WHEEL TALK

04Oct 2019

1. Check Tire Tread and Air Pressure

It is recommended to check the tire’s remaining tread life and to look out for any uneven or unusual wearing. Worn and balding tires can be highly dangerous, specially during the winter. Tire pressure should be kept at the recommended PSI or slightly higher if the winter season is approaching. Tires tend to lose pounds of air pressure during the winter season; subsequently, your vehicles TPMS system may alert you of low tire pressure.

Good tire tread is the key to staying on the road and staying safe when the weather includes snow and ice. You can do your part to ensure your tires are in good shape with just a few simple steps.

2. Switch To Snow Tires (If necessary)

The majority of cars sold today are sold with all season tires. These are perfect for drivers who live in areas that don’t experience extreme cold, rain, ice, or snow. Those living in a snowy area should consider switching their summer tires in exchange for snow tires. Snow tires (also known as winter tires) are specifically designed to remain functional during the winter months. In the extreme cold, the specially formulated rubber remains soft and flexible while displacing snow. This flexibility allows the tire to maintain constant traction and provide stability.

3. Check your engine coolant

As the name implies, antifreeze keeps your engine from freezing during the cold winter months. Without it, your engine can freeze and prevent your vehicle from turning on or running.

By following your vehicle’s manual, you  check your antifreeze levels. If the antifreeze level is low, you can simply top it off with more antifreeze.

4. Install Winter Windshield Wipers and Washer Fluid

During a harsh climate like winter, your regular all-season windshield wipers will not cut it.  Winter windshield wipers are rubber-clad blades that prevent ice and snow build-up on themselves. We highly recommend purchasing some if you live in snow-prone areas.When winter comes, switch out your washer fluid for winter washer fluid. Although this may not be necessary in certain locations such as Southern California, winter washer fluid is extremely useful. Most are specifically designed to help loosen ice and snow from your windshield, making it much easier to deice your vehicle.

5. Switch To A Winter-Grade Oil

If you live in an area with where the winter months can be excruciatingly cold, you may want to switch to a winter-grade engine oil. You will want to chose a thinner engine oil. For example, if you normally use 10W-30 oil  on your vehicle, then you may want to use 5W-30 oil during the winter months. The viscosity of your oil in colder weather is indicated by the first number in the oil specification, with a lower number indicating thinner oil.

19Aug 2019

German car manufacturers assign internal model codes to each type / generation of vehicle that they produce. This code is extremely beneficial in identifying parts and accessories for vehicles that span multiple generations.

Audi Model Codes

Audi use a Typ (or type) code system in which a number follows a letter (for example: Audi A4 8K).

TypeModel
42R8 Coupe (2007-), GT (2010-), GT Spyder (2011-), Spyder (2009-)
89Q 80/90 Coupe/Cabriolet/Sedan/Avant (1987-1992)
4A 100 Sedan/Avant (1991-1994), A6 Sedan/Avant (1995-1997), S6 Sedan/Avant (1995-1997), S6 Plus Avant (1996-1997)
4B A6 Sedan/Avant (1997-2004), RS6 Sedan/Avant (2002-2005), S6 Sedan/Avant (1997-2004)
4D A8 Sedan(1997-2002), S8 Sedan (1994-2002)
4E A8 Sedan (2002-2009), S8 Sedan (2002-2010)
4F A6 Allroad (2007-2011), A6 Sedan/Avant (2004-2011), S6 Sedan/Avant (2004-2011), RS6 Sedan/Avant (2008-2011)
4G A6 Sedan/Avant (2011-), S6 Sedan/Avant (2011-)
4G8 A7 Sportback (2011-), S7 Sportback (2012-)
4H A8 Sedan (2010-), S8 Sedan (2010-)
4L Q7 SUV (2006-2009)
4L9 Q7 SUV (2009-)
4Z A6 Allroad (2000-2005)
8B Coupe (1989-1996)
8D A4 Sedan/Avant (1994-2001), RS4 Avant (2000-2002), S4 Sedan/Avant (1997-2001)
8E A4 Sedan/Avant (2001-2005), RS4 Sedan/Avant (2006-2008), S4 Sedan/Avant (2001-2005)
8EC A4 Sedan(2005-2008), S4 Sedan(2005-2008)
8ED A4 Avant (2005-2008), S4 Avant (2005-2008)
8F7 A5 Cabriolet (2010-), S5 Cabriolet (2009-)
8G Cabriolet (1992-2000)
8H A4 Cabriolet (2003-2005), S4 Cabriolet (2004-2005)
8HE A4 Cabriolet (2005-2007), RS4 Cabriolet (2007-2009), S4 Cabriolet (2005-2007)
8J TT RS Coupe/Roadster (2010-), TT/TTS Coupe/Roadster: (2007-)
8K A4 Allroad (2010-), A4 Sedan/Avant (2008-), S4 Sedan/Avant (2008-)
8L A3 Hatchback/Sportback (1997-2003), S3 Hatchback/Sportback (1997-2003)
8N TT Coupe/Roadster (1999-2006)
8P A3 Hatchback/Sportback (2004-), S3 Hatchback/Sportback (2004-), RS3 Sportback (2011-)
8P8 A3 Cabriolet (2008-)
8R Q5 SUV (2009-)
8T A5 Coupe/Sportback (2008-), RS5 Coupe (2010-), S5 Coupe/Sportback (2008-)
8U Q3 SUV (2011-)
8X A1 Hatchback/Sportback (2011-)
8Z A2 Hatchback/Sportback (2000-2005)

