I’m sure one time or another you have thought one time or another “Which rims are the best on the market?” or “Which rims should I purchase?” or “What are the common new and used rims/wheels?”

Honestly, the list goes on and on with various selections like finish, manufacturer, aftermarket, size, material. There are plenty of vendors, automotive specialist, wheel stores, automotive parts stores that claim to carry what you need and they may be right!

Below are the of Rims/Wheels on the market. The list will go from most preferred to least preferred in 2018.

1.Alloy Rims– These rims are taking over the market and not stopping anytime soon. Created from aluminum or magnesium or both. Performance wise: they offer less deadweight. What does this mean for the driver? Fast acceleration and minimum stop motion. This assists through less strain on the suspension of a vehicle, which results in more strength and sustainability on the road. These wheels can be made in various sizes and finishes. Summer (dry) weather compliments these lightweight wheels.

2.Steel Rims– These guys are slowly going from most standard wheels used to this day to less and less due to its lighter and more appealing counterpart. Steel rim heavyweight acts as an advantage and disadvantage. How so? Summer commutes do not require extra weight on the vehicle. Winter commutes, specifically- where it snows -steel wheel weight is a crucial primary factor. The deadweight of the steel allows a better grip on the road than its alloy competitor. The most prominent wheel size made for this style in no bigger than 17”. Cost wise, these would be the most economical purchase, they are about 80% cheaper than its competitors.

3.Chrome Wheels– We are all aware of the chrome finish- it was trendy at one point in time. During its birth in the 1960s up until the early 2000s. Due to its dangerous chemical use and application, it has been banned from some states in the U.S. Slowly; this finish started to decline- this called for finishes to decline. Read more about the cost of this finish in our article, “All About Chrome”.

4.Spinners originated between the 80s-90s and people still used them in the early 00s. I remember growing up and seeing the spinners in different colors and spin motions. These are less common and rarely seen nowadays. The majority of its use was luxury and appeal- performance was not a factor here.

Dos and Donts to Protect Your New/Used Wheels 

How new is new? It really depends on your perspective. One thing that is for sure is that we like to keep new things looking their absolute best! Scrapes and scratches on your brand new wheel or rim is that last thing to worry about during a morning commute. Unfortunately, they happen way too often.

Watch out for the following:

Cleaning Solutions– the type of non-abrasive solutions makes all of the difference. AVOID any type of acidic solutions, they can easily eat up the coats of your finishes. Take a look at our how-to clean Alloy Wheels article. Overall, gentle dish soap and water can get the job done. Reminder to NEVER clean wheels while they are hot.

Curbs! Majority of scrapes and scratches happy when you least expect it. Those curbs can cause a minor or major curb rash. Some common curb rash stories are due to bad parallel parking, pulling up too close to a curb while driving, suddenly turning the wheel to delay an accident… the list goes on!

Carwashes, especially full-service should be on the caution list. Some cleaners may not be the best solutions- acid-base solutions -mentioned earlier can damage. Feel free to ask, if they don’t have an answer they themselves may not know it damages wheels. In contrast, those who are aware- will gladly explain which solution they use and why. 

Why is wheel balance so important?

*Editors Note: Overused Word/Topic = BALANCE.

Wheel balance serves the purpose to equalize the weight of the wheel to spin smoothly at any rate of speed at exceptionally high speeds on the freeway/highway.

We are all responsible for various tasks like being on time for class or deadlines at work. We also hold accountability to our family, friends, significant other, child, and pet! In the end, balancing all of these are key to happiness.

Your vehicle also requires balancing- it all begins with the foundation of YOUR WHEELS!

How we balance your wheels:

How do we balance our wheels? Simple! We carry the VeloSpinner. A portable tool created specifically to balance wheels.  

DESCRIPTION:  “Quickly and accurately spin wheels to detect and show any bents, wobbles, hops, or imperfections that would affect the smooth spin of the wheel.”

USE: “Place the Spinning stand on a completely flat, stable surface. Place 10-70 lb wheel on top of the cone, carefully making sure that the outside rim of the wheel is over the flat surface and not over a free hanging edge. The wheel should be able to bounce slightly, not touching the flat surface. Lastly, we spin your wheel around several times, if your wheel spins smooth and straight, the wheel is not bent. Any wobbles will show any imperfections of the wheels


Take time to think about:

Necessity: Looking for wheel balance is routine the same as finding imbalance is routine.
Time: the wears in the wheel will happen eventually over time. Majority of tire shops will re-balance your wheel before annual rotation
Prevention: If your wheel is already bent, balancing this wheel cannot fix it- this calls for a new wheel

Common signs of non-balanced wheels:

1. Your steering wheel vibrates at speeds of over 55 mph.

2. You feel your seat or floorboard vibrating.

3. You begin to notice some imperfections on your tires; please reference the following descriptions for indications of tire wear and the cause.

What is the difference?

In a previous publication we discussed the difference between the total traction and the traction on all four wheels. Today we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the front and rear traction. There is enough information on the web to describe both. So, here goes the nut version:

Front wheel drive: a transmission system that provides power to the front wheels of a motor vehicle (def).

Pros: Good traction in slippery conditions, more fuel efficient and affordable compared to its counterpart.

