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I've read the only difference would be price, winter wheels are cheaper. Some also supposedly have an extra chemical resistant coat.

Being in Canada, I suppose winters are long. Why you want nice wheels on a short sunmer but ugly wheels during the long winter?
It could be a carry over from yesteryear when winter tires were put on the rear only, to facilitate traction with rear wheel drive. It was also more convenient to have the extra wheels ready to put on when actually needed, than go to a tire changer, many miles away, on short notice. Back then, steel wheels were the norm year round.
FWD and the need to dress up mostly mundane looking vehicles these days, has lead to the fancy wheels. I don't know that that is debatable. Look at those 1957 Ford Fairlanes. :)
 

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I am using Continental Winter Contact SI ... bought them in winter of 2019 ... didn't take them off over the summer of 2020 since I used only 3 tanks of fuel the whole year! They are still in excellent condition. I've not had any issues with them. Good grip on slippery roads. I had Continental True Contact summer tires on my last car (Suby Foreseter) and was more than satisfied with them. If I had to replace my current winters (and I'm a LONG way from that) then I'd go for the new SI Plus like Jeepman. Winter is basically December through March here so a good set will last a long time unless you're driving hundreds of km daily!!!
 

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I don't buy that, tires are not solid and also shrink on cold weather.

I don't buy that either. You just use them for a couple of months, then remove them, clean them and store them.
As an engineer, you would know that the thermal coefficient of expansion for aluminum is double that of steel. A cold tire is very stiff and you can lose air through the bead. It doesn't happen often, but it happens, usually at the worst time. You wouldn't have that problem in Texas though.

Aluminum wheels do last as long as steel, unless you bend one on a pothole. But aluminum does look terrible if used in winter.

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Alloy wheel Rim Automotive design
 

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So if I purchase some new steel rims I would simply spray them with Fluid Film in the fall before I put them on and maybe again in the Spring before I put them away? When you say wheel covers do you mean hubcaps?
I tried Fluid Film on one rim as an experiment, and it seemed to be mostly gone within a week. That rim didn't look any different than the others in the Spring. But it doesn't hurt to try.

Wheel covers won't prevent rust, they just hide it. They all have openings so the salt still gets in, unlike old school steel covers. The new ones are all plastic and don't stay on very well. Lot's of people use zip ties to keep them on.

Hub caps are technically the smaller caps (aka dog dishes) that only cover the center part where the lugs are. Alas, winter wheels don't have the formed nubs to hold a hub cap on.
 

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Personally, I don't change wheels, just change tires. That means new balancing and condition check on a yearly basis. :) Also means lug nuts get beat up by impact wrenches. :(

Sometimes the steel winter wheels have a different rim size to get more tire depth, versus width, for winter traction and pot hole season. That's not needed for the 225/65R17 size, it's for when the rim is only sitting about 3" above the pavement, tire fully inflated.



XL stands for extra load
106 is the load index
T is the speed rating

View attachment 63780


Wheel covers at Canadian Tire:
impact wrenches should never be used to put on wheel nuts.only to take them of.
Tighten by feel or torque wrench as a rule of thumb.
To often when garages work on a vehicle they rush and out comes the impact .
And look out trying to get them off again even with an impact.
That’s why sometimes nuts have to be torched off.
And always use never seize on threads 👍Happy Thanksgiving 👍🇨🇦
p.s
Do you change your own tires and keep the nice Aluminum rims all winter.
If so wouldn’t that be pricey.?
 

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As an engineer, you would know that the thermal coefficient of expansion for aluminum is double that of steel. A cold tire is very stiff and you can lose air through the bead. It doesn't happen often, but it happens, usually at the worst time. You wouldn't have that problem in Texas though.

Aluminum wheels do last as long as steel, unless you bend one on a pothole. But aluminum does look terrible if used in winter.

View attachment 63782
I understand your point but, critical expansion joints are made of rubber or some kind of elastomer material, deoending on the temperature range.

A 17" wheel will not shrink-expand due to temperature changes much more than a tire.

Price would be the main problem on buying aluminum vs stell, I would think.
 

