What are the car wheels, and how do they differ?

Probably every driver secretly dreams to make his car more comfortable, more manageable and safer. There are many ways to do this by implementing sophisticated technical solutions in the suspension, but few people know that ordinary wheels can significantly expand the capabilities of the car. There are at least four types of wheels, each with its own pros and cons.

Stamped rims

Pressed rims are usually fitted to low-end models of cars in minimum configurations. Their production is the simplest process, which is why it is much easier to create a full-scale mass production of such products than, for example, to produce forged or cast discs.

Among the advantages are the following:

  • The lowest prices on the market – you can buy a complete set without significant costs;
  • Absolute availability of all shapes and sizes – you can easily replace a failed disc;
  • High cushioning allows you to remove critical loads from suspension elements and transfer them to the disc;
  • Terrific repairability. Even severe deformations can be repaired more than once on professional equipment and even achieve factory balance;
  • Brake discs and important suspension components on cars with stamped discs will be clean, unlike cast or forged versions;
  • While other discs can become extremely brittle at low temperatures, stampings retain their original durability thanks to their increased ductility, ensuring driving safety even in a forty-degree frost.

If we talk about the disadvantages, there are not so many. Firstly, it is difficult to find a stamped disc with an interesting design solution – most often they have a standard shape, which can go against the face of the expensive car.

In addition, despite its practicality, dies are not notable for high durability, which is why especially inattentive drivers risk to regularly fix disks, and after a few cycles of repair may require their complete replacement.

Spoiling the overall picture is the need to balance the wheels from time to time. Pressed rims are not susceptible to corrosion, and their heavy weight increases fuel consumption, which negatively affects the handling and braking distance of the vehicle.

Alloy wheels

Alloy wheels are an indicator of a driver’s good wealth. Many manufacturers of premium cars from the factory install these variants of disks with brand logos.

Casting has a rich set of advantages:

  1. First of all it should be noted the widest selection of sizes, shapes and colors.
  2. Made of aluminum alloy, they have up to 50 percent less weight than stamped.
  3. A car with such disks has a little lower fuel consumption, while its maneuverability is increased, due to which the car has better road holding at high speed.
  4. the car’s braking system works better at the expense of intensive air cooling of brake disks, which is impossible with stamps.
  5. Thanks to the absence in its composition of iron, they are absolutely not subject to corrosion, even in case of severe damage of the outer layer.
  6. Despite the almost complete lack of ductility, cast discs are incredibly strong. You have to try very hard to break them.
  7. By installing alloy wheels on his car, the driver can reduce the load on the chassis, transmission and engine, which will allow them to work longer before overhaul.

But the abundance of advantages at once can turn into one big disadvantage – for example, a busted disc can irrevocably spoil a tire, and at high speed may even cause an accident. Therefore, alloy wheels require careful attention from the driver.


Any cracks and chips require immediate replacement of the part, and this is another big disadvantage – cast discs absolutely cannot be repaired in any way. And if to drive with one wheel into a deep hole, it is possible to remain without suspension, as cast has absolutely no shock absorption.

Another disadvantage is the low resistance to salts, acids and alkalis, so it is necessary to wash them periodically – much more often than the car itself.

Forged wheels

Forged disks are much better, as they are not afraid of almost any environmental impact. The advantages of such disks disproportionately outweigh the disadvantages, and here are just some of them:

For example, forged disks do not require balancing throughout their entire service life. They are not affected by aggressive reagents, which is why their service life can be ten times higher than that of their counterparts. Such disks are durable, which is impossible to say about the previous variants of wheel disks, as it is achieved by hardening and aging of metal products.

By reducing the volume of metal through repeated compression on professional equipment, it is possible to obtain even lower weight in forged disks than in cast or stamped disks. They are characterized by even greater maneuverability, even less stress on the chassis and power train and the lowest fuel consumption compared with their analogues.

In addition, due to innovative forging technology, it is possible to create real works of art – only forged rims can be so beautiful.

The unique chemical composition of forged products with the addition of magnesium and copper allows discs to retain the highest strength while remaining malleable at the same time. Surprisingly, forged wheels do not bend, yet have good damping properties.

Another important aspect is the great maintainability of forged wheels. They can be restored in any condition to the factory parameters.

Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of forged disks is their prohibitively high cost. The price for the set may reach three hundred thousand rubles and even higher, if we are talking about discs for racing cars.

Collapsible disks

An interesting type of forged disks are their collapsible counterparts. As a rule, they consist of three parts – rim, core and flange. The last element may be absent, if it is not crucial for the driver to align the wheel offset by a few centimeters from the wheel arch.

By the way, the drivability of the car after such an upgrade significantly increases, and this is an incomparable plus of prefabricated discs.

Most often the prefabricated disks are used for car tuning, when the same disc can be dismantled and reassembled during usage, like a construction set, selecting the design and color, and changing the dynamic properties of the car.

Though the assembled disks are forged with all their advantages, according to auto experts, they are not practical and they do not correspond to the price level, which is dictated by the market. The matter is that the joined parts in articulation places have a natural wear, which will sooner or later make itself felt.

At the same time, prefabricated discs are much more repairable because of the interchangeability of demountable parts, but such a repair of each wheel will cost the car owner a pretty penny.

The first place among the obvious advantages is an infinitely wide choice of products – there is no such a wide range of any other type of discs, but the price for the set they have, as well as forged ones, is measured in hundreds of thousands of rubles.

Other disadvantages include the very high weight of the product. Even if the disk will be made of titanium, the bolts that connect the demountable parts will inevitably increase the weight of the disk many times.

A significant disadvantage is also the selection of products, when it is necessary to replace one or two assembled discs in the event of breakage. It is almost impossible to find the exact disc that was on your car. The only option is to make a single copy to order. The price tag of such a product for obvious reasons immediately soars several times.

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