BMW Model Codes

BMW uses a series of development codes for internal numbering. Although they were originally prefixed with E (for Entwicklungscode) followed by a number, all new codes start with ‘F’ (BMW) followed by a number.

CodeModel
E134kW Electric vehicle Prototype (1991)
E1/137kW Electric vehicle Prototype (1993)
E2US version of the E1 Prototype (1993)
E32500-3000 Si (1968-1977)
E3/2First Facelift E3 (1971-1973)
E3/73Second Facelift E3 (1973-1977)
E3/LongE3 Extended Wheelbase (100mm) (1974-1977)
E4Plastic-E118 wagon ti Bayer Prototype (1968)
E5Successor Glas 1300 Prototype (1968)
E602 Series Touring (1971-1974)
E6/73 Facelift E6 (1973-1974)
E7 Electrical 114 (02 Series to the Olympics) (1972)
E8 Facelift 1800/2000 (1969-1972)
E9 2500-3000 Coupe (CS, CSI) (1968-1975)
E9/73 Facelift E9 Coupe (1973-1975)
E10 2002 – 2002 tii (1968-1975)
E10C 2002 full cabriolet (1971)
E10T 2002 urbo (1973-1975)
E10Cab 2002 clip-Cabriolet (Targa) (1971-1975)
E10/73 Facelift E10 (1973-1975)
E11 E3 M27 V8 engine Prototype (1973)
E12 5 Series Sedan (1972-1976)
E12/1 5 Series Sedan (1976-1981)
E12/4 518, 520, 520i (1972-1981)
E12/5 5 Series with M60 engine (1977-1981)
E12/6 5 Series with M68 engine (1972-1981)
E12/8 5 Series South African production (1973-1981)
E12/1S M 535i (1980-1981)
E13 VCL-swimming-terrain vehicle (1970)
E14 SUV nationally (0.5t) (1970)
E15 Plastic 2.8-liter Coupe (1970)
E16 E9 with M27 V8 engine (1970)
E17 Plastic Coupé Bolkow (0.5 gl) (1972)
E18 6.5 liter coupe with Bizzarini (1970)
E19 Bertone study (based on E114) (1970)
E20 2002 Turbo (1973-1975)
E21 3 Series (1975-1982)
E21/1 Facelift 3 Series 9/77 (1977-1979)
E21/2 Facelift 3 Series 9/79 (1979-1983)
E21/3 316-3 Door 320i (Project) (1975-1976)
E21/LA 315 (development from 7/73) (1977-1983)
E21/5 3 with M-60 engine (development from 7/73) (1977-1982)
E21Cab 3 Series Cabriolet (Baur) (1976-1983)
E21/R-13 for Junior Team Kit (1977)
E212Mid-engined car (based on E121) (1975)
E237 Series (development from 10/72) G-successor (1977-1979)
E23/17 series facelift (1979-1982)
E23/27 series facelift (1982-1986)
E23S7 series with S38 unit (1984-1986)
E246 Series (1976-1982)
E24/16 Series with E28 Platform (1982-1987)
E24/2Facelift 6 Series (1988-1989)
E24/1S6 Series with S38 (1984-1987)
E24/2SFacelift 6 Series 4-valve (1988-1989)
E25Turbo X1 (1972-1975)
E26M1 Turbo Sport Coupe (E25 + M33 based) (1973)
E26/1M1 (development from 4/76) (1978-1981)
E26/4M1-evolution model (1977)
E27Alternative to E23 and E3 (1973-1974)
E285 Series (1981-1987)
E28GR5 Series-E12-great successor (1974-1977)
E28SHandmade M5 (1984-1987)
E29Electric vehicle, E107 based (1977)
E29/2Electric City-Coupe (1979)
E303 Series (1982-1990)
E30/23 Series two-door (1982-1990)
E30/2C3 Series Cabriolet (1985-1993)
E30/2SM3 (1986-1990)
E30/2SCM3 Convertible (1988-1991)
E30/2Cab3 Series Baur Convertible TC2 (Baur) (1982-1991)
E30/43 Series 4-door (development from 9/79)
E30/4CabBaur Convertible 3-TC2-four-door (1982-1991)
E30/53 Series Touring (1987-1994)
E30/163 Series 4wd (325iX) (1985-1990)
E30ZE30 Z1 of ZT (80 pieces) (1988-1989)
E30/88Facelift E30 convertible (1987-1990)
Z1Z1 roadster (1988-1991)
E318 Series (1989-1999)
E31S850 CSi Coupe (1992-1996)
E327 Series (1986-1994)
E32/27 Series Extended Wheelbase Version (1987-1994)
E33Electro-E21 (1987-1990)
E345 Series (1988-1995)
E34/25 Series Coupe (1981)
E34/35 Series Cabriolet (1987-1995)
E34/55 Series Touring (1990-1997)
E34/16Six-cylinder 5-wheel-drive Sedan (1991-1996)
E34/5-16 Six-cylinder 5 Series Touring all-wheel- (1991-1996)
E34SM5 handmade (1988-1995)
E34/5SM5 Touring handmade (1992-1995)
E35Utility Carts with SDP (1970-1979)
E363 Series (1990-1998)
E36/23 Series Coupe (1992-1999)
E36/2SM3 Coupe (1992-1999)
E36/2C3 Series Convertible (1993-1999)
E36/2CSM3 Convertible (1996)
E36/33 Series Touring (1995-1999)
E36/43 Series Sedan (1991-1998)
E36/4SM3 Sedan (1997)
E36/53 Series compact (1994-1998)
