Basic Wheel Concepts: Guide in Buying Replacement Car Wheels

Wheels are among the most vital parts in the car. They are the

ones that keep it moving and thus, they are indispensable in a

vehicle. The size and the quality of the wheels significantly

affect your ride quality and handling so always make sure they

are in perfect shape and condition. Taking care of them is a

must so as not to sacrifice your vehicle’s performance. They

also need special attention since they are closest to the road;

hence, they are exposed to a lot corrosion-causing elements.

Aside from contributing to ride quality and handling abilities,

the wheels can also make the car look better and a lot

sportier. People have always been concerned with how their

vehicles should look and thus they replace or customize some of

the parts to make it different from the rest on the road. The

wheels are among those that are often replaced to achieve their

desired appearance. Accessories are also added to the wheels,

such as the hub caps and wheels covers. These auto accessories

are designed to match the user’s various driving needs and

moods.

In buying replacement wheels

for your car, there are important things you need to know,

especially if you are new to driving. You cannot just choose

any kind of wheel in lieu of the original wheel of your car.

There are different wheel specifications for every kind of

vehicle and car model since suspension design varies from one

vehicle to another. Take note that the wheels work hand in hand

with the suspension system whose job is to keep the tires in

tight contact with the road as the vehicle turns, brakes or is

driven down the road without sacrificing comfort of the

passengers.

Three aspects of the wheels are relevant to the suspension

design: wheel offset, aspect ratio, and tire width. All these

should be considered in choosing the best replacement wheels

for your vehicle.

Offset refers to the distance from the very center of the wheel

to the mounting surface of the wheel disc at the hub. Wheel

offset can be positive, negative or zero. A “0” offset means

that the mounting surface of the wheel is in the center of the

wheel. This measurement is very important in positioning the

tire. This also provides for adequate dual spacing.

Aspect ratio is the ratio between the width of the tire and the

height of its side wall. A tire specified as “205/60/15” for

example, has a width of 205mm and 60% aspect ratio. The “15”

refers to the size of the wheel to which it is fitted. You

shouldn’t buy wheels or tires with lower aspect ratio than what

is required because this will wear them out easily as ride

quality will deteriorate. However, this could also result to

more precision in turning.

You might be thinking of getting wider wheels to give your car

a racing car look. Better think about this again. While is it

true that wider wheels and tires can give your car a chunk of

gutsy looks, they can also ruin your driving satisfaction. This

is because the weight of the vehicle would not be evenly spread

over the wheel and tire width. Resistance is also increased,

thus you wheels and tires could wear out fast.

If you want to know more about car wheels, you can search for

car enthusiasts’ sites that feature different kinds of wheels

or go to the car manufacturer’s site and check out your car

model’s wheel specifications.

New Concepts in Car Insurance – Pay as You Drive

You can pay as you talk with a cell phone plan, so why not pay as you drive auto insurance? It sounds like a good idea; but would pay as you drive auto insurance work for you?

The idea behind pay as you drive auto insurance is simple. Basically its this- if you do not drive very much, you will not pay high insurance premiums. Advocates for this type of insurance policy think that there are many merits to this type of program. Less air pollution, lower gas consumption, and lower costs to the consumer among them.

What if you car pool to work, or take public transit? You are not using your car very much so why are you paying high premiums. With a pay as you drive auto insurance premiums you would be able to quite literally pay as you go. Another situation where this plan would be of benefit is that of many retirees who have winter homes in temperate climates, the ‘snowbirds’ living in Florida or Arizona six months of the year and six months in New York or Toronto for example.

Essentially the insurance companies would set an average driving amount for each car type. It could then be broken down into a cents per mile basis. If you wanted to us the pay as you drive auto insurance system you could purchase a set number of miles and you would be covered for insurance during this period.

Pay as you drive auto insurance is an excellent idea for those individuals who do not use their car very much or try to find cost saving methods or environment saving alternatives. Currently this type of program is not yet available, but there are supporters in many states who are hoping to change that soon.

Groups including Environmental Defense, the Conservation Law Foundation and even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are working to organize a national cooperative that would work with insurance companies to offer deep discounts for low-mileage drivers; halfway a step toward PAYD (Pay As You Drive) insurance.

General Motors and On-Star Offers PAYD Rates. In mid-2004 General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) Insurance began offering mileage-based discounts to OnStar subscribers located in some states. The OnStar system reports a vehicle’s odometer readings at the beginning and end of the policy term to verify mileage. Motorist who drive less than specified annual mileage can receive insurance premium discounts of up to 40%.

PAYD programs are also currently available in Israel, South Africa and Holland. PAYD is gaining momentum, and will be coming to your area soon.

1977 Chevrolet Aerovette Concept Car

In 1977 GM came out with another version of the Four-Rotor Car and dubbed it the Aerovette. The Aerovette had the same lines as the original design and this time GM pulled out all the stops when making the prototype.

That’s because for all intensive purposes, GM fully intended on producing the Aerovette beginning in 1980. However due to a myriad of complications, the idea never made it past the prototype stage.

The Areovette was shaped in a rectangular way so it would slice through the air with little wind resistance as the name “aero” might suggest. The Aerovette was beautifully detailed both inside and out and the interior was fully engineered which was more proof that the car was intended for production.

The doors of the Areovette opened out and up and were the same “Gullwing” design as the famed Mercedes 300SL Coupe. But the Aerovette doors actually more articulated versus the Mercedes design and that allowed for greater function in tighter parking spots which was a major drawback of the design in the past.

If the Aerovette would have made it to the public it would have had a steel frame that made for extra durability. The suspension was due to come off of the actual Shark Corvette as Zora Duntov suggested that this would be an extreme cost savings measure. The mid-engine Vette was probably going to feature GM’s famed and go to 350 V-8 engine and the transmissions were to be the same as the conventional Vette as well.

In fact, for all that went into the Aerovette, the new style Vette would have been just about in line with what the regular Corvette was going for. GM estimated that the Aerovette would have sold in 1980 for about $15,000 to $18,000 and this was very close to the regular Corvette even though the gullwing doors would have added to the cost significantly.

Unfortunately though, the Chevrolet Aerovette Concept Car was not meant to be and was done in by its biggest supports leaving GM. Both Duntov and Mitchell had already retired and that left the ultimate call to go to other top dogs at GM, one of whom was Dave McLellan. However, McLellan liked the front engine Corvette design much more than he did the Aerovette’s mid engine and that factor was one that had the concept car remain a concept.

Perhaps though the biggest factor that helped make that fateful decision was money. At the time many imports such as Fiat and Porsche had mid engine models and none of them were fairing well in the United States market. Meanwhile Datsun had been selling their 240Z front engine cars in the US at a fast pace, which the brass at GM took instant note of. When it came right down to it, the mid-engine Areovette was deemed too big a risk by McLellan and the other hot shots at GM and would therefore only secure its place in Corvette history as the overachieving concept car that could have been but never was.