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Spice Up Your Vehicle for Spring!

Whether you choose to get new wheels or just want to make the ones you currently have on your vehicle look great, click here for some simple maintenance tips.

There’s a reason why we call what we own and drive our “wheels.” And nothing sets us apart more dramatically than beautifully-styled, high-quality custom chrome, polished or painted rims from well-know manufacturers such as Pulse, American Racing, Avenue, Cragar Classic, Dub, Enkei, Foose, and many others available at your local Belle Tire. (Click Here For More Details)

The sales professionals at Belle Tire have the knowledge and experience to help you put together an affordable tire and wheel package that fits your needs and will make your vehicle really stand out in a crowd. They also have the experience to advise you about the benefits of plus sizing. Installing lower profile tires on wider and larger diameter rims can really enhance the appearance and performance of your car.

Whether you choose to get new wheels or just want to make the ones you currently have on your vehicle look great, here are some simple maintenance tips: Chrome and Polished Aluminum wheels look great, but require just a little extra effort to protect that factory finish and shine. Painted and clear coated custom wheels are more forgiving, but should still be handled with care to protect your investment. For all wheels, a simple hand washing with a mild dish soap and water will clean them up nicely. Dry thoroughly and finish with a soft nonabrasive cream wax to protect the wheel. Keep in mind that you should never wash a wheel when it is hot. Spraying cold water on your wheels when they are very hot can cause rapid contraction resulting in slight warping as well as stresses between different materials like chrome and underlying steel or aluminum. Over time, these shocks to the wheel can cause the chrome to begin flaking. Also avoid abrasive tools and materials like bristle brushes and steel wool that can permanently scratch your wheels. Lastly, always keep harsh cleaners including tire cleaners from coming into to contact with your wheels and damaging the finish.

Rules of Thumb

Washing your custom wheels once a week will keep road grime and brake dust from being ground in. When brake dust and other road dirt accumulates, wheels will trap salts and moisture in the air that can react with chrome and aluminum finishes and cause oxidation and pitting.

Avoid frequently using commercial car washes. Their equipment could scratch your wheels and commercial detergents are often very harsh. Also carefully check the label before using any wheel brake dust cleaner — many are too acidic to use on chromed wheels.

Winter weather and snow should be avoided at all cost. Corrosive salt and abrasive sand will wreak havoc on any finish. Put your factory wheels on for winter driving and save your custom wheels for prime cruising weather.

When in doubt as to how to clean and protect your custom wheels, the products you use to clean and protect the body of your car can usually be used safely. But as always, take a minute to read the labels for any warnings. Belle Tire also carries a full line of Mothers® polish especially formulated to keep wheels looking great.

Handling Minor Scrapes

Damage from curbs and other potential wheel hazards are unsightly, but usually not a real safety concern. On painted wheels a touch-up may be possible with matching paint ordered from the manufacturer. Scratches on aluminum may be buffed out if not too deep. But there is no real fix for scratched chrome. If you curb your chrome wheels, immediately apply a clear lacquer, like clear nail polish to reseal the chrome. After that has dried, also apply a light coat of non-abrasive cream wax. This should keep any moisture from getting underneath the chrome and causing it bubble up or peel away from the underlying wheel.

Custom wheels are an investment in the look and character of your vehicle. And like all investments, they need to be protected.

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Filed under: Articles, How To, Wheels and Rims, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Custom Wheels, More Than a Fashion Accessory

Summary: Custom wheels and rims are more than just a fashion accessory for some drivers, it is a performance upgrade. There are many reasons why you might like to invest in a set of custom alloy wheels including weight reduction and handling improvements.

Belle Tire

Custom Wheels at Belle Tire

To some, a car is just a car, but to many it’s much more. Your car, or truck, says something about you … your aspirations, your taste … your statement to the world of who you are, where you’re going and that you want to get there in style. For those folks that want to make their car their own, the best place to start is with custom wheels.