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This is an age old argument ... While lube eases the rotational torque, it means for the same torque setting as dry, you've put much higher compression torque on the wheel and threads. The result can mean that you cause stretch damage on the base of the stud so, when you come to remove it, it may shear off.below the nut. Others will proclaim that it doesn't.

I've experienced what may be that effect ... so I got a wire brush adaptor for my drill and clean the threads, and a wire brush for a rotary tool (dremel tool) that can clean the inside of the nuts
 

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impact wrenches should never be used to put on wheel nuts.only to take them of.
Tighten by feel or torque wrench as a rule of thumb.
To often when garages work on a vehicle they rush and out comes the impact .
And look out trying to get them off again even with an impact.
That’s why sometimes nuts have to be torched off.
And always use never seize on threads 👍Happy Thanksgiving 👍🇨🇦
p.s
Do you change your own tires and keep the nice Aluminum rims all winter.
If so wouldn’t that be pricey.?
Impact wrenches shouldn't be used around wheels, period. It's illegal to use them on commercial vehicles here, so I am told. Think buses and trucks and passenger vans.

Using an impact wrench to break the lug nuts loose, beats the stainless steel caps up pretty bad, hence the caps coming off eventually. Nobody likes that but they don't seem to complain, except about the vehicle manufacturer, "Chrysler doesn't know how to make lug nuts, boo-hoo".

I have seen Costco do a proper job of changing wheels and Walmart on some occasions. 95% of the wheel lug nut work generally = not so good IMO. On an exam, an F.

As to lubrication, a light application of lubricant, say Fluid Film, use to be acceptable and I still use it. In the hands of a wheel changer, maybe not so good, considering how they use impact wrenches. A quick spray over everything will do ya. NO, only the threads.

Don't be surprised if your lug nuts are torqued 140 ft.lb.+ instead of the 100 ft.lb. specified. That makes sure the wheel won't loosen up for the next 500,000 miles. It would be interesting to know what the Company policies and insurance policies say about wheel work. They can be particular re tires.
 
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Impact wrenches shouldn't be used around wheels, period. It's illegal to use them on commercial vehicles here, so I am told. Think buses and trucks and passenger vans.

Using an impact wrench to break the lug nuts loose, beats the stainless steel caps up pretty bad, hence the caps coming off eventually. Nobody likes that but they don't seem to complain, except about the vehicle manufacturer, "Chrysler doesn't know how to make lug nuts, boo-hoo".

I have seen Costco do a proper job of changing wheels and Walmart on some occasions. 95% of the wheel lug nut work generally = not so good IMO. On an exam, an F.

As to lubrication, a light application of lubricant, say Fluid Film, use to be acceptable and I still use it. In the hands of a wheel changer, maybe not so good, considering how they use impact wrenches. A quick spray over everything will do ya. NO, only the threads.

Don't be surprised if your lug nuts are torqued 140 ft.lb.+ instead of the 100 ft.lb. specified. That makes sure the wheel won't loosen up for the next 500,000 miles. It would be interesting to know what the Company policies and insurance policies say about wheel work. They can be particular re tires.
More great info.cheers for that👍This place is another schooling lol
 

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The whole debate as to use, or not use, a lubricant on wheel stud threads is a hoot. People have been using lubricant on the threads, even anti-seize, the mother of all metal contact surfaces lubricants, for decades. There are so many debates while the wheel installers, that use impact wrenches to whack the life out of the stainless caps and over torque the lug nuts by 50%, don't even get mention in the obituary columns.

Wheel studs are way over designed, and rightly so. One thing about lubricant is that it helps provide uniformity of bolt tension and clamping force. Think "warped" rotors. On the other hand, don't think "warped" rotors. LEVY might be listening. :)

I recently had wheel work done on my 2016 DGC by a licensed Mechanic. The advantage of using that Shop is that I can enter the work bay and observe what's going on. Most places, one can't do that. He installed the wheels using an impact wrench and then checked them at some torque setting, I don't know what his setting was. Next time he will be using my torque wrench and I will be paying more attention. His torque wrench clicked out on all lug nuts.

