Sometimes, vehicle owners will start to have problems with their wheels. Sometimes you’ll get a flat. Other times you could accidentally When most people talk about their tires, there is a good chance that they are speaking about the car wheel. Car wheels are made up of several components. The tire is just one part of this, even if it is a crucial component. Some people get confused about what a wheel is when compared to other components. But what is the difference between wheel and rim? Knowing the different pieces and components of a wheel can save you some trouble at the garage, and knowing the proper preventative maintenance can save you some money on your wheels in the long run.
Parts of a Car Wheel
Every component in the wheel of your car works together to achieve one large goal, to keep the rest of your car off the ground and give your car what it needs to move smoothly from one area to another. But what are the different components in a car wheel? If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a car wheel vs tire, of if you’ve asked someone “What is the center of a wheel called?” then this list will help you better understand how your car wheel works. Keeping an eye on what part does what will help you understand why your wheel may have problems.
- Center Bore This is the hole that allows the vehicle to be mounted to the axle. This is what distributes and holds the weight of your vehicle. This is usually covered by a center cap with a logo or design on it for style.
- Center Disc The center disc is the inside portion of your wheel. This houses the lug nuts and the center bore. Anything that attaches your car wheel to your vehicle in some form or fashion is housed here. The spokes also connect to the center disc.
- Lug Holes These holes are where the lug nuts from your wheel hub assembly attach to your car wheels. These essentially hold your wheel on your car, and keep it operational. The lug nuts are the answer to the question “What holds a wheel on your car?” If something happens to the lug nuts or the lug holes become damaged, you could lose a wheel and have a serious accident.
- Spokes These connect the barrel to the center disc. Spokes give the wheel most of its stability, and are one of the key features in wheel customization.
- Barrel This is the outside of the wheel. The spokes connect this to the center disc. The barrel houses the tire, which is what gets worn down instead of the wheel itself.
- Flanges/Rims The flanges connect the tired to your car wheel. Many modern flanges are one solid piece that run the entire length of the tire, called rims. Many people confuse the wheel and the rim, since wheels and rims are usually manufactured as one solid piece. The rim is just one component of the wheel.
Car Wheel Maintenance and Problems
The most common problem vehicle owners experience with their car wheel is a bent rim. If you hit one pothole that is too deep, you can bend your rim and warp your wheel. It will need to be fixed to avoid future problems or further wheel or tire degradation. So you may find yourself wondering “Do bigger tires ride smoother?” or whether or not bigger tires are less prone to bending with sharp impacts. If you’re curious about “How does wheel size affect car performance?” then you should ask a professional about what you’re looking for from your tires. Lower profile wheels and tires may have a firmer grip on the ground, but be louder than regular wheels and tires. Your wheel is also prone to pitting and corrosion. Many wheels are chrome and have a clear coat over them to prevent oxidation and corrosion. If that starts to wear off, it can start to dull the chrome, or cause it to wear out completely and begin to rust. This degrades the integrity of your wheel, meaning it is more prone to structural problems and can potentially cause a big accident further down the road. Your wheels may also have a problem with uneven tire wear. If your tires are wearing down unevenly, you may have suspension problems. Take your vehicle in for suspension service to make sure everything is working properly. If your car is pulling to one direction when you have the steering wheel in a neutral position, then your wheel alignment may be off. A hard bump, hitting a pothole too hard, or just time can cause your alignment to shift. If your curious how car wheel alignment is done, your mechanic will explain it to you when you bring your car in for service, but essentially it is adjusting the suspension of your vehicle to straight the way your wheels make contact with the ground. Car wheel torque can present another problem. Mechanics use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts on your car wheel. This needs to be done properly or it can lead to warped wheels, broken studs, or distorted brake discs. Make sure that you keep an eye out for problems with your wheels, while keeping them clean. If you suspect that you are having problems with one or more of your wheels, then you should consider taking your vehicle to a car mechanic to have your car wheels inspected. They can diagnose any problems you may be having, and help you fix them before they become bigger problems. If you live in Hopewell and Pennington, NJ and would like to know more about car wheel service and preventative maintenance, contact the expert mechanics of European Plus at 609-737-7226 today!