When searching for OEM Wheels or OEM Rims you may have come across sellers offering great prices on what they call an OEM style or replica wheel. Many of the sellers go as far as claiming that the wheels are made to OEM specifications. We are going to discuss some of the myths about these wheels so that you will be able to make a good purchasing decision when it comes to replacing your factory wheels on your vehicle.
For those who are not sure what OEM means, it stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This is the company that makes the parts for a specific car manufacturer. For example, Delco makes parts for Chevrolet.
When factory wheels are made the primary goal of the manufacturer includes:
- durability from hazards in the road such as potholes
- durability from car wash acids, chemicals, road salt, etc.
- durability to protect against recalls and claims
- the ability to support the vehicle’s weight as well as the cargo and passengers and providing a large safety margin.
- proper fit so that the suspension of the vehicle and the brake systems will operate as they have been designed to, without any vibrations.
In comparison, when replica steel wheels are made the goal is to make the manufacturing costs as low as possible, which means using the cheapest methods of manufacturing and materials that are currently available. In addition, these replicas are made to fit several models that they were not designed for originally. Most of the time there is no research and development process for creating these OE wheels. This is because they want to minimize the cost.
When it comes to purchasing tires it is easy to think that these replica wheels will be the same as the OEM wheels that are available. However, most of these tires are made using a cheap manufacturing method called gravity casting. This is where aluminum will be poured into a mold and then cooled. The method results in a wheel that has a less dense aluminum as there is no pressure used.
In comparison, most factory wheels will use a low pressure casting that provides a stronger base. Replica wheels will tend to bend or crack more often since they are made out of this weaker material. So, you may think that you are saving money by purchasing these replica tires, the truth is that you are going to end up spending more because they end up needing replaced much more often.
When it comes to choosing tires for a vehicle the OEM is the much better choice. The replicas that are available will not fit as well. Remember, the companies that make replicas are looking for the cheapest way out. This means that they will create one tire that “fits” several makes and models. However, these are not fitted to the vehicles specifications, which can cause problems elsewhere in the vehicle such as in the suspension or with the brakes.