Cons: Not the best for performance driving, wider U-turns, torsion direction.

Traction in the rear wheel: a transmission system that provides power to the rear wheels of a motor vehicle (def).

Pros: Better handling of the car for constant driving. The weight is distributed more evenly on the rear and front wheels, and is easy to handle in terms of maintenance.

Cons: Not good in severe weather (rain or snow) that will cause the car to slip or lose traction.

What tire size is right my wheel/rim?

Finding the perfect wheel/rim for your vehicle is always great–matching it with the correct tire size is just another crucial detail for this process. One size does not fit all, and sometimes we have to try on many sizes to find the perfect match- this applied to all of our shopping needs. This is why we have provided an easy to read chart that serves as a guide. Use this guide before matching your wheel & tire. Some of the negative factors that are likely to happen if you mismatch the two are: wobbly ride, shaky feel, unsteady drive and, well, you get the point! You can also harm the perfect wheels that took time, effort and dedication to purchase. A tip from one consumer to another is: do your research and get the best deal! Luckily, Santa Ana Wheel is your one-stop shop. With prices up to 70% LESS than dealerships we are easy to contact for any wheel needs!

Equivalency Table

Whats the difference? 

Four Wheel Drive (FWD) and All Wheel Drive (AWD) are NOT the same.

After some research, here are the common denominators for each.

Four-Wheel Drive: Is made for bigger vehicles-such as trucks and SUV’s. Traction is key for the purpose of going off-road. Power throughout the wheels can be switched on/off depending on the drive condition. The grip on this wheel drive is necessary ford driving up hills, throughout mud, etc. 

All-Wheel-Drive: This is more common medium sized vehicles for regular road drive. The wheel power is distributed evenly throughout the axles and onto all four wheels. AWD has better drive control means higher safety rate. For some vehicles,  the AWD is part-time (and only used when AWD is necessary) the other includes AWD at all times. The traction for these work excellent during harsh weather such as rain, ice, and snow. 


Are they for everyone?

Definition: The front and back wheels are different sizes. Usually the back wheel is just a bit wider than the front wheel for various reasons. Some tips on maintaining the wheels include: rotating the left and right wheel in with one another instead of front and back.  this all depends on what works best for your vehicle and personal preference.

Pro: Good Car Stance, Straight-line, Traction, Looks, Better drive on solid pavement.

Con: Tire rotation, Under-steer, Does not work for all wheel drive or front wheel drive, Back wheels need to be changed out if you live in an area where it snows.  

Customers usually come to us for back sets of wheels, but if you need all four we are more than happy to. For instance- if you already have a set of front wheels that are well and running, all you need is a set of good back tires and we’re just the place to get this work done.

If you have any more questions, WHEEL be here to get your ride rolling.

Day 3 into the New Year- How’s your resolution going so far?

According to StaticBrain.com only 9.7% of people actually feel as though they have achieved this goal. Here’s the thing about fresh starts- we all have the opportunity to get rid of a bad habit and replace it with a better one. Join us and be part of that 9.7%!

Saving money is something that you should ALREADY be doing, but if you need a little extra help, you can save with us– we have the lowest prices and best quality!

Our 3 Year New Ownership Anniversary is a reason to celebrate, we have a lot of great things coming up and just like you, we are ready to start the year with a fully charged mindset, thanks to: our ever growing inventory.

Ever Been Duped? Scammed? Bamboozled?

Unfortunately, in the era of online shopping it’s easy to false advertise and get away with it. I’m sure you or some you know has purchased products with lower quality than expected.  This is simply unacceptable in the WHEEL world, but it does happen in the REAL world. Let’s get you a tissue for the hurt, but also cheer you up with a FREE consultation  from our staff. As a bonus, here are some no-brainier tips before you make your next a purchase:

  1. Research before any purchase- this is huge!
  2. Check the price. Too good to be true? Maybe it is! 
  3. Call vendor/seller just to verify correct contact info
  4. Check for any grammatical errors or sketchy sentence structure. If they don’t check their grammar, what makes you think they check their products?
  5. Follow your GUT!

Original products are just that. Originals. Don’t forget that we’re here to help. We have a major selection at S.A.W and will go out of our way to search and find the original product (used or new).

Time for an upgrade?

SoCal is notorious for rush hours and heavy traffic. Every morning/evening we have destinations to reach that rely on transportation from a vehicle that requires wheels, or what I like to call  “the foundation of your commute”.   

This foundation may or may not need an upgrade, it all depends on the condition your current wheel and vehicle. A couple of things to keep in mind when you are thinking about upgrading your wheel:

SIZE: Q: How drastic should my change be? A: Start the year with a bang,  up size your wheel size to a bigger diameter. If you would like to up size  sizing your wheel it will give you the chance to fill up extra space in the wheel wells for a different ride/feel.  

FINISH: There are various finishes for wheels which depend on the color of your vehicle. We specialize in chrome or painting the entire face of an alloy wheel to change from the original finish in colors such as silver, black, white, matte, semi-matte, gloss, etc. 


You can customize you wheel character & Santa Ana Wheel wants to help!

If you have a vision we can make it come to life.