No one wants to be rocking a new outfit and then throw on an old pair of shoes, and that’s the reasoning for many automotive enthusiasts who replace their factory wheels with a stylish set of custom wheels. Also referred to as alloy wheels, custom wheels can have a dramatic impact on the appearance of your ride. However, there are other reasons beyond aesthetics as to why many choose to swap their original wheels for custom wheels.

One reason for making the move to custom wheels is the reduction of the unsprung weight of the wheels. Unsprung weight is the combined weight of all components connected to the wheel, which includes the custom wheel and tire, as well as the brakes, wheel bearings and a portion of the weight of the half shafts, springs and suspension links. With lighter alloy wheels you end up with reduced unsprung weight compared to steel wheels. Alloy metals provide greater strength and dramatic weight reductions over ferrous metals such as steel. Today, it is hard to find a high performance road car or world class racing vehicle that doesn’t benefit from using alloy wheels.

Why is unsprung weight an issue? Keeping the unsprung weight as low as possible helps your car or truck maintain optimum road contact. The higher the unsprung weight, the slower your suspension will react, thanks primarily to the inertia created by the weight of the wheel. Alloy wheels, being lighter than most steel wheel applications, help reduce unsprung weight, allowing the suspension system to react more quickly to road surface imperfections, thus maintaining better traction and helping your vehicle become less susceptible to road shock and cornering forces.

By reducing unsprung weight, alloy wheels provide more precise steering input and improved cornering characteristics. The added strength of a quality alloy wheel can also reduce tire deflection in cornering. This is particularly critical in a car equipped with high performance tires where lateral forces may approach 1.0g.

In addition to handling improvements, adding alloy wheels and lowering unsprung weight has further advantages. Keep in mind that the wheel, which is a moving part, builds up inertia more than a stationary part, like the axle. More inertia requires more energy to speed up, or slow down. The lighter rotational weight of alloy wheels can reduce the overall weight of your vehicle, all of which can provide a slight increase in acceleration, braking and fuel economy.

As mentioned above, the reduced weight of the vehicle and will improve brake performance, but there’s more than just a lighter-weight issue that will help the brakes. Most alloy wheels are designed to dissipate brake-heat build up more efficiently than their steel counterparts. The metals in alloy wheels are excellent conductors of heat and improve heat dissipation from the brakes. Besides the alloy material they are made from many custom wheels are designed with additional slots that allow better airflow over a greater surface area, allowing cool air to flow over the brake calipers and rotors. Better brake performance can help reduce the risk of brake failure and increase their life expectancy.

Another important consideration for many custom wheel buyers is the plus concept. Plus-sizing your wheels and tires is an excellent option to improve both the performance and appearance of your vehicle. Plus-sizing … using a larger diameter wheel with a lower profile tire … maintains the overall diameter of the tire, helping maintain accurate odometer and speedometer characteristics. Performance-wise, a shorter sidewall tire delivers gains in quickness in steering response and better lateral stability. On the appearance side the visual appeal is obvious; most alloy wheels are a better look than the black sidewall of the tire, thus more wheel + less sidewall = a very attractive look.

All-in-all there are many reasons why you might like to invest in a set of custom alloy wheels. They will require an initial cash investment, but depending on how much you spend, you could find that they save you money in the long run with improvements in fuel economy and increased brake-life. Be honest with what you need, factor in your budget considerations, and you’ll be flying high when it comes to keeping your vehicle well grounded and looking good.

About Belle Tire
People have trusted Belle Tire for the best value since 1922. Because at Belle Tire we challenge ourselves every day to make sure that you always get the lowest tire price, period. Prove it to yourself. Take the Belle Tire Price Challenge. Challenge us online, over the phone or even challenge us right in the store. Come in to any Belle Tire, and we’ll check other stores’ prices with you, right at the counter, and prove to you that Belle Tire has the lowest tire prices, PERIOD! Plus, at Belle Tire, you’ll always get out the door with more value, services and protection with every tire installation than the competition can offer, at any price! For the Lowest Tire Price, Period and great low prices on Custom Wheels, Alignments, Brakes, Batteries, Oil and Lube, Shocks & Struts, Windshield Repair and Replacement, and more. Visit http://www.belletire.com and also join our online communities: BELLE TIRE CARES BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

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