Aftermarket replica wheels have long held a stigma of being poor quality because car manufacturers and OE part suppliers say they are. This stems from their desire to eliminate competition, allowing them to choose exorbitant prices for replacement wheels. However, don’t fear replica wheels; you simply need to know what you’re looking for. Here are four tips for choosing the best aftermarket wheels for your car.
Your first step is finding a reputable replacement wheel retailer, like WheelerShip. Many car manufacturers try to spread and push that narrative that all third-party wheel retailers are looking to scam you. However, you’ll find that a reputable retailer provides OEM replicas that are just as high-quality as the original manufacturer’s wheels. The biggest difference? Replica retailers won’t try price gouging you for a set of replacement wheels.
A good tip for choosing the best aftermarket wheels for your car is to consider your lug nut layout. Different models often have a different number of lug nuts on their mounting point. For example, Tesla Model S 21-inch wheels have a lug nut layout of 5x120, so that vehicle can only use wheels with that same lug nut layout. This layout is important to remember because you might otherwise think you can use wheels for earlier models of your car but find they don’t mount correctly.
The diameter of your wheels can drastically change how your car drives. While you can choose a different diameter size from your original set, installing ill-fitting wheels could mess up your speedometer and odometer readings. Your car displays your speed based on the rotation of your wheels and measures that rotation based on the diameter of the original, intended wheels.
A wheel’s offset refers to the distance between the wheel’s mounting hub and centerline. If the face of the mounting hub is behind the centerline, you have a negative offset. If the opposite is true, and the mounting hub is ahead of the centerline, then your car has a positive offset. This relates to the appearance of your wheels and affects the ways the suspension reacts to the wheels’ movements.