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Full Version: Considering Switching From Alloy To Steel Wheels
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John Wood
This is a question about my girlfriend's car. The Scottish road system has wrecked a second alloy wheel in 3 months and she is wondering if she would be better off with steel wheels. The alternative she is considering is to buy a set of "FX1" aftermarket alloys which are apparently stronger than the original alloy wheels and which will cost 360.

The car is a Ford Fiesta which is (I think) the second most recent model and has 15 or 15.5 inch alloys at present. A local breakers yard has got 4 15mm steel rims off a ford escort which they'll sell me for the bargain price of 60 for the lot. My questions are:

1) How interchangerble are car wheels of a given size - are there any pitfalls to be aware of?
2) Will steel wheels withstand potholes any better than the bog standard ford alloys?
3) I know that the insurance co. will want to know about the change. Will they increase the cost of cover?

Thanks for your help, John
Very good price for the parts!

1) check the stud size and number of studs, Ford brought in a standard in about 2001 (I think) so you may find that its not quite the right size, take a look at thread
2)Steel wheels tend to be stronger, because they are not a compound metal. So you should find a bit more tolerance, but if they have tank traps for potholes, then even the strongest of wheels may not be enough. Generally speaking I would say you should find they are more resiliant. Due to the amount of extra support (alloys have 5 or 6 contact points on average 50-60% between the hub and the outer wheel, whereas steel wheels have about 90% contact points)
3)The insurance problably wont be so fussed, technically your reducing the cars value and overall desire to steal the wheels is reduced, therefore they mist likely wont affect you and your premium. I recently replaced the locking wheel nuts on my alloys with standard nuts, thinking that it made the wheels easier to steal I contacted the insurance company who said I need not let them know as it was a minor modification, so with any luck they will say the same to you.

Hope this helps.

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