E36/5SM3 compact (1993-2000)
E36/63 Series Compact (five) (1981-1982)
E36/7Z3 roadster (1994-2002)
E36/7SM roadster (1996-2002)
E36/8Z3 Coupe (1997-2002)
E36/8SM coupe (1997-2002)
E36/4CabBaur Topcabriolet TC4 (1996)
E37Predevelopment electric vehicle (1981)
E387 Series Sedan (1994-2001)
E38/27 Series Extended version (1994-2001)
E38/37 Series Protection (1998-2001)
E38/L7L7 (1996-2001)
E395 Series-E34 successor (1995-2003)
E39SM5 Sedan (1998-2003)
E39/25 Series Touring (1997-2004)
E39/2SM5 Touring (1997-2003)
E39/35 Series Coupe (6 Series) Base (1995-2003)
E39/45 Series Convertible (6 Series)
E423 small front-wheel drive
E44Van Project
E46/23 Series Coupe (1998-2006)
E46/2SSix-cylinder M3 Coupe (1999-2006)
E46/2C3 Series Convertible (1998-2006)
E46/2CSSix-cylinder M3 Convertible (2000-2006)
E46/33 Series Touring (1998-2005)
E46/43 Series Sedan (1997-2005)
E46/53 compact (three-door) (2000-2004)
E46/5-SZ2 Coupe (2002)
E48Front-drive 3 Series, a small prototype
E49Front-drive 3 Series, larger prototype
E50Successor for Mini – Prototype
E51V12 Coupe
E52 Z8 roadster (1999-2003)
E53 X5 (1999-2006)
E53S LMR X5 with McLaren engine (2000)
E55 X5 Extended Wheelbase (2000)
E56 Front-wheel drive platform for 2006
E59 6 Series Coupe
E59/2 6 Series Convertible
E60 5 Series Sedan (2002-2007)
E60N Facelift 5 Series Sedan (2005-2010)
E61 5 Series Sedan (2002-2007)
E61N Facelift 5 Series Sedan (2005-2011)
E63 6 Series Coupe (2002-2007)
E63N Facelift 6 Series Coupe (2006-2011)
E64 6 Series Convertible (2002-2007)
E64N Facelift 6 Series Convertible (2006-2011)
E65 7 Series (2001-2008)
E66 7 Series Extended WheelBase (2001-2008)
E67 7 Series Protection (2001-2008)
E68 7 Series Hydrogen Power(2005-2007)
E70 X5 Sports Activity Vehicle (2006-2013)
E71 X6 Sports Activity Coupe (2008-2015)
E72 X6 Sports Activity Coupé – ActiveHybrid (2010-2015)
E81 1 Series 3-door (2007-2011)
E82 1 Series Coupe (2007-2014)
E82/2 Z2 (2006)
E83 X3 Sports Activity Vehicle (2003-2006)
E83N Facelift X3 Sports Activity Vehicle (2006-2010)
E84 X1 Sports Activity Vehicle (2009-2016)
E85 Z4 Roadster and Z4 M Roadster (2002-2009)
E86 Z4 Coupe and Z4 M Coupe (2006-2009)
E87 1 Series 5-door Sports Hatch (2004-2006)
E87N Facelift 1 Series 5-door Sports Hatch (2006-2011)
E88 1 Series Convertible (2008-2015)
E89 Z4 roadster (2009-2016)
E90 3 Series Sedan (2005-2012)
E90N Facelift 3 Series Sedan (2008-2012)
E91 3 Series Touring (2005-2013)
E91N Facelift 3 Series Touring (2008-2013)
E92 3 Series Coupe (2006-2010)
E92N Facelift 3 Series Coupe (2010-2013)
E93 3 Series Convertible (2007-2010)
E93N Facelift 3 Series Convertible (2010-2014)
E94 4 Series Compact
E99 V Series 2005
F01 7 Series (2008-2015)
F02 7 Series Extended WheelBase (2008-2015)
F03 7 Series Protection (2009-2015)
F04 7 Series ActiveHybrid (2010-2015)
F06 6 Series Gran Coupe (2011-2018)
F07 5 Series Gran Turismo (2011-2018)
F10 5 Series (2010-2017)
F11 5 Series Touring (2011-2018)
F12 6 Series Convertible (2012-2019)
F13 6 Series Coupe (2011-2018)
F14 6 Series Gran Coupe (2012-2019)
F15 X5 Sports Activity Vehicle (2013-2020)
F18 5 Series Extended WheelBase (2010-2016)
F20 1 Series 5-door (2011-2018)
F21 1 Series 3-door (2012-2019)
F22 2 Series Coupe (2014-2021)
F23 2 Series Cabriolet (2014-2021)
F25 X3 Sports Activity Vehicle (2011-2018)
F30 3 Series Sedan (2012-2019)
F31 3 Series Touring (2012-2019)
F32 3 Series Coupe (4-series) (2012-2019)
F33 3 Series Convertible (4 series) (2012-2019)
F34 3 Series Gran Turismo (2013-2020)
F35 3 Series Extended WheelBase (2015-2022)
F44 1 Series GT (FWD) (2013-2020)
F45 2 Series Touring (FWD) (2014-2021)
F46 2 Series City (FWD) (2014-2021)
F47 X2 (2016-2024)
F48 X1 (2015-2022)
i3i3 (Megacity Vehicle – Project i) (2013-2020)
i8 i8 ( Vision EfficientDynamics) (2014-2016)
FAST Family Activity Sports Tourer (2014-2022)
CAT Compact Activity Tourer (Sports Van)
JOY 1 Series 2 Door (FWD)
442 i100 Coupe ActiveHybrid (2013)

