5 Reasons To Avoid Cheap Aftermarket Rims from the professionals at Audi Gilbert

At Audi Gilbert, we're quick to extol the virtues of OEM parts. OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts are built by Audi and are identical to the parts that were used to build your car when it first rolled off the assembly line. When it comes to the wheels on your car, OEM wheels have many advantages over options on the aftermarket. Aftermarket rims may not be built to the exacting quality standards of the Audi brand. Installing the wrong wheels on your car can impact performance, ride quality, durability and more. Radically mismatched wheels can even cause damage to your vehicle over time! Below, we'll tell you five reasons we think you should avoid cheap, cut-rate aftermarket rims. When you need new wheels for your Audi, it pays to go OEM. We'll show you why below.

Aftermarket Rims On Display

5. Poor Ride Quality

If you're going to go to the trouble of adding aftermarket wheels to your car for a sportier aesthetic, chances are you're going to want bigger wheels than the ones you're replacing. However, the overall circumference of your wheels and tires must remain the same. That means, if you want a bigger wheel, you'll need a thinner tire to compensate. A thinner tire is less able to soak up the bumps and imperfections in the road. Your vehicle might look sporty with aftermarket rims, but it may not provide the comfortable, quiet ride you had with the OEM wheels. In fact, this is true even if you replace, for example, 17" OEM wheels with 19" OEM wheels.

Cast Aftermarket Rims

4. Added Transmission Strain

The wheels that came with your ride were designed specifically for your vehicle when it comes to width, diameter and weight. When you add cheap aftermarket wheels on your car, they may not weigh exactly the same or be exactly the same size as the wheels your car came with from the factory. As a result, your transmission may have to work harder to deliver power to the wheels. This can lead to premature transmission wear and failure. It can even put undue strain on parts like axles, wheel bearings, suspension parts and more. When you replace the wheels on your car with ill-fitting aftermarket rims, the whole vehicle could suffer.

3. Wheel Strength & Durability

There are three ways that wheels are made for modern cars: casting, flow-forming and forging. Most cheap aftermarket wheels are cast wheels. Cast wheels are made by simply pouring molten metal into a mold and allowing the metal to cool. The problem with casting is it allows more porous areas to form, creating weak points in the wheel. A cast wheel is more likely to deform or crack when you strike a curb or pothole. 

OEM Audi wheels are made stronger than many aftermarket rims. That's because Audi wheels are either flow-formed or forged. Forged wheels are the strongest, and high-performance Audi models like the R8 feature forged wheels from Otto Fuchs as standard equipment. Forged wheels begin as a block of aluminium which are then machined into the final shape using tremendous heat and pressure. As a result, forged wheels are ultra-strong and even lighter than cast wheels. Other Audi models get flow-formed wheels as standard, which provide similar barrel strength to forged wheels, but they're less expensive and tend to weigh a little more. When you want new wheels installed on your car, you can't beat the quality and durability of OEM wheels.

Genuine OEM Audi Wheels

2. Diminished Resale Value

Don't forget: even if you love the look of your aftermarket wheels, future potential owners may not share your refined taste. What's more, when selling premium luxury cars like an Audi, the OEM wheels are very desirable. You might take a hit when selling your vehicle to a dealer or in a private sale if you don't have the original wheels on the vehicle.

1. Difficulty Finding Replacement Wheels

Audi stands behind their vehicles, and our service center is ready to replace any busted wheels you might experience. When you hit a pothole or get in an accident and need a single replacement rim, Audi OEM wheels that are identical to the one that broke are virtually always available.

By contrast, aftermarket wheel makers are constantly developing new styles to appeal to the aftermarket rim buyers. That means, if you've had your aftermarket rims for a few years, and one of them breaks, it might be difficult to source a replacement rim if your style has been discontinued or didn't sell in large volumes.

If you want to improve the look, ride and performance of your car, get the unmatched quality and durability of OEM wheels at Audi Gilbert. You'll be glad you did.

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