OEM Wheels: Replace or Repair?
by Tim Gowens
OEM wheels (Original Equipment Manufacturer) come in many different styles and sizes. It is hard to keep track of all of them and I have been doing this for 20 plus years. It seems to change so drastically from year to year. In the OEM wheels category there will be the standard front and rear wheel drive black steel wheels, Alloy wheels, Custom alloy wheels, Polycast wheels, Rally wheels. Chrome wheels… the sky is the limit.
Not only do OEM wheels come in a number of different types of materials, they also have different finishes. OEM wheels can be painted steel wheels (varied colors – but mostly black and silver). Other varieties include the fully chrome aluminum wheel, polished aluminum wheels, painted aluminum wheels (many varied colors) and machined alloy wheels – usually with a color in the pockets or vents of the wheel. There are OEM wheels that are alloy wheels, however they have a plastic chrome face on it. These OEM wheels are called chrome-clad wheels. It is a lesser expensive alternative to a wheel that has been completely chrome plated. There are OEM wheels that have a rubber face that is attached to a steel wheel called a polycast wheel (used by Ford and other manufacturers in the 80’s and 90’s).
With so many different OEM wheels being used in manufacturing, and many varied technical data that must be understood, it is imperative that you choose a reputable wheel company to handle your replacement or repair requirements. Most OEM wheels can be fully restored back to factory condition at a fraction of the cost of going to the dealership.
Written on Thursday, January 16, 2014 by