Steel Rims vs Alloy Wheels: 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels Weighs In

One commonly asked question by car owners is what's better, steel or alloy? Let's break down the two by the differences in weight, style, maintenance, and price:

Comparing Steel Rims with Alloy Wheels


By nature, alloy wheels are lighter than steel due to the material used for their production. However, most factory original alloy wheels weigh more than steel rims because those options tend to be a larger diameter and width. When it comes to maneuvering your car, the heavier the wheel the better traction you will have, especially in areas with heavy snow, while the lighter wheel will allow you to accelerate more quickly and make sharper turns. The difference in density makes a steel wheel stronger in comparison to alloy rims and so steel rims are less likely to bend or crack than alloy. 


Comparing Alloy Wheel Styles with Steel Rims

When it comes to comparing and contrasting steel and alloy wheels, people will often prefer alloy because they look better. Aluminum is more malleable, allowing manufacturers to get creative when designing the wheels. The density of steel results in a disadvantage in this regard, hence the plain design. However, to make up for the plain steel, plastic hubcaps are utilized to give the rim a stylish look similar to an alloy wheel. Of course, hubcaps can potentially fall off of vehicles due to the heat and expansion rims experience during use. In recent years alloy rims have been appearing in different finishes that expand beyond traditional silver such as chrome, matte finishes, hypers, and more intricate CNC machine finishes. 


All wheels are susceptible to wear and tear over time, such as rusting or scrapes. But as we’ve mentioned before, some are more prone to than others. Steel rims are prone to rust in damp climates. Alloy wheels are prone to corrosion, especially in moist areas with a lot of salt. Repairing a corroded alloy wheel is much more difficult because once the wheel has started to corrode, it’s often irreversible and will get worse, causing tires to leak air. Learn more about wheel corrosion and solutions to it here. Another worry of maintaining alloy wheels is what cleaning solution to use. Due to the many different finishes, alloy rims can come in, different solutions must be used in order to not damage the finish. Steel rims do not require as much precaution as most have a standard black or silver paint or powder coat applied. 


Steel wheels are almost always the less expensive option than aluminum alloy wheels, partly because production is simpler than alloy. This makes steel rims a great replacement wheel. Many models today won’t have a spare rim, so many drivers will opt to buy a steel wheel as a backup.

How we can help

Our OEM wheel experts can help you decide which wheel is best for you and your car’s needs. You can also take advantage of our reconditioning services. We will always let you know if the wheel is repairable or if it is simply easier to replace the wheel altogether. You won’t make a mistake, we simply won’t let you! 

Since 2007, 1-800Everyrim has been one of the leading OEM wheel companies dealing in new take-offs, reconditioned wheels, and used rims. You can buy or sell your wheels using our efficient RimText system by texting pictures of wheels to 951-RimText (951-746-8398), calling 1-800-383-7974, or emailing Sales@1800EveryRim. We also wholesale wheels! Create an online account with us at and take advantage of our live inventory, expert tech notes, and quick and easy ordering.



OEM Wheel Wholesale

1-800EveryRim offers OEM wheels wholesale!  

 1-800EveryRim's OEM Wheel's Wholesale Wheel Warehouse


OEM rim replacement and sales can be tricky unless you have the right vendor. With over 125 years of combined OE wheel experience, 1-800EveryRim serves tire stores, collision repair shops, insurance adjusters, auto recyclers, and the automotive industry at large throughout the US.

Have you ever ordered the wrong factory original rim and it’s YOUR FAULT? Or, have you ordered the correct wheel, but received the wrong wheel, the wrong finish, or even a bent wheel? And when you sell a set of custom wheels and end up with take-offs, do you turn around and simply sell them to your local scrapper? Some factory wheels are worth a lot more than scrap!

When choosing a partner for OE wheels, ask yourself the following: 

  • Who will have the wheel in stock?

  • Can they get the wheel to me quickly?

  • Who will be right on price?

  • When I need to sell take-off wheels, who will deal with me efficiently and fairly?

Many dealers do not work the system or work with the right original wheel vendor, and in the end, waste valuable time and money. We are responsive, experienced, and are especially dedicated to our industry friends! With one of the largest inventories of new take-offs, reconditioned wheels, and used rims in both steel and alloy, 1-800EveryRim offers wholesale accounts a wide range of benefits and services:

  • Core return is not required.

  • Liberal return policy

  • Very competitive pricing

  • Purchase wheels in singles, sets, pallet or truckload, made easy by issuing pick up labels

  • Access to OEM wheel portal, featuring a live inventory of precisely graded wheels along with key “Pro Notes” preventing costly mistakes in ordering

  • And more!


Based in Los Angeles, California we reach over 95% of the West in one to two days and offer free same day delivery to much of LA, OC, and the Inland Empire. Of course we ship nationwide as well.

Reach our skilled staff at 1-800EveryRim (1-800-383-7974),

Buy a used wheel? Good Option?

