Need advice to buy a set of alloy wheels.?

I have Mazda Familia 2001...thinking of fitting set of alloy wheels....but dont know what to look for?what size would be/look the best?when they mention curbing on the alloy wheels what does it mean?can the curb be repaired?what is offset?Most of all...what should i look for when buying a second hand?Thank u....

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  • Meri
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Quick answer to your questions...bearing in mind these are U.S. based answers and USD prices.

    1. In looking to purchase aftermarket wheels, you want a reliable name brand wheel from a company that has been around for a while. You do not want Italian made wheels, because the alloy is very soft and will bend very easily. Most specifically, you want to buy something that is not already discontinued, as 90% of aftermarket wheels are discontinued every 1-3 years.

    2. In terms of what size would look the best, it depends on your aesthetic but I would not go over 17" on a sedan like that unless you are ready to have your wheels straightened frequently.

    3. Curbing means curb scrapes. Depending on how hard the curb was hit, this could be a few teeny dings on the face to the whole finish around the rim being rubbed off. People frequently claim their wheels are only curb scraped when they actually are bent or have more severe damage than they will admit to.

    4. Some curb rash will be repaired. Repairs range between $150 each for a smaller, one piece painted and machined wheel to $300 for a hypersilver, large, two piece wheel. Those repair prices are per wheel, not per set. If the wheels are chromed, you can expect to pay $500 or more each to get them rechromed because rechroming is difficult to find. Bear in mind that chromeplating is increasingly regulated by the EPA because chrome is so toxic, so it is nearly impossible for a wheel to be stripped off without causing damage to the structure of the wheel. As a result, the surface that remains to rechrome is so pock-marked and uneven that it is difficult to get a satisfactory result. My family's business stopped offering chromeplating services because of this issue. Set after set were coming in uneven, pock marked and horrible.

    5. Offset is the distance between the back of the rim and where the brake calipers should be in relationship to the back of the rim. Rims should be printed with a number that will say "ET" and then a number like "38" and 38 is the offset.

    6. Please don't buy secondhand wheels. They are usually for sale for a reason, and that reason is usually the other person has damaged them. You can get decent quality new wheels for the price of most used wheels if you look carefully and do your research and you won't be buying someone else's troubles.

    Now, a warning: here is the scenario I see every day: A customer pulls up full of hope with a trunk full of wheels he recently purchased for a really great price from his childhood friend/co-worker/some guy off of ebay. The person he bought the rims from has assured him that the rims are barely used and only slightly damaged...just a little nick here, just a touch of curb scrapes there. Usually the person bringing me the wheels has paid in cash and has no recourse, and I leave my counter in the able hands of my assistant to discover that my potential customer has just paid hard-earned cash for what amounts to scrap metal. Sure, the wheels are barely nicked, but they are chromeplated and therefore cost $500 and up each to refinish...if we could even find a good chromeplater for them, which we can't. Sure, there is just a little damage on one of the rims...but the damage is a crack, and it is on the front face of the wheel, which means we can't repair that rim, and since one rim is totaled and the person only has 3 more...the set is useless.

    Please don't let that be you. If you absolutely must buy aftermarket wheels, get them new, get a reliable brand that is not Italian. Italian alloy is mandated by the Italian government to be soft so it bends, not breaks when you are going 120 on the highway. Their roads are smooth and beautiful. Roads everywhere else are not, and the wheels bend easily. Please don't buy tremendously large wheels. Upsize one or two inches at the most, and let the reason your car looks good is because you picked an attractive wheel, not an overly huge, garish one.

    Also bear in mind that the larger you go, the more expensive the tires are and the more limited the selection is of tires.

    I wish you very good luck, but be very, very careful, and please, if you live someplace with ice and snow, hold on to your old rims for the winter months. It will prolong the life of your aftermarket rims to bang up the old ones on winter potholes!

    Source(s): I have been in the wheel repair business for 17+ years, currently running my family's wheel straightening, repair and refinishing business with my husband.
  • 1 decade ago

    i think some nice 17 inch ones with the thin spokes would look smart..curbing means when you hit a curb the alloy becomes scuffed and marked and yes you can you get them refurbished considering they are not badly curbed..any scruffs round the edge of the rim and make sure they are not buckeled

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