What Alloys are Suitable for Winter Use?

Your car is most vulnerable during the winter season, containing parts that can corrode or freeze. This will affect your car’s overall health, which is why it’s so important to take proper care of your car during the colder months.
Your wheels are a testament to your car’s health, especially your alloys. Besides from physical scratches and dents, your alloys can suffer from internal damage too.

What are winter alloy wheels?

Although there isn’t such a thing as specific winter alloy wheels, the type of alloys you choose to put on during winter may be different to the ones you choose in summer. 

‘Winter alloys’ are usually simple in design, made from steel and have five spokes. 

These make the wheels much easier to wash and preserve, which can be difficult to do during the winter months. 

What type of rims are best for winter?

Steel rims are often recommended for winter – this is because the change in temperature can often cause aluminium to expand and contract 

When aluminium contracts, it can cause inconsistent tyre pressure as well as air leakage overtime. 

Steel rims contract less in colder temperatures, which can help to maintain tyre pressure and maintain the vehicle’s performance. 

Should you change your rims for winter?

Having a second set of rims for winter will help to keep your tyres in good shape, especially if you live in very cold and snowy climates. 

However, constantly changing your alloys can stretch and damage your tyres, causing a higher risk of air pressure leaks. 

If you use the same alloys all year round, they can become damaged through the change in seasons. It’s best to choose a finish which can withstand a range of winter conditions. 

Some alloys have finishes which are resistant to damage from snow, ice, salt and dirt, making them suitable for use all year round.

Driving in winter with alloy wheels

Driving in winter can present you with a range of challenges, and your alloys may end up facing the most damage. 

Dangers

Regardless of the alloys metal base, it will almost always receive an additional finish of clear coat protection against scratches and the elements. However, the outer surface doesn’t take long to become damaged. 

The smallest of scratches can cause long term damage from different corrosive chemicals on the road such as salt, and during the winter season, it can be easy to accidentally damage your rims.

What to consider

Although we don’t face too much snowfall in the UK, we do face other elements on the road such as ice, dirt, salt and heavy rainfall, meaning drivers need to be more cautious about potholes and other physical obstacles. 

Consider putting extra coatings on your alloys, such as wax sealants and solutions. These will typically last up to 6 months, and will add an additional layer of protection against the elements of winter.

How to keep safe

During the winter season, it’s easy to slip into curbs or bumps in the road without realising whilst driving or parking. 

Even though you may be in a familiar location, keep in mind areas can have a buildup of dirt or ice. You should watch where you park, and be more cautious about curbs.

It’s also a good idea to exercise immediate alloy wheel repairs when necessary. Catching signs early will enable you to restore your alloys like brand new. 

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