If you’re planning to upgrade your vehicle's wheels, you might ask yourself, “should I put aftermarket wheels on my car?” The short answer is that while aftermarket wheels will provide you with a new enhancement to how your vehicle looks, you might impact your safety, and the wheels might not be available all the time for future placements.
Many enthusiasts prefer to change certain elements and vehicles to make them more attractive. For example, certain people might change the headlights to more convenient ones. Other people might decide on switching to better wheels that provide a more attractive look to the vehicle's exterior. However, how do these changes impact our vehicles?
One of the most common changes that many people perform to their cars is to replace the wheels with aftermarket ones. However, before you do so, you must ask yourself, “should I put aftermarket wheels on my car?”
This article provides you with all you need to know about answering this question and helps you make an informed decision about whether to switch the wheels or not. In addition, we will cover how this will impact your vehicle's value down the road.
What is an aftermarket wheel?
If you don’t already know, the aftermarket wheel is designed by a different Company other than that was old manufacture.
Typically these wheels are designed in a way that fits most vehicles. In other words, they come with universal sizes that make them fit almost a lot of cars to make it easier for this company to design the aftermarket wheels.
Usually, aftermarket wheels are cheaper than the original wheels, and that’s why tons of car owners prefer to give them a try.
The other thing is that aftermarket wheels come with many different designs that provide the vehicles with sleek luxe and make them stand out in the street. In addition, they’ll come in a unique design that is different than the original manufactured one.
What are the benefits of aftermarket wheels?
If you’re still thinking about switching to aftermarket wheels, you might wonder about the different benefits you can achieve when switching to those wheels. Before we provide you with the negative consequences, let’s highlight the pros that you achieve from switching to aftermarket wheels:
Aftermarket wheels are getting more popular because of their price. They are way more affordable than original wheels, and that’s why many car owners prefer to switch them, so they have to worry about purchasing more expensive original parts.
Even installing the aftermarket wheels is not a complicated job, and that’s why it might not require certain skill sets from mechanics who have been working with the same brand for a long time. Thus, not only can you replace the wheels at a small independent shop, but many owners can also replace their wheels by themselves without needing a professional. Thus, they save a ton of labor costs.
The other thing to enjoy and the aftermarket wheels are the different choices. If you do a quick search on Google, you’ll be surprised by the number of available choices to select from. These choices attracted tons of car owners over the years.
Also, most aftermarket wheels are designed to make them easy to install by an inexperienced car owner. In other words, you’ll have to go to a professional mechanic to install these wheels, and you can do the job yourself. However, many owners prefer to get the job done at small independent shops to confirm that the wheels are installed properly.
What could happen if I put aftermarket wheels on my car?
Before we dive into the details about answering the question, should I put aftermarket wheels on my car? First, we must understand all the negative consequences to our vehicles once we do the change.
While there are plenty of potential consequences, here are the most common things to keep in mind before switching to aftermarket wheels as reported by Automotive express:
1. Wheel fitment
The first and most important thing you have to keep in mind before switching to aftermarket wheels is wheel fitment. Typically, the originally manufactured wheel is designed to fit your vehicle perfectly. Switching to any other type of wheel does not guarantee this. In other words, even if you liked how these wheels look, they might not be the perfect fit, which might impact your vehicle's driving experience and drivability.
One might think that a slight difference in the wheel size is not a big deal. However, that’s not the case. Many automotive experts indicated that even a small change or difference between the new wheels and the original ones could greatly impact how you ride your car.
2. Wheel availability
Assume that you were lucky enough and could find the perfect wheels for your car; wheel availability is something to keep in mind.
Typically, most aftermarket companies do not continue producing the same type of elements all the time. In other words, if for any reason you decide to change your wheels, don’t be surprised that you’ll find a discontinued in the market, which makes it a big challenge, especially if you’re planning to change only one wheel.
It’s great that you’ll have many options to choose from, but sometimes these options can make it challenging to find the same one in the future.
3. Engine performance
Another important that you have to keep in mind before switching to aftermarket wheels is your engine performance. Your engine is designed to withstand certain pressure and loads to provide the right energy and get your vehicle going.
When you switch to aftermarket wheels, you’re most likely installing larger wheels beyond your engines' capabilities. Therefore it’s not rare to deal with engine complications immediately after installing the Newer wheels. Sometimes it might take time before you notice the consequences, but it is something to think about in the long term.
