Petrol head’s have a soft spot for each other. It is because of the fact that we all have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There isn’t a part of a new car that we wanted to remain stock. Most of the time we wanted to change rims. And what could be more enticing than oem style wheels for a fraction of the cost?
Easy come, easy go. There is a reason why genuine wheels cost what they cost. This is highlighted by Mercedes-Benz’s simulation. Together with Holden, a subsidiary of General Motors, Benz compared the performance of fake wheels and real ones. The testing was done by an independent body using fake Mercedes wheels purchased from somewhere shady. Like an online retailer.
The sole test was pothole impact. The counterfeits chipped at only 31 mph. It occurred twice: one where impact is close to a spoke and one in between spokes. Then the wheels were swapped for the real ones. The same tests were performed and nothing happened. No visible traces of damage, if any. That illustrates that even if you don’t drive a really fast car, having fake wheels and driving at motorway speeds almost guarantees that you will meet your maker. Pedestrian safety will also be jeopardized due to a high speed metal shrapnel flying from the fake wheels.
Paying a more premium price gets you quality, insurance, and assurance. Cheap wheels had the cheapest Research & Development, namely copying designs from genuine manufacturers. And that’s it. They’re quality control has the lowest tolerances.
The sad truth is, rims are only a piece of the puzzle. The other pieces contain everything from bumper to, well, bumper.