can be different, providing the steel rims are able to be secured with the same wheel nuts. The profile will affect the braking and any different type pattern on the front or back,  or different size on the front or back,  will affect the braking force and that’s an unroadworthy item.  For a roadworthy vehicle all tyre patterns on the front and back should be the same.
This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the price of a latte, but you will learn not to buy a lemon
By Darren Gow-Brown, Melbourne Australia ©2009

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