Mercedes-Benz Model Codes

Model Code Prefix
W: Saloon/General
S: Estate
C: Coupe
A: Cabriolet
CL: Sports Coupe
V: Extended wheelbase
R: Roadster
X: Crossover SUV
G: Cross-country Vehicle

CodeModel
R107SL Class Coupe/Convertible (1971-1988)
W124E Class Sedan (1984-1995)
C124E Class Coupe (1984-1995)
A124E Class Convertible (1984-1995)
S124E Class Wagon (1984-1995)
W126S Class Sedan (1979-1990)
C126S Class Coupe (1979-1990)
R129SL Class Coupe/Convertible (1989-1998)
W140SL Class Sedan (1990-1998)
C140CL Class Coupe (1993-1999)
W163M Class (1993-1999)
W164M Class (2005-2011)
W166M Class (2011-)
X164GL Class (2006-)
W168A Class (1997-2004)
C168A Class (1997-2004)
W169A Class (2004-)
C169A Class (2004-)
R170SLK Class Convertible (1996-2004)
R171SLK Class Convertible (2004-2011)
R172SLK Class Convertible (2011)
C197SLS Class Coupe (2010-2015)
R197SLS Class Convertible (2011-2015)
C199SLR Class (2004-2010)
R199SLR Class Coupe/Convertible (2007-2010)
W201C Class Sedan (1982-1993)
W202C Class Sedan (1997-2000)
W203C Class Sedan (2000-2007)
S203C Class Wagon (2001-2007)
CL203C Class Coupe (2001-2008)
CLC203C Class Coupe (2008-2011)
W204C Class Sedan (2008-2014)
S204C Class Wagon (2008-2014)
X204GLK Class (2008-2015)
C207CLK Class Coupe (2010-2017)
A207CLK Class Convertible (2010-2017)
C208CLK Class Coupe (1997-2002)
A208CLK Class Convertible (1997-2002)
C209CLK Class (2002-2009)
A209CLK Class Coupe (2003-2009)
W210E Class Sedan (1995-2002)
S210E Class Wagon (1996-2003)
W211E Class Sedan (2002-2009)
S211E Class Wagon (2003-2009)
W212E Class Sedan (2009-2016)
S212E Class Wagon (2009-2016)
C212E Class Coupe (1999-2006)
C215CL Class Coupe (1999-2006)
C216CL Class Coupe (2006-2014)
C218CLS Class Sedan (2011)
W219CLS Class Sedan (2004-2010)
W220S Class Sedan (1998-2005)
W221S Class Sedan (2005-2005)
R230SL Class Convertible (2001-2012)
R231SL Class Convertible (2012-)
W245B Class (2006-2011)
W246B Class (2011-)
W251R Class (2005-2013)
V251R Class (2005-2013)
V414Vaneo (2001-2005)
G460G Class (1979-1989)
G461G Class (1989-)
G463G Class (1990-2018)
A463G Class (2012-)
W463G Class (2012-)
W638V Class (1996-2003)
W639V Class (2003-2014)
W901V Class (1995-2006)
W906V Class (2006-)

