Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Lug Nuts and Winter Safety

image by Canislupus - https://pixabay.com/en/snow-chains-mature-profile-246258/

Winter is coming, and with it comes concerns about wear, tear, and safety. Not only do the freezing temperatures and vicious weather put you at risk, but they can also do serious damage to your car or truck. Even if you aren’t in an accident, you may face expensive repair bills if you don’t take some time to prepare. You’ll need to consider everything from basic hardware like lug nuts to tires and chains. We’ve put together a few helpful hints to make sure you’re ready to winterize your car before the polar vortex strikes again.
Automotive Check-Up                                   
The first thing on any winterization list should be a general check-up for your car or truck. Make sure fluid levels are where they should be, especially antifreeze and steering fluid. If at all possible, raise your car and check for leaks or breaks along the undercarriage. Check for loose hardware, especially lug nuts, as your tires will face additional stress once winter weather hits. Regular freezing and thawing over the late autumn can loosen hardware, so even if you’ve recently checked your vehicle, go over things like lug nuts, and steering linkage again after major thaw cycles.
Be sure tires can handle the snow. If you live in the country where roads are rarely plowed, you should consider wrapping chains around your tires for extra grip. It’s a good idea to keep chains handy in your trunk, in case of sudden snow or an accident that sends you into a ditch. Even if bystanders want to help, they will need something to link their car to yours. It’s always best to be prepared, especially when stranding can mean hypothermia.
Plan Ahead for Wheel Adapters and Lug Nuts
Old cars are great, but they can’t all support the kinds of tires your car will need to make it safely over icy roads. Always err on the side of caution and choose the safest wheels for the season. Remember, even if winter-friendly wheels and their adapters don’t look perfect on your vintage car, they help make sure it’s still in one piece when spring and the car show season arrive. Wheel adapters allow just about any type of wheel to go on nearly any car or truck. Because trucks and SUVs are more popular for rural residents, they often have the greatest range of available adapters at local parts shops and automotive stores. While everyone should plan ahead bad weather, those with specialized vehicles should plan to get adapters before they need them. They may need to special order them or buy them online.

Winter makes driving a greater challenge, but careful winterization ensures your vehicle doesn’t turn into a hazard. A regular check-up can catch serious issues before the weather and rough driving conditions jeopardize them further, and secondary checks after freeze and thaw cycles helps you keep ahead of ice damage to joints and links. Last, but not least, make sure you have the right wheels for the job. Be sure to plan ahead, not just for tires, but also adapters and additional lug nuts to fit the best tires to your vehicle.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

What to Look for in a Wheel Adapter

Good wheel adapters have three qualities in common. They’re made of a high quality material. They are built to do one thing only. Lastly, they’re the exact thickness that you need. If the adapter you’re looking at doesn’t fit one of these three criteria, they’re not the vehicle enhancement for you. There’s enough at stake with your wheel adapter that you shouldn’t settle for anything that’s less than perfect.
image by pashminu - https://pixabay.com/en/wheel-alloy-car-820099/

High quality material

The most important factor in choosing a wheel adapter is safety. Good wheel adapters will be as safe as running your vehicle to factory specifications. The risk when you add a new piece of hardware to the mix is that you may create a weak link in the chain. Wheel adapters, especially those that change the lug pattern of your vehicle, are subjected to a lot of stress. Inferior products may crumple or wear unevenly shortly after their installation. This puts you at risk. Good wheel adapters don’t have that problem.

When you choose an extruded billet wheel adapter, you’re running top of the line wheel adapters. Your wheel adapter may be stronger than the axle that you’re bolting it to. Extruded billet is a solid piece of metal that has very high strength. Aluminum keeps it light, but the way it’s made keeps it strong.

One single pattern

There are wheel adapters out there that try to bill themselves as the only adapter or spacer that you’ll ever need. They can convert any pattern to any other pattern, etc. It can be very tempting to get one of these. After all, if you like customizing your car, you’re unlikely to stop at just one aftermarket upgrade, right? You think that you’re getting a good deal by purchasing a wheel adapter that can convert in multiple ways. However, you’re actually just buying yourself a bigger headache.

Good wheel adapters do one thing, perfectly. They convert a 4-lug setup to a 5-lug setup. They space your wheel the exact amount that you need. All the holes and connections that you need to make a multi-conversion wheel adapter eats into the strength of the product. You’re running an unneeded risk. Get good wheel adapters that do what you need them to.

The exact thickness

How your wheel adapter spaces your wheel is very important. You need a wheel adapter that moves your wheel out enough without running into fender clearance issues. This becomes even more important if you’re adding other upgrades. For example, if you’re running a larger brake kit on your car, you could have your tire hitting the caliper if you don’t move it out. You should find a wheel adapter at the exact thickness you need. If you absolutely have to, a wheel spacer can be added, but typically you don’t want to use a wheel adapter and a wheel spacer together.

Good wheel adapters are the right size for the job. They’re made of strong material that will last. Good wheel adapters are also built to do one job to perfection. When you’re shopping for wheel adapters, remember these three tips and you’ll avoid the most common mistakes when buying wheel adapters.