Debunking the Most Common Car Wheel Myths That Exist Today
Imagine putting your families lives at risk all because you bought unreliable, and unsafe wheels for your car.
And imagine hating every minute of driving because your new wheels have negatively impacted the noise levels and road grip in your car.
Choosing the right wheels is more important than you likely realize, and will ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, while also maximizing your car’s performance and comfort levels.
But purchasing the wrong type of wheels may not necessarily be your fault.
There’s been a lot of gossip and hearsay in the automotive industry lately, and a lot of these myths couldn’t be further from the truth!
We’ve got your back, however. We’re here to debunk all the most common car wheel myths that exist today so that you can buy with confidence.
Myth #1: The Newest and Best Looking Wheels Are the Most Expensive.
WRONG!: This statement couldn’t be more wrong. Understandably, someone could think this after seeing companies like XXR, STR, Rota release new designs to great fanfare over the last few years.
But at the same time, none of these wheels cost $900+ per rim either. So what gives?
Well, there are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that a lot of the “new” designs released recently aren’t exactly new, rather they’re 100% knockoffs of older discontinued designs (most of which were Japanese or European).
Myth #2: You Can’t True a Cast Wheel!
WRONG!: I’m not sure where this myth came about, but it is complete nonsense. All you need to do is look at any one of the major wheel companies’ catalogs, and there’s bound to be 1 or 2 wheels that are cast.
Now, that doesn’t mean all cast wheels are equal in quality by any means; there are still some low-end cast wheels out there that won’t be as strong/durable as others, but it’s not difficult to identify them either.
There are also different grades of forged metal too (similar to how there are tons of different grades of leather, and it’s up to the manufacturer to determine which one they use).
This means that not all forged wheels are equal in quality, either.
Just like anything, you get what you pay for; the best-known wheel manufacturers never try to fool their customers into thinking that their lower-cost products are just as good as their more expensive variants.
Myth #3: You Can Polish a Wheel!
WRONG!: This is another myth that just won’t die, but I’m happy to say that it has now been debunked permanently. Polish was created over 10 years ago by BBS specifically for wheel refurbishment.
So why would anyone want to risk potentially damaging their wheels by using some cheap jeweler’s polish at home?
If you want to clean your wheels, just get them wet and use a mild soap or shampoo.
Myth #4: Enkei Makes the Best Wheels Available!
CORRECT!: Enkei is considered by most to be the luxury/high-end wheel brand of choice. And almost every bit of research data we have on them points towards their products being better than average.
We have researched everything from face thickness, overall weight, hub bore integrity and more.
We have found that it doesn’t matter whether it’s an entry-level budget wheel or one of their premium “RPF1” series. Enkei always seems to make quality products without being over-priced.
Myth #5: Lightweight Wheels Are the Best Choice for Performance!
CORRECT!: Although many people already know of this misconception, it’s still important to remind everyone from time to time. A lightweight wheel makes a car faster.
It’s faster because rotating mass takes less energy to accelerate. And car handling is improved because a lighter wheel improves responsiveness.
Lightweight wheels are more desirable, so if you’re looking at a new set of wheels, then do yourself a favor and spend as little as possible on any wheel that weighs at least 10% less than stock.
Myth #6: Aftermarket Wheels Are Better Than Stock!
WRONG!: Many people think aftermarket wheels are better than stock. All you have to do is take a look at the guys who run these types of wheels and ask yourself why most of them don’t use nice lightweight aftermarket wheels.
The answer is because there’s no performance advantage to using them, they just look good.
Tires are responsible for 80-90% of your car’s ability to grip the road, but they’re also responsible for 80-90% of your car’s unsprung weight, too.
When you consider that most 18″ aftermarket wheels are at least 2-3 lbs heavier than OEM, the difference in weight is more than all 4 of your tires combined.
The reason lightweight forged wheels are so popular on race cars isn’t that they look good (they do), but because every ounce counts when it comes to racing.
Myth #7: You Can Tell How Good a Wheel Is Just By Looking at It!
WRONG!: This myth gets repeated so often because it’s partially correct. You can tell how good a wheel is just by looking at it IF it’s one of the more popular luxury aftermarket brands.
These manufacturers have made sure that everyone knows who they are and makes assumptions about them based on nothing other than name recognition alone.
If you did this with any random brand, you’d end up making some very bad purchases.
The reason this myth is partially correct is due to the fact that many popular brands put a lot of research and development into their products.
They’re usually better than average because it costs a lot more to do R&D for high-end luxury aftermarket wheel manufacturing than it does for cheaper department store wheels (people typically overlook this).
Want to Make Sure You Buy the Best Car Wheel for Your Vehicle?
We hope you found this article on car wheel myths enlightening. If you would like to learn more about how to make sure you get the best car wheels for your vehicle, and more on car ownership, please check out our blog!