Mini Model Codes

CodeModel
R50 Coupe (2000-2006)
R52 Convertible (2002-2008)
R53 Coupe (2000-2006)
R55 Clubman (2006-2014)
R56 Coupe(2006-2015)
R57 Convertible (2009-)
R58 Coupe (2012-2015)
R59 Roadster(2012-2015)
R60 Countryman(2010-2016)
R61 Paceman (2013-2016)
F54 Clubman (2013-2016)
F55 5 Door Hatchback (2013-2016)

Porsche Model Codes

CodeModel
911 Coupe (1970-1989)
912 Coupe (1965-1969)
914 Coupe (1970-1976)
924 Coupe/GT/Turbo (1976-1988)
928 Carrera/GT(1978-1988)
944 Coupe/Cabriolet/Turbo (1983-1991)
955 Cayenne (2002-2006)
957 Cayenne (2007-2010)
958 Cayenne (2010-)
959 Coupe (1987-1988)
964 Carrera/Cabriolet/Speedster/Targa/Turbo (1989-1994)
968 Coupe/Cabriolet/Turbo (1992-1995)
981 Boxster/Cayman (2012-2016)
982 Boxster/Cayman (2016-)
986 Boxster (1996-2005)
987 Boxster (2005-2012)
987C Cayman (2005-2012)
970 Panamera (2009-)
991 Carrera/Cabriolet/GT3/Targa/Turbo (2011-2019)
992 Carrera/Cabriolet (2019-)
993 Carrera/Cabriolet (1993-1998)
996 Carrera/Cabriolet/GT2/GT3/GT3 RS/Turbo (1997-2005)
997 Carrera/Cabriolet/GT2/GT2 RS/GT3/GT3 RS/Turbo (2005-2012)

Smart Model Codes

CodeModel
A450 Fortwo (1998-2007)
C450 Fortwo Cabrio (2000-2007)
A452 Fortwo (2007-2014)
11Feb 2019

Ever wonder what the Load Index and Speed Rating on your tires mean? Ever wondered if they were important to know? Well, wonder no more. In today’s blog article, we will talk about what speed rating and load index are and why they matter to your safety.

Load Index

The load index is a two or three digit number assigned to a tire’s load carrying capabilities. The higher the number, the larger the weight the wheel can carry. Inversely, the smaller the number, the lower the amount the wheel is capable of hauling. Using the chart above, and using 255 40R17 94W tires as our example, the load index would be 94. A load index of 94 identifies the tire’s load carrying capabilities to be 1,477 lb (pounds) per tire.

One should be careful when purchasing new wheels because tires of the same size can have different load indexes. If you buy tires with a higher load index than what was originally on your car, you have increased your car’s load capacity. If you purchase tires with a lower load index than the original tires, you have lowered the load carrying capacity of your car. Although there is nothing wrong with buying tires with a higher load index, you should be cautious of buying tires with a lower load index. You may be accustomed to carrying a higher load than your tires will be able to support.

Speed Rating 

Contrary to what you may believe, the speed rating isn’t based merely the maximum speed at which a tire can be safely driven. The tire’s grip, cornering ability, ride comfort, and wear durability, are all taken into account when determining a wheel’s speed rating. As such, as the speed rating increases so do the tire’s grip and cornering abilities. At the same time, the tire’s tread life will decrease. This is highly evident in car racing, such as Formula 1, Nascar and Indycar racing. The car can travel at incredibly high speeds; however, the tires have very littel tread life. A lower speed rating will generally mean the tire has a higher tread life. This can be witnessed in 18-wheelers. Using the chart above and our example 255 40R17 94W tire, the speed rating would be W. A W speed rating indicates the tire can be safely driven at speeds up to 168 mph.

It is crucial to note that speed ratings are only applicable to undamaged and unmodified tires. Other factors including under-inflation and over-inflation will change the tires speed rating and their reliability. Most tire manufacturers state repaired tires that have been punctured no longer maintain the original speed rating because the original structural strength has been compromised.

If you are unsure about which tires to get for you vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact us at 714.239.1122. Our highly trained sales team will be more than happy to assist you.

04Feb 2019

Are you tired of your chrome rims looking old, dirty, and not shining to their full potential? After today’s article, people will be asking you where you purchased your new set of chrome wheels. Little will people know, all you did was adequately clean and polish them.

First things first: we must wash the wheel with the least aggressive method. Get a bucket filled with warm water and car soap. Use a soft-bristled brush to help loosen any dirt or debris stuck on the wheel. Never use a hard-bristled brush, wire brush, or scrubbing pad to clean your wheels. These products could potentially damage the chrome plating and lead to pitting and rust. If your chrome wheels still have visible debris, water stains, or road grime, you may use a wheel cleaner spray. We strongly advise you to avoid wheel cleaners that contain any harsh chemicals, such as acids and ammonia. Do not to leave the product on for longer than recommended. Once clean, dry the wheel with a chamois or microfiber towel. Never let the wheel air dry, as this will likely create water spots.