Your engine will work harder to generate the energy, which will impact the amount of energy produced. Your engine will also wear out prematurely because the more pressure it faces, the easier it is for the internal components to wear out prematurely.
4. The aftermarket value
Before switching to aftermarket wheels, the other thing to think about is your vehicle's resale value. It might look cool that your vehicle has more attractive wheels, but that’s not always the case for every car owner.
Your vehicle is something that you own for a short time frame because, at some point in time, you expect to sell this car and buy a better one that matches your life upgrades. For example, assume that you got a new job and you’re looking to purchase a better vehicle, or probably you got a new family member and looking for an upgrade. In that case, you’ll need to purchase a newer vehicle and sell the old one.
When you try to sell a vehicle with some modifications, the buyers might not necessarily like it, especially for installing larger wheels, and everybody likes it. So it makes it very hard to sell your car, and it impacts the resale value significantly.
Therefore, you must think long-term before installing the new aftermarket wheels and consider if you’re OK with impacting the resale value, then you can go ahead and do it. Otherwise, it might not be worth it.
5. Safety specifications
If you decide to switch to aftermarket wheels, you’ll have to consider safety. Most of these aftermarket wheels are designed in foreign countries, and they typically do not care about safety standards. Therefore, there’s a very high chance that your new wheels might not provide you with the proper safety, and there’s a risk that you might get yourself involved in major accidents.
Therefore, even if you would like to switch to aftermarket wheels, you’ll have to do some research and confirm that you’re getting at least a minimum of characteristics that can keep you safe. However, no matter how good the aftermarket wheel is, it won’t be as good as the original manufactured one.
How do I know if my car has an aftermarket wheel?
People might not pay direct attention to certain aftermarket elements in many instances. That’s one car owners play tricks and sell these vehicles as original cars.
That’s why it is critical for you as a driver to inspect the vehicle properly before making a final purchase decision.
Here are some of the tips that Automotive Experts recommend confirming whether the vehicle you were planning to purchase has aftermarket wheels or not:
1. Visual inspections
The first and easiest thing to check is to perform a quick visual inspection. Take a look at the wheels and compare them to certain vehicles from the Internet. The Internet is filled with examples of the same cars and all it takes to get the vehicle's make, model, and Year.
Compare how the car looks and how the wheels specifically look to what you see on the Internet. If you suspect anything different, it might be a red flag indicating that this car has an aftermarket wheel.
2. Check the wheels
The only thing you can do is check the wheel itself. In most scenarios, the wheels should have serial numbers that allow you to search them on the Internet. You’ll be able to identify whether this wheel is an aftermarket or not by looking up the company and the same wheel on websites like eBay motors or probably Amazon.
3. Compare age
Another sign to tell you what your wheels are aftermarket or not is by checking the vehicle's age and comparing it to the condition of the wheel. For example, if you know that this vehicle is very old and realize that the wheels look relatively new, it should be a red flag indicating that these wheels were Replaced.
However, the owner might have replaced the old wheels with an original ones. He could’ve purchased the wheels from the original manufacture as a replacement. You can pose the question and ask the owner about whether these wheels were replaced or not and see what you get.
Should I put aftermarket wheels on my car?
Now you have a good understanding of the main benefits you’ll achieve from installing aftermarket wheels and the different cons. Then, you decide to evaluate your goals and determine what’s more important to you.
For example, if you’re OK with dropping your vehicle's value and you’re up to the challenge of driving a vehicle with safety issues, then it’s your choice. However, most automotive experts recommend sticking with your manufactured wheels because they are designed specifically for your car. They will provide you with all the required specifications for the best ride.
Yes, they might be more expensive than the aftermarket wheels, and they might need certain mechanical skill sets to be installed, but they’re worth it down the road.
The market has many aftermarket parts that plenty of car owners prefer to choose from. These parts are very attractive, and they are very nice looking. That’s why many car owners prefer to upgrade their vehicles and make them look better by switching to these aftermarket parts.
However, Automotive express typically suggests that you stick with your original components to prevent dealing with safety issues and other negative consequences that might cost you a ton. But, of course, this applies to installing aftermarket wheels, and it might not be the best idea if you would like to continue driving your car safely.
If you were driving a vehicle that has some major problems in the wheel hub or probably in the suspension system, it might be worth evaluating your condition and determining whether it’s worth fixing your car or not. In other words, if you’re switching to aftermarket wheels because you find that repair costs are very expensive, it might be better to sell your vehicle and purchase a better one that doesn’t have any problem.
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