Wheel Accessories Explained
It would be easy to overlook the accessories available for alloy wheels, especially when the technical elements can be daunting. We've put together the following guide to give you a quick insight into what each part plays and why they are important. Accessories also allow you to add some individuality to your wheels, with colour customisation on certain elements. If you have any questions or require any help then we will be happy to help.
If the vehicle has studs coming out of the hub, you will use a nut to fasten the wheel to the vehicle. Vehicles without studs will use a bolt to fasten the wheel to the hub of the vehicle. Bolts and nuts have various diameter heads, hex sizes, thread sizes and seatings. if you are ordering wheels from us then our sales team will ensure the correct fitting kit is provided for your car with every wheel or wheel and tyre package (A small percentage use O.E fittings but on these occasions we notify you).
The thread diameter refers to the diameter of the threaded section of the stud, measured across the shank at the outer edges of the thread e.g. 12mm. The thread pitch is the number derived at when dividing the number of threads in 10mm into 10 e.g. 8 threads along 10mm has a pitch of 1.25.
NOTE: It is extremely important that the nut or bolt seat properly in the wheel bolt hole. The vast majority of aftermarket wheels use a tapered nut or bolt (usually with a 60 taper). Some wheels use a radius taper bolt/nut. Our trained team will ensure correct fitment for you.
Locking Wheel Nuts/Bolts
Locking wheel nuts/bolts are an an essential accessory to help to keep your new wheels safe from theft, an available to upgrade for all Alloy Wheels that we sell.
They act as a substitute for one of the wheel bolts/nuts per wheel, and a key (supplied) is used to tighten or loosen the locking wheel bolt/nut. Acting as a security feature, you need the dedicated key to remove the wheels from the vehicle.
In a set you receive 4 locking nuts or bolts, whichever is relevant to your cars fitment, and a key to lock them on to the car. It is important to make a note of the key number (supplied with the set) in case you require a replacement key in the future. If you do not do this and lose the key then it will be very difficult to remove the locking wheel nuts/bolts.
Spigot Rings allow perfect fitment and alignment of your alloy wheels when the centre bore differs from the hub lip diameter.
A spigot ring is fitted into the back of the wheel with an outer diameter the size of the centre bore, and an inner diameter the size of the hub lip to allow the wheel to be correctly located onto the hub and to fit tightly and snug onto the vehicle for safety and comfort.
Made from either plastic or metal, these parts are essential if the centre bore of the wheel is different to the hub lip diameter. Without them in position the vehicle will expercience vibration which is felt through the steering wheel, and can in some cases gradually work loose the wheel bolts/nuts holding the wheel in position!
If the offset of a wheel is too high for your vehicle, in most cases spacers can be used to reduce the offset, pushing the wheel further out to make it sit correctly in relation to the cars bodywork and arches.
They allow you to fit wheels to your car that arent initially made in a direct fitment, widening your choice of wheels. The correct spacers are completely safe and road legal to use. Spacers can also be used in cases where your wheels already fit your car but you just want them to sit out just that little bit wider, maybe to give the car a wider rear stance or fall more in line with the outer arches.
Various thicknesses are available so you can fine tune the positioning of your wheels on your vehicle.
Wheel Centre Caps
All wheels have a small cap in the centre of the wheel, which is called the centre cap. This serves a few purposes; keeping dust away from the bearings, filling the hole in the middle of the wheel which is required for wheel balancing, adding branding to the wheel.
Most vehicles one the standard OE wheels will have a centre cap with the vehicle manufacturer's logo, but most aftermarket wheels will feature the wheel manufacturer's logo. We only sell wheel manufacturer centre caps, which will only ever have the wheel manufacturer logo. It is actually illegal to supply wheel centre caps for aftermarket wheels with the vehicle manufacturers logo due to copyright infringement.
Every wheel needs valves as a way of inflating the tyre with air. There are many different variations on a tyre valve, but generally a pull-in rubber valve is sufficient.
The valves fix into the wheel and have a one-way core that only allows air to flow in one direction under pressure. There is a removable cap that acts as a final seal and also protects the internal core from the elements and dust.
A tyre valve is fitted as part of the tyre fitting process.
A Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a safety feature that continually monitors a vehicle's tyres and alerts the driver if the tyre pressure changes outside of tolerance.
From November 2014, all newly manufactured vehicles use a TPMS system as part of the new legal requirement, however, the technology has been present since 2000 in many vehicles. A pressure loss warning light on the vehicle's dashboard will cause an MOT failure.
You can learn more about TPMS here.
Detailing / Cleaning
To keep your wheels in great condition it is important that you have a good cleaning routine using good quality products, which ensures that there is no long-term grime or corrosive salts on the wheels. A good technique is also important to ensure that you don't scratch the wheels with dirt as you clean.
It is a good idea to protect the wheels with a protective coating which will help preserve the wheel finish.
We have a great selection of all the products you will require.
You can learn more about here.
Outer Rims / Dishes
Some wheels have a replaceable outer rim, which is great if you damage the outer rim of the wheel on a pot-hole or kerb. Usually fixed onto the wheel with adhesive, the old damaged rim can be removed then once the wheel is prepared you can position the new rim onto the wheel to restore the wheel to it's former glory.
There can also be different finishes/colours to choose from which allows you to add a new twist to your wheels.