Why should you buy a used OE rim? 


Used stock original wheel warehouse

A straight used wheel that has been carefully inspected may be a good option compared to a reconditioned rim or new take-off wheel. You may prefer a used rim over a reconditioned replacement wheel if the vehicle is older or if your customer is on a budget. Here at 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels, we are experts on stock factory original rims and we can help you with a variety of condition options.

While we do deal in recons and new take-offs, you may not need that “like-new” wheel. A used wheel costs significantly less than a reconditioned or take-off wheel and your customer may just need a functional replacement that stays within their budget. 

If a person owns a much older car, more than likely they may not want a shiny new wheel that will stick out from the other three rims. Our inventory of used wheels are graded with our 12-tier grading scale which categorizes based on the wheel’s condition. This easy to understand grading scale takes into account brand new rims that have never been mounted to a wheel that is worn but a perfect choice for many older cars. 


1-800EveryRim spin checking steel oem wheel


We thoroughly inspect each and every wheel before adding it to our vast inventory to ensure that it is straight and serviceable.

While there are more reasons on why a used wheel may be preferred, it ultimately comes down to the look and cost of the wheel. 1-800EveryRim has one of the largest inventories of stock original wheels in the US and we make both buying and selling steel and alloy a simple task, here are three ways to sell your take-off wheels to 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels

Through our OEM wheel wholesale site,, you will find the exact wheel your customer needs. You may search year, make, and model, the OEM wheel part number, or Hollander Wheel Guide interchange number. In conjunction with our live inventory, you can send a request directly to the warehouse to see a picture of the exact wheel you’re inquiring about. For a quick wheel quote, utilize our RimText system by texting a picture of your wheel(s) to 951-RimText (951-746-8398). Just let us know whether you're buying or selling and one of our OEM wheel experts will get back to you within minutes, learn more about our RimText system here


How to Sell Your OEM Wheels

Need to sell your stock original wheels?

1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels makes selling your factory original rims and wheels quick and easy. With our RimText System Wheel Dealer Program, our website, and a great team of OEM wheel experts, we make it easy.

Please note, we only accept factory original wheels and OEM rims. We do not buy or sell aftermarket wheels.

Sell Your Used Rims through RimText

Used original steel and alloy rims

Our RimText system is an industry favorite because it’s simple to use with quick results. Just take a photo of your wheel and send it to 951-RimText (951-746-8398) along with “selling.” Within minutes, you will receive your wheel quote. If you have multiple wheels, just pull one of each kind and take a photo of them. You don’t need to identify the wheels because our experts will already know what they are. We will tell you right away what your wheels are worth. And of course you may purchase stock replacement wheels using RimText. Helpful tip! If this is your first time using 951-RimText, be sure to include your name and company so our sales team can save your information.

Selling Used Wheels with our Wheel Dealer Program

Our wholesale site, is a great way to not only purchase stock wheels, but also to sell take-off wheels. Searches are made easy using part numbers or by entering the make, model, and year. Once you have selected your wheel, click on the last green box where it says, “Core return is not required. Inquire about the value of takeoffs and cores.” Within minutes, our team will contact you with a potential purchase quote on your factory original take-off wheels.


How to sell a take-off wheel through



If you have a list of wheels or pictures, you may email the sales team directly at Our team will review the list, let you know the value of each wheel, and then you decide which ones you’d like to sell. Should you ever need immediate answers, call us directly at 1-800-383-7974.

Additional info on selling your original equipment wheels:

  • Wheels must be OEM take-offs.
  • Although we do buy some wheels with bends and dings, it is extremely important that you check each wheel on a wheel balancer so that you represent to us exactly what you have. Some bent wheels are still valuable, but not all.
  • You are always free to come directly to our warehouse in Santa Fe Springs, CA to drop off your wheels.
  • Upon request, we do provide shipping labels to make selling easier.
  • You will receive your payment promptly.
How do you know if your rim is OEM?

Wondering if the wheel you have is an OEM?

OEM stands for "original equipment manufacturer." An OEM wheel is a wheel that was installed on a car by the original manufacturer. Other terms used interchangeably for OEM wheels are stock rims, factory original wheel, and more loosely, take-off wheel. OE manufacturers produce specific stock rims for every vehicle model and almost always there is more than one option. Aftermarket wheels, on the other hand, are produced by various other companies that either build custom rims or sometimes replica wheels that look like stock original wheels. Note that when considering the purchase of OEM replacement wheels, replica wheels can be a cost-effective option especially when a used wheel or reconditioned wheel cannot be located.

Here are some ways to tell if your rims are original equipment (OEM):

If the wheel that is being sought after does not have the carmaker logo on the center cap/hub cap, chances are this is not a stock wheel. Stock wheels can usually be identified by the center cap logo; however, even this can be deceiving as some aftermarket companies produce wheels that fit the original equipment caps.

