Tires and Rims: The Unsung Heroes of Your Car

11 Oct Tires and Rims: The Unsung Heroes of Your Car

Tires and rims are often an afterthought when it comes to cars.  They’re easily forgotten and rarely get the attention they deserve. Quiet and unassuming, they faithfully roll along until they inevitably wear out.   But don’t mistake these two for being low-priority;  they are some of the most important parts of your vehicle, and proper maintenance can mean the difference between a smooth ride and a potential accident.

So whether you’ve just purchased a new set or have had yours for a few years, here are some handy ways to keep the wheels on your car rolling safely ‘round and ‘round.

Why They Matter

Most people don’t realize just how important tires and rims are.  That massively powerful engine would be utterly useless if you didn’t have tires that sufficiently gripped the pavement.  A six-speed performance transmission would be worthless if your rims bent and cracked every time they hit something hard.   

There’s a lot of science and research that go into making lasting, efficient wheels.  In fact, the entire mobility of your vehicle rests on those four bits of rubber and the metal rims they wrap around.  A good set of rims can affect braking, acceleration, even how well your vehicle turns. And your tires? Well, they’re the only point of contact between your car and the ground. If they’re not functioning, your car’s not functioning, so it’s important do get a set that’s the best fit for your car, your location and your lifestyle.

Picking the Best Rims

You may be tempted to get that set of flashy spinners or sleek-looking chrome rims for your car, but you should do a little research of your own before making a purchase.  Depending on where you live, weather and road conditions have a large impact on what type of rim you should buy. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular types.


Steel is the most common material for rims.  Most factory made vehicles ship with this type of wheel as they’re cheap and relatively easy to clean and maintain.  They’re also extremely durable, meaning that normal driving will rarely cause serious damage. However, be aware of weather conditions when using this type of rim.  Colder climates, and especially road salts, cause steel rims to rust and corrode more rapidly than other materials.  


Alloy wheels are one of the more popular choices among drivers. A little more expensive than steel rims, this lighter material offers increased braking performance, acceleration and maneuverability. These minor performance boosts can offer a small improvement in gas mileage. Additionally, alloy rims hold up fairly well in bad weather. The downside to alloy rims is that they’re more susceptible to damage from rocky/bumpy terrain than their steel counterparts.


Chrome rims are the pop stars of the wheel industry.  They’re flashy, nice to look at and draw attention everywhere they go.  They’re also really, really expensive, and require extensive upkeep. While this material certainly comes with a sense of style, you’ll be trading durability for good looks with chrome rims.


Tire and rim maintenance should become a regular habit when taking care of your vehicle.  Most mechanics and auto shops will look for any obvious wear and tear, but there’s still some things you can do on your own.


Regardless of what type of rim you have, always take time to inspect for damage. Look for any corrosion and rust and if you haven’t already, treat your wheels with an anti-corrosion solution.  If caught early enough, corrosion can be halted and even reversed.  Finally, if you notice any dents, bending or cracks, take your car into the shop for an evaluation.  A false alarm is always preferable to an accident while driving.


Because tires come in so many shapes and sizes, pinpointing a universal type of maintenance is difficult.  However, some common things to keep in mind while inspecting your tires are pressure, wear, and tread.  Make sure your tires always maintain consistent air pressure.  Low pressure will cause excessive wear, low maneuverability, and decreased gas mileage.  

Additionally, worn tires can turn normal driving conditions into hazardous situations.  Balding or damaged tires lose their grip and won’t provide good traction in wet or icy conditions.  In bad weather, this can prove to be extremely dangerous.  Get your tires replaced before the tread is too damaged or worn to protect you against potential accidents.

Safe Travels with Crest Financial

Safe driving requires that all components of your vehicle are functioning efficiently, and few things are more important than your wheels.  Whether you’re driving through the rugged outdoors or fast-paced city streets, there’s a set of tires and rims that best suits your traveling needs.  At Crest Financial, we understand the importance of keeping your family and loved ones safe. Our no credit needed program provides and easy and affordable way to get your wheels up to speed.

Visit to learn more about our pricing options and find a participating shop near you.

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