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.

Future Car Concepts Versus Practicality

We are constantly being surrounded by pictures of what our future car could look like. It’s always a sleek and slender design that has the body covering the tyres. How practical could these models really be though?

The older cars from the 70’s were incredibly wide that took up a lot of space? Do you know why they changed the design? For better movability, of course! Many ideas and concepts you see today are wide and flat. This could assist with the aerodynamics but it would be incredibly difficult to move it around on a suburban street.

The cars of the future don’t seem like family cars. There could be a time in the future where families would probably make use of public transport to drive their children around. The face of public transport could also change seeing that train and bus systems are already making use of modern technology to transport people.

Hovering cars could also be on the cards for the future and this could be exciting for everyone. But it could come with its own challenges. Imagine the car breaks down in mid-air and have no knowledge on how to fix the hovering system. There could be an instance where your hover car is too heavy for the hovering tow truck because it’s carrying dead weight instead of guiding a floating machine. But perhaps the car manufacturers will make provision for this eventuality.

Gigantic engines mean a lot of maintenance. Already, these days we have V-12 engines but it can be a big fuel consumer. With fossil fuels becoming rare we will have to resort to other means of fuel.

The larger the windscreen and panoramic roofs are also a part of our future. It makes the car look interesting and you have a better view of your surroundings. This is especially wonderful when you take a scenic road trip or drive at night. Driving with the beautiful stars above you is an experience second to none.

Electric cars are also quickly becoming a part of our immediate future. They are powered by electricity and soon we will have electric fuelling stations instead of petrol or diesel. There will be special tyres designed for these electric cars to ensure the economy of the driving experience.

With the proper engineering and testing of these future cars we can live an easier and more fun life. After all, the purpose of our future is to help our present.