Should your chrome wheels need a little tender loving care, follow these next steps. This process will help get rid of minor surface rust, corrosion, and hard water marks. As long as the wheel is not physically damaged, you should encounter no problem restoring your wheel to an almost like-new condition.

Making sure the wheel is thoroughly dry, we will move forward with a metal polish. There are polishes specifically designed for chrome wheels; however, an all-metal polish will work just fine. Keep in mind; however, if your wheels have a clear coat or powder coat, then we advise you to not continue with this process. The abrasives in the metal polish will eat through the clear coat and powder coat.

To assist with the process of bringing back your chrome wheels to life, you ultra-fine steel wool pads will come in handy. These wool pads are specifically graded 0000. It is crucial you only use Super-Fine/Ultra-Fine 0000 steel wool pads. If any other type of steel wool is used, you will most likely scratch the chrome.

Apply some metal polish onto the steel wool, and work your way around the wheel. Since the wool is flexible, you can stretch it and mold as required. Although this process is relatively gentle on the wheels, be careful not to apply too much pressure. Only use a little extra elbow grease when needed and in rust-covered sections. Each wheel should take about a minute or two, after which you should wipe off the residue with a terry towel. You should be able to immediately notice the difference in shine and clarity. Should some areas need extra work, you may apply more metal shine and work on the wheel.

Once properly polished, all the hard water marks and surface corrosion should be gone. The only thing that should stay behind is a very nice shiny gloss. A good indication of the quality of reflection is a reading test. Put the metal polish tube or steel wool bag next to the chrome and see if you can read it through the reflection. If you can, then the wheel has been duly and effectively restored. If not, then you may continue polishing the wheel.

Once the wheel is sufficiently polished, you will want to give the wheel a final rinsing with warm water. Any residue and steel shavings left on the wheel can create corrosion and rust on their own. If there is any stubborn residue, you may use soapy water. Drying with a microfiber or terry towel is the final step. Make sure you to get in between all the groove and ridges. Now install the wheel back on your car, and drive around to showcase your “new” wheels.

28Jan 2019

Ever wondered why wheels don’t come in different shapes? Such as why you can’t simply pick up square- or triangle-shaped wheels from your local wheel shop? Well, we are going to answer that specific question in today’s blog post.

Speed:
The circular shape of wheels and tires ensure that the vehicle can move fast. Wheels help the car move by rolling smoothly and without much drag. Their circular shape is the most appropriate one as they maintain a uniform and smooth contact with the surface. This constant contact with the road surface provides the wheels and tires with grip and traction that other shapes just can’t.

Any other shape other than round, such as triangular, square, or rectangular, has edges that would dig into the road. This would make the vehicle rather slow; not to mention they would increase the rolling resistance.

Fuel Efficiency:

As rolling resistance increases, fuel consumption by the engine increases too. It is, therefore, in our wallet’s best interest to get the least amount of rolling resistance. The smaller the number of sides a wheel has, the greater the rolling resistance. Triangular and square wheels would cause the engine to severely consume more gasoline because of the sharp edges. These edges would dig into the road surface and require extra energy to “undig” themselves out. As a result, a wheel’s circular shape offers the least amount of energy loss when converting rotational energy to kinetic energy.

Ride Comfort:
By definition, a circle is an infinite number of points equal in distance from a center. Wheels and tires use the same logic to smoothly and comfortably roll on the road surface. The lug nuts and bolts are tightened around the center of the wheel allowing for uniform movement.


With non-circular wheels, the car would jolt up and down because the edges and flat sides of the wheels would be of different distance from the wheel’s center. This would create an extremely bumpy and uncomfortable ride. The suspension would help with some of the movement, but it just won’t be enough.

If you would like a visual representation on precisely why square wheels are not used, check out this funny Mythbusters video!

21Jan 2019

Ever wondered what the wheel reconditioning process is like? Well look no further, today we will dive into the behind the scenes process.

Wheel reconditioning not only significantly improves a vehicle’s appearance, but it can also enhance the safety and reliability of your wheels by ensuring that there are no wheel defects and that the wheel is repaired for optimum performance.

The wheels are submerged in our stripping tank. As a chemical based stripper, it does an excellent job at removing the old finish, surface contaminants, and any existing paint from wheels without marring the surface. Should the wheel contain extra material or buildup, a sand blaster. The plastic urea in the sand blaster takes off the remaining finish and residue without damaging the wheel. With the wheel cleaned and bare, each wheel is thoroughly inspected for rust, cracks, bead seat wear, and bolt hole distortions. The wheel is sent back to the customer as too damaged for reconditioning if the wheel does not pass inspection.

Any damage, scrapes, and curb rash need to be repaired. Depending on the extent of the damage, we use one of two options. If it is a minor surface blemish, then it is just sanded by hand, and the wheel will look as good as new. If it is a deeper gauge, then further steps are required. The gauge needs to be prepared and filled with additional metal. Once the weld is allowed to completely dry, it is sanded.

