Beware of problems with aftermarket rims

At Autohaus, Mike installed new front brakes on an Audi A4 that a customer had bought a few months earlier. This car had nice looking aftermarket wheels on it, with sweeping spokes. After installing the wheels back on the Audi, the wheels would not turn; the brake caliper with new pads and rotors were interfering with the aftermarket rims.

We had another customer who installed their snow tires at home with the stock steel wheels. The customer used the lug bolts that were installed for the aftermarket rims. Theses lug bolts where longer than the stock lug nuts and they were too long, went through the hub and did a lot of damage when the customer tried to drive the car.

Then we had a car in last week, with aftermarket rims, that had a vibration at higher speeds. The customer had just bought new tires and rims, and we found that centering hubs had not been installed to “center” the rim on the hub.

Aftermarket rims can make a car look great but be sure you know the potential pitfalls when buying and installing them.

- George Rode

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