Once home I decided to loosen all lug nuts, if necessary, and retorque. Well, to my dismay, these nuts were way over torqued. According to my torque wrench, over 140 ft.lb. was the break away torque. In one case, I eventually snapped off the 1/2" to 3/8" adapter I was using, which showed two things:
  • way over torqued
  • inconsistent clamping forces.
While we debate an additional 10%, or whatever, clamping force change due to thread lubrication, this "gross" work keeps going on.
NOTE: Just because the same size stud on a Ford F150 truck requires 140 ft.lb. of torque, doesn't mean that mine should be torqued to the same spec.

As to any additional torque, due to thread lubrication, do the math.
  • clean the threads, nuts and contact surfaces with brake cleaner, or whatever.
  • torque the lug nuts up to spec using hand tools
  • check what the break away torque is, in an hours time.
  • record the data and report back
  • repeat the first step
  • apply a light lubricant, say Fluid Film, lightly, to the threads only
  • torque the lug nuts up to spec using hand tools
  • check what the break away torque is, in an hours time.
  • record the data and report back

Optional:
Repeat the above process using anti-seize

WARNING: Stay away from wheel installers that think lubrication of lug nut/threads is good. A can of spray lubricant and an impact wrench in their hands, is a license to kill. :(
 
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Wow .similar story here I just bought new to me 2018 this time last yr.
It came with winter steel wheels and tires.I took them to get put on by my mechanic and he couldnt get the nuts off.
He quad two torch two off and he told me he couldn’t believe it just passed a safety.
Anyways I take it the guy that done the safety torqued the bolts on.
My mechanic told me I need all new nuts as the old ones where all stretched out.
Anyway $400.00 bucks later .all because of some yo-yo using a torque gun to tighten.
I guess you better tell the garage ahead of time no tightening with impact guns 💪😂👍
 

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It came with winter steel wheels and tires.I took them to get put on by my mechanic and he couldnt get the nuts off.
He quad two torch two off and he told me he couldn’t believe it just passed a safety.
Anyways I take it the guy that done the safety torqued the bolts on.
My mechanic told me I need all new nuts as the old ones where all stretched out.
Anyway $400.00 bucks later .all because of some yo-yo using a torque gun to tighten.
I guess you better tell the garage ahead of time no tightening with impact guns 💪😂👍
I've never seen someone doing a vehicle inspection checking wheel studs torque, never. Then, if they will, they would only check for under torquing. Don't know what your mechanic is talking about, unless in Canada inspection is different.
 

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I’m led to believe the wheels have to come off to check the brakes?.
I’m just stating what he told me👍
Drum brakes = yes. Disk brakes = maybe, if checking for more than wear, like stuck pins or torn boots. Uneven wear, if detected, would lead some Mechanics to look further. Some may ever create a fuss about rust on the brake lines, it all depends on how concerned the Mechanic is about safety or being audited. Front wheels don't come off very often, more like never, in my experience with safety inspections.

Vehicles, that have passed safety inspection at one shop, say a Dealership, have been looked at by another shop, for whatever reason, and written up or rejected because of a perceived safety problem. The vehicle Owner, of course, gets very upset and may even go public/legal.
 

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Ordered the Continental WinterContact tires yesterday from Canadian Tire online. Got notification that the order had been received, was being processed and to wait for an email saying the tires were ready to pick up.
About 3 hours later got an email saying my order was cancelled because of "issues with your order". Guess I shouldn't have filled out the survey at the end of the order although I can't remember swearing or being negative about their web site. :) My account seems to be fine, not over drawn, in arrears, or anything. I will call them on Tuesday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. If you see any Pilgrims, be nice to them.
 
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Back on topic (LOL), I vote for the steelies in winter and buy inexpensive wheel covers, or get DGC stock covers from the junkyard. I agree that winter kills aluminum wheels so I consider the steelies as the sacrificial rims to make sure your van looks good the other 6-7 months of the year.

We've been very happy with our Blizzaks on our Corolla (yes, mounted on steelies) and would buy Blizzaks for the van. IMHO.
 
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