The wheels are coated with a special primer. In addition, to helping the paint adhere much better to the wheel, the primer helps prevent against wheel corrosion and rust. As wheels enter our cutting edge spray booth, our paint is electrostatically charged and applied onto the wheel. This electrostatic charge ensures that a uniform mil thickness is sprayed to each wheel. The newly applied powder coat is cured in an oven for 30 minutes. The automated process ensures that the powder coat applied on each wheel cures for the same amount of time.

Once allowed to cool, a final inspection takes place. We use a digital mil gauge to measure and verify paint thickness. Our specialists also check for defects in the powder coat and for the “orange peel” effect. When the quality of the wheels meets our strict standards, the wheels are ready to go. They are labeled and shipped to our customers.

14Jan 2019

We have seen this before and are not strangers to the phenomenon: the wheels of a fast moving vehicle appear to move slowly and sometimes will even appear to spin backward. This is evident when an accelerating wheel will seem to rotate forward at first, but as the car gains more speed, the wheel will appear to slow down. As the vehicle moves faster, the wheel will then appear to spin backward. This goes against our logic because the wheels seem to be spinning backward when we know for a fact they are rotating forwards.

Wagon-Wheel Effect
What we are experiencing is the Wagon-Wheel Effect. It is an optical illusion in which a wheel appears to rotate differently from its correct position. This entails appearing to rotate slower, appearing stationary, or appearing to rotate in the opposite direction. The name comes from people first seeing this effect on wagon wheels in movies and on TV.

It is relatively easy to explain and straightforward to understand. Video cameras record footage by taking a series of pictures in quick succession. To those techy people out there, this is known as the “frame rate.” Most movie cameras use a frame rate of 24 frames per second and thus take 24 pictures per second. This frame rate is highly significant in understanding why a wheel appears to spin backward at high speeds. Suppose a 24 spoke wheel is being recording by a camera with a frame rate of 24 per second. When the rotation of the wheel’s spin matches the frame rate of the camera, the wheel will rotate quickly and will appear to be in the same position every time the camera captures a frame. In the end, the wheel will seem to be motionless.

If the wheel rotates faster than the frame rate, then the wheel will appear to spin backward instead of forwards. In each frame, the spokes have rotated and seem to be a few degrees behind the position it was at when the camera last imaged it. This is commonly known as the Reverse-Motion effect. If the wheel rotates even faster, the spoke will appear to be a few degrees ahead of the position it was at when last imaged by the camera. This will make the wheel seem to rotate forward rather slowly.

This was a highly simplified explanation of the Wagon-Wheel Effect and I hope you understand other factors must also be taken into consideration. The camera’s exposure time, the frame rate setting (some cameras have features to increase or decrease the frame rate), and location with regards to the wheel will affect the appearance and strength of the effect. For example, a wheel with 24 spokes rotating at 24 revolutions per second will appear still if shot with a camera shooting at 24 frames per second. Similarly, if the wheel were rotated at 48 revolutions per second, the wheel would also seem to be motionless.


07Jan 2019

No, there is no such thing as a universal wheel. Numerous factors come into play when deciding what wheels can go on your vehicle.

Diameter and Width
Two of the most critical factors are the wheel’s diameter and width. Every car will have a range of wheel diameter sizes of several inches that will securely and adequately fit. This is generally the result of vehicles having different wheel options and various sizes with each trim level (i.e. base model – premium luxury model). This allows the customer the option to choose wheels based on appearance and performance.

The wheel’s diameter and width are measured in inches. The wheel diameter is the height of the wheel across the center; while, the rim width is the measurement from the edge of one bead seat to other bead seat.

Offset
A wheel’s offset is the distance from the wheel’s centerline to the mounting surface. It is measured in millimeters and depending on where the mounting surface is in relation to the center line; the number can be either positive or negative. A positive offset is when the mounting surface is in front of the wheel centerline, and a negative offset is when the mounting surface is behind the wheel centerline.

This is highly important because you must stick within the recommended offset range for your car. If the change is too drastic, the wheel may not leave enough room for the wheel hub and brakes to work correctly. An incorrect offset wheel may also interfere with your car’s turning radius and may also cause the wheel to rub against the wheel well.

Bolt Pattern/PCD

The Pitch Circle Diameter (PCD) is the diameter of the circle which passes through the center of all the studs, wheel bolts or wheel rim holes. If the wheel you are looking to purchase does not match your wheel hub’s PCD, then you won’t be able to install them on your car without additional parts or changing your wheel hub.

Dual Drilled Wheels
Some people may think that dual drilled wheels are universal, but that is also not the case. Don’t be fooled by advertisements or salespersons, a ten lug hole wheel will not fit every five lug hole vehicle. Dual drilled wheels are wheels that have two bolt patterns or PCD’s.

