OE Steel Wheels?
Ever wonder what the difference is between your OE Steel Pontiac Wheels and the typical Alloy Rims that come on your car? No worries, this the exact reason why I’m here : to help you understand.
Steel Wheels are often called “Steelies”. Whether they’re Steel Wheels that come from Pontiac Vibe Wheels or Steel Rims that comes from Dodge, they’re going to be called “Steelies”. Because of their fairly cheap & simple design, they’re pretty much everywhere and on most cars that are on the road. Since they’re so simple looking (and almost ugly looking), most people will cover up they’re Steel Pontiac Rims with OE Hubcaps. They’re typically included as the Original Wheels that are on the cheapest trim on the cars that are for sale at your local dealership.
OE Steel Rims have been considered a staple of the automotive industry for a long time - pretty much since they first came out .. which is a long time ago. The very first wheels that came on cars were wooden wheels (I wonder how far those wheels got them). I guess you can say that they were just modified wagon wheels that were redesigned to go on cars. Since the manufacturers kept coming on with new cars with more speed and heavier things, they needed to make their wheels more and more sturdy.
Around the 1900s, the very first ever steel-spoked wheels were introduced to the public. The initial designs of these steel-spoked wheels consisted of a steel hub and a bunch of different steel wires that were designed to be connect the hub to the actual rim. The introduction of steel wheels had simultaneously existed with the proliferation of air-filled tires - this provided greater overall resiliency to road defects with more comfort for the passengers.
The designs of Steel Wheels have not really changed at all that much in the past 100 years that they’ve been on vehicles. Even though the manufacturing process of different wheels - like the 2009 Pontiac Vibe Wheels - has been changed so much over the years, most of these wheel innovations and changes have taken place in the field of alloys and not steel.
Usually, a Steel Wheel that’s pressed together from completely different pieces of sheet metal - like the Steel Pontiac Wheels - is heaver than an OE Alloy Wheel that’s the exact same size. When the wheel is that heavy, this means that it makes it less fuel efficient, slower when you try to go fast, and even a little bad at handling. Whether you clean it as best you can or don’t clean it at all, Steel Rims are going to rust as time goes on. Not only that, they can also bend and even warp if you’ve had them long enough. The main advantage that they have over Aluminum Wheels is that they’re way cheaper. They’re low price is one of the main reasons why manufacturers keep making them and distributing them.
If you have a car or a truck with rear wheel drive, I think you should have had the option of choosing two sets of Wheels for your car. You’d get a set of Alloy Wheels with Summer Tires for the Summer (obviously) and a set of Steel Wheels & Winter Tires for when it starts to get cold. Since they’re pretty cheap, Steel Wheels are usually used in conjunction with snow tires for use in winter weather.
Do you have your Steel Wheels set for Winter?