Steel OEM wheel painted silver with Hyundai center cap

Many times you can identify a factory OEM rim by checking for the vehicle maker logo on the backside (Think Ford logo, Chevy logo, etc), and also there will almost always be OEM type numbers on the back of the wheel which sometimes includes the actual part number. Volvo wheels, Audi wheels, Volkswagen rims, and BMW original equipment wheels almost always have the OEM wheel part number stamped on the back. BMW begins its numbers with 11, 66, 67, and 68 plus more!

BMW OE rim mounted with tire

One thing to be careful about is that many times factory original wheels have an aftermarket finish (different finish) on them than when they came with new on the vehicle. For instance, the rims could have been chromed, polished, or have a PVD chrome finish on them. The aforementioned wheels which now have custom finishes on them would be considered to have an “aftermarket finish” on a factory original rim.

Close up on Mercedes OEM alloy wheel

At 1-800EveryRim, we specialize in OEM steel and alloy wheels. Take advantage of our stock rim knowledge, we're happy to help you find the correct replacement wheel whether it's a used rim, a reconditioned wheel, or even a new take-off wheel. We will not allow you to make a mistake!

Repairing and Reconditioning OEM Rims

Repair and Reconditioned Wheels Services 

Does your customer need their wheel repaired? Need to know whether or not it can be done? The ability to repair a wheel depends on the amount and type of damage to the rim. For instance, a used wheel with only “curb rash” is almost always repairable, while a rim with a crack may not be. One of the benefits of working with us is that we will tell you right away if your wheel is repairable or if it is even worth repairing. In some cases, an OEM  replacement wheel may be a better option. But, here are some tips to give you an idea of what is and is not a repairable rim.  

Curb Rash

 Curb rash on a wheel

A curb rashed wheel is just as it sounds, a wheel that has sustained damage from a curb. This type of damage is fairly common. A curbed wheel will usually not result in a structural issue, or in other words, will not cause a vibration. If the wheel has been slightly damaged from a curb, the cheap fix is simply filing and repainting, as long as the grinding done by the curb is not too deep into the metal. However, It’s a different story altogether once we get into more exotic OEM wheel finishes including hyper silvers and chrome as the finish is much more difficult to replicate when touching up. Deep damage may require welding, otherwise filing will leave an indentation or flat spot. Your customer may want to opt for fully reconditioning the rim which will take care of curb rash as well as any other cosmetic and/or structural damage.


Corrosion on a wheel

Corrosion on a wheel is often irreversible and will get worse over time. Excessive corrosion on the mounting surface is the main issue as the wheel and tire assembly tends to leak air in this situation. Many shops will sand down and then put a coating on the bead of the wheel to remove corrosion and create a smooth surface for mounting. This solution works for a while, but there’s no telling if and when the wheel will leak again. Once corrosion has started to eat away at the metal it is bound to continue. Sometimes it’s best to replace the corroded wheel, but even a brand new wheel could corrode down the road. Corrosion is more likely to occur on chrome wheels because of small pitting, or holes, in the plating that expose the bare metal underneath. Moisture gets into these areas and starts to wear the metal away. Your customer may want to get their wheel re-chromed but even this is a temporary solution and may not solve the leaking issue if the corrosion has eaten away too much material.

Bent Wheels

A bent wheel

Repairing a bent wheel is a common practice, but not all bent wheels are repairable. The main factors are the location of the bend and how badly bent the wheel is. Small bends on the backside of the wheel are typically easy repairs. Bends on the front side (styled side) of the wheel are much more difficult as the design of the wheel may interfere with repair processes. If a bend is severe it may cause the wheel to be bent from the center, these types of bends are non-repairable and a replacement would need to be purchased.


An example of a repairable and unrepairable crack in a wheel

Leaks or cracks are a little more difficult to discern, so the rim must be inspected carefully. Cracks are common on the backside of the wheel and will often start at the outer lip. If the crack is small enough, the wheel may be repaired to prevent it from leaking. If there is a large crack in the wheel, the chances of repairing the damage are slim to none. Any crack past the safety bead will not be repaired, at least by us! Cracks or holes in the barrel are also deemed non-repairable in addition to cracks on the front of the wheel including spokes. Some steel wheels are known to leak from the area of the barrel that has been welded to attach the center. These wheels are not repairable and must be replaced.

Wheel Repair and Refinishing Services

At 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels we offer chroming, polishing, machining, painting, color changes, and wheel repair service on a limited basis. We offer to pick up and deliver in the greater Los Angeles area on sets of 4 but on anything less than 4, the wheel(s) must be shipped to us. If you do not have an expert wheel repair or wheel reconditioning company near you, then ship it to us to have it done right! In the event you need a replacement rim, we offer reconditioned wheels as well as used rims and new take-offs in both steel and alloy. For all of your factory original rim and wheel needs call 1-800EveryRim (1-800-383-7974), text pictures to 951-RimText (951-746-8398), or log on to to view our large inventory of stock OEM replacement wheels shipped from here in the Southern California/Los Angeles area!