For example, a dual drilled wheel with bolt patterns 5×115 and 5×120 will only fit on vehicles whose bolt patterns are 5×115 and 5×120. These wheels will not fit on another bolt pattern.

31Dec 2018

When it comes to wheel spacers, you’ll quickly discover the majority of people have already made up their mind and have strong opinions of them. On Google, YouTube, and car forums, you will find two groups: those that claim wheel spacers are entirely safe when installed correctly and those that urge others to avoid them like the plague.

Purpose

For most car enthusiasts, spacers are the easiest way to get perfect fitment from their wheels and tires. Wheels tend to be pushed slightly inwards (generally 5mm-30mm) for improved drag and fuel efficiency. This, however, doesn’t create a sleek and flushed appearance. The purpose of wheel spacers is to increase the “space” between the wheel and the wheel hub. This pushes the wheels and tires slightly outward.

Wheel spacers are also used for trucks and off-road vehicles. This is also done to increase the clearance and room between the wheel and wheel hub. This is highly beneficial for off-road vehicles because larger off-road tires can be installed. This directly impacts and improves performance, traction, and off-roading capabilities.

Safety

Wheel spacers are safe to install on your vehicle, only if they are properly installed. This entails purchasing high-quality spacers from reputable companies. The wheel spacer should be of appropriate size and should be hub-centric. This means the wheel spacer will fit securely between the wheel and wheel hub. A torque wrench should be used to torque the lug bolts to appropriate tension.

When wheel spacers fail, most of the time it is due to the quality of the wheel spacers themselves. When installing or purchasing spacers, ask if they are cast aluminum, forged aluminum, billet aluminum, steel, or titanium. If you are going to install wheel spacers thicker than 1 inch, we highly recommend installing bolt-on type wheel spacers. They bolt on to the wheel hub, and the wheels bolt on to the wheel spacer.

Durability

If properly installed, then there should be no durability issues. Two common problems people have are the lug nuts becoming loose and ultimately leading to the entire wheel coming off or the wheel studs bending. The only explanation for this is the lug nuts were not torqued properly and the weight of the vehicle was put entirely on the loose wheel bolt(s) and/or wheel stud(s). A wheel stud cannot merely be bent by tightening down a wheel spacer between the wheel and wheel hub.

A common misconception about wheel spacers is the affect they will have on your wheel bearings. If properly installed, wheel spacers will not cause your wheel bearings to fail prematurely or suddenly. As long as high quality wheel spacers are used, and they are of appropriate size for your vehicle, there will be no problems. The hub bores on your wheel hub and wheel should match the hub bore on the spacer.

Precautions

The lug nuts need to be torqued to their required tension. We recommend you get wheel spacers installed at reputable wheel shop. If you are installing these at home, we highly recommend using a torque wrench. As a precaution, we recommend you do a torque check every 25,000 miles. This will catch any loose lug nuts or bolts.

If you are curious about learning more about wheels, please read our previous article on Lugs, Nuts, and Bolts.

24Dec 2018

Lug nuts, also known as wheel nuts, are used to hold a wheel in place. Your vehicle can have four, five, or six lug nuts. This is dependent on the type of car you have, such as a small economy sedan, SUV, truck, or sports car. As lug nuts are engineered to hold a certain amount of pressure, larger cars will have more lug nuts. Some vehicles come factory-equipped with loose wheel nut sensors. These allow you to know when a lug nut is loose. As the majority of cars are not equipped with such sensors, it is a good idea to check for loose lug nuts as a preemptive measure.


If any loose lug nuts are spotted, you should have them tightened to manufacturer specifications. Use the lug wrench that came with your car and tighten any loose lug nuts. It is highly recommended to use a torque wrench, if available. A torque wrench measures the amount of force applied; therefore, you can rest assured knowing your lug nuts are properly tightened.

If you have lost a lug nut, the pressure asserted from driving around will be distributed to the remaining lug nuts on the wheel. You can safely drive at legal speeds with a missing lug nut; however, you should head to your nearest tire shop as soon as possible. Over time, this excess pressure can wear down the other lug nuts. This can lead to adverse effects on the wheel bearings. Because the wheel bearings will be subjected to more stress, they can wear out prematurely.

A common problem with vehicles missing a lug nut is car wobble. Car wobble and the additional stresses placed on the vehicle as it turns, brakes, and accelerates can cause other issues: the remaining lug nuts can loose, and the wheel studs can break. Wheel studs placed over them and bolted in position using the lug nuts.

If you are driving with a loose lug nut, we recommend you have it tighten as soon as possible. If you are driving with a missing lug nut, it is highly important you have it replaced as soon as possible. It can be potentially dangerous to drive with a missing lug nut because of the extra pressure exerted on the remaining lug nuts. This pressure can damage the lug nuts, wheel studs, and could cause the other lug nuts to loosen.


If you are interested in reading more about how wheels are held in place, check out our article on Lugs, Nuts, and Bolts.