How to choose caps on wheels?
Wheel caps on one side provide the discs with protection against dirt, dust, snow, small stones, and on the other hand they perform a decorative function-with their help you can change the appearance of the wheel. They have another important purpose-to improve aerodynamic properties. However, all this will be true only if the caps are high-quality, durable and correctly selected. Let's look at what features decorative caps on wheels have and what you need to look at when choosing them.
Main types of wheel caps
All caps can be divided into two large classes:
- Model -are specially created for a specific brand of cars, have the appropriate dimensions and mounting system. They should be selected taking into account the brand of car and the radius of the disk. As a rule, they have a stylish design. However, due to the limited range, the choice of hood design may be limited.
- Universal -designed to be installed on any vehicles that have wheels of the appropriate radius. Universal caps are cheaper and usually have more diverse options in design and shape. However, sometimes during installation due to universal mounting and non-standard installation dimensions, difficulties can arise.
Caps also differ in other important characteristics:
Wheel hub design options
Given the shape, you can distinguish between open and closed caps:
- Open have large ventilation holes. They look quite impressive and cool the brakes well, but their protective function is weak, dirt, dust and even stones easily penetrate through large holes. Wash them harder. Open caps can be recommended to drivers who drive aggressively: they often brake and accelerate sharply. They also look very original on cars with black rims. They are recommended to be installed if the disks on the machine do not have flaws.
- Closed are distinguished by the presence of small air vents or even completely do not have them. Such wheel caps are able to improve aerodynamics, reliably protect the discs and brake system from the ingress of dirt inside, are very easy to clean, as they are easy to clean. They help increase the life of the wheels. They are recommended to be installed if the disks are flawed and need to be hidden. They also have a small drawback-insufficient cooling of the brake pads. If the cap is completely closed, then during long trips the brake system may overheat, which accelerates its wear. In order for cooling of the brake system to be effective, it is recommended to purchase closed caps with small openings.
What material are the wheel caps made of?
Plastic . This is the most common material, it is cheap, lightweight, not afraid of corrosion. It can take almost any form, so the design of such caps can be very different. Another of the advantages can be noted that they tolerate low temperatures and are little susceptible to deformation during operation. But there are also disadvantages: a short service life and a low strength indicator. Hard plastic products may crack due to impact. Here a simple rule applies: the harder the plastic, the easier and faster it breaks down. Therefore, it is recommended to take wheel caps from soft plastic, they are more durable and reliable, they are not afraid of impacts, as they are more resistant to mechanical stress.
Metal -naturally, such models are stronger than plastic ones, but they also have their drawbacks: high cost, high weight, susceptibility to corrosion and deformation upon impact. In addition, the peculiarity of the metal is that it is more difficult to make caps of a complex and original form out of it, so the choice of design is most often limited.
Rubber is the most caustic type of wheel caps, they are not afraid of blows, are not deformed, are not subject to corrosion.
Options for execution
Flat -a practical option, when parking do not touch the curbs. However, outwardly they are not very effective.
Voluminous -they have an original design, they look very stylish, but they are inferior to flat models in practicality: when parking, you need to be very careful so as not to catch the curb and scratch the caps.
Bolts -the most reliable option, tightly fixes the cap on the rims, but this type of mount is more difficult to install and requires more time.
Fasteners -in operation and installation this method is simpler, but it is much worse than bolt fasteners. However, it is this option that is used in most wheel covers on the market. There is a rule: the more fasteners, the more secure it will be. At least there should be 6 fasteners-it is better if there are 10-12 of them, then the structure will be securely fixed.
To increase the reliability of fastening, in addition to fasteners and bolts, you can also use special steel brackets, plastic or nylon clamps.
Chrome plating is perhaps the most common option. In this case, the caps have a shiny silver surface, they look original, however, this finish option may be short-lived.
Colored coating is also a fairly popular option, especially if you need to choose caps to match the body of the car or vice versa to emphasize the wheels, highlighting them with a contrasting color. When buying, please note that color models require careful handling.
Design options -such finishes are usually custom made, so they are expensive. But this is the best way to highlight, since you can choose a cap design individually. You can choose its shape, pattern, color, etc.
How to choose caps to fit?
In order for the cap to sit tightly on the rim, it is important to consider the size of the wheel when buying. That is, even before you go to the store you need to find out the radius of the disk, it is usually measured in inches. Each wheel is marked accordingly. For example, if the tire says: 185/65 R14 82 S, then for it the optimal cap size is R14. The most common are the following sizes: R12, R13, R14, R15, R16.
If you take caps of a larger radius than required, you physically will not be able to mount them on the wheel, and smaller options will not hold tight and will fall off very quickly during riding.
Some tips on what to look for when buying wheel covers?
There are important points that must be taken into account, they will help you buy caps that are comfortable, practical and reliable in operation:
- After opening the box, check that there is no damage to the surface of the hood. There should not be any chips, scratches, the shape should be smooth without deformation.
- All available mounts and functional openings must exactly match the parts on the disc. Be sure to see if there is a groove for the spool. This is a very important hole, if it is not, then you will have to constantly remove the caps-every time you need to pump up the wheels or check the level of tire pressure. Naturally, the frequent removal and installation of caps reduces the service life of the fasteners, the latches have a certain resource, and with constant assembly/disassembly they quickly fail.
- Evaluate the stiffness of the spring: it must be stiff so that the caps are held tight. There are models in which the spring stiffness can be adjusted, in which case it is recommended to set the maximum value. If the cap is very easy to mount on the wheel, without any effort, then you should not buy it. While driving, there is a high risk that the caps will simply fall off and you will lose them along the way.
In the online store 130.com.ua, you can buy wheel caps in Kiev, Odessa and Kharkov of any shape and for cars of various brands .