As well as improving the looks of a vehicle, alloy wheels allow more rubber to be in contact with the road, thereby improving safety. However, if a problem develops with the alloy wheel, it can impact other areas of the vehicle. The tyre, the steering and the balance of the vehicle can all be affected by a faulty alloy wheel. Let's look at how this can happen, and how to locate and fix them.
If the alloy is poorly fitted, it can eventually reduce the condition of the tyre valve. This can cause the air to escape from this area on a constant basis. This results in repeated flat tyres. Also, if there is a crack or a poor seal in the alloy itself, it can lead to air escaping. Buckled or slightly dented alloy wheels can weaken, allowing the air to escape from here as well.
If you notice that you have any weak areas, make some repairs. Compounds can be purchased to apply over cracks and the air valves can be repositioned so they are not susceptible to damage. Any dents can be carefully knocked or tapped out.
Sometimes, the steering wheel can begin to vibrate as you are driving. In many cases, this is caused by a weakening of the alloy wheel; this unbalances the vehicle slightly and puts added strain and stress on one half of the vehicle. As the wheel rotates, the driver can feel this unbalance through the vibrations created.
If your passengers in the back can feel a vibration, it is likely that one of the rear wheel has developed the same fault. Of course, if both the passenger and driver feel a vibration, it is likely that a rear wheel and a front wheel is buckled. Ideally, the alloy(s) should be replaced when they have weakened this far.
Sometimes, you may feel that there is a problem with one of the alloy wheels, but can't seem to locate the issue. Most dents and buckles occur on the inside section of the alloy wheel. This makes it, in many cases, very difficult for a person to locate the buckle, even if they are looking in the correct area. Use a torch to light inside and around the alloy, and carefully examine the inside rim of the wheel. Be aware that small dents can turn into buckles.
You can apply a special coating to your alloy wheels, to protect them from the elements and provide an extra layer of security.