Wheel and Rim Protectors
New alloy wheels can look great, but the rims are vulnerable to potential damage from a number of possible sources. One of the problems comes from the fact that modern alloy wheels have a larger diameter than they used to have. A larger wheel has more area that can potentially be damaged, and damage from rubbing against kerbs is a reality of life, if you are not careful. Some might even say that kerb damage to alloy wheels is inevitable, sooner or later, and there is probably some truth in that.
A damaged, scuffed alloy wheel with bits missing where the rims have made rough contact with a kerb, look extremely unsightly and downright ugly, in fact. That is why alloy rims need to be protected. It's a very easy process to add wheel and rim protectors to new alloy wheels, and it is definitely something that everyone should do. If you don't feel up to doing it yourself, get your local garage to do it. It's a quick, simply job that won't cost much.
Rim protectors for alloy wheels are often made from a flexible polymer that has the look and feel of hard rubber, or they can be made from a more rigid and harder-wearing plastic like nylon, like the excellent Alloygator wheel/rim protectors. They can be fitted to the wheel rim with a high bond application tape, or designed to fit over the back of the wheel rim and be held firmly in place by the pressure of the tyre.
Wheel and rim protectors are available in a variety of colours to either match your car's body paint, or to complement or contrast it. Choosing a silver coloured rim protector, for example, would closely match the existing colour of the alloy wheel to make the rim protector almost invisible. Choosing a coloured protector can have the effect of making the wheels look larger, giving your car a more sleek and sporty look. Different manufacturers offer different colour sets, but most of them have their protectors available in most of the popular colours.
Some rim protectors are easier to fit than others. Fitting the Alloygator range of protector involves first cleaning the wheel, especially near the rim. Then you need to jack up the wheel and release the tyre pressure to zero. With the tyre pressure released, it will be easy to insert the protector behind the wheel rim. Small metal guards that are supplied with the kit need to be glued and fitted in the appropriate places along the length of the protector. Then, using a mallet, the protector is gently knocked into place and secured.
Fitting wheel and rim protectors to your car should not affect the wheel balance, but if it does, you should go along your local garage to have your wheel properly balanced. It should not affect your car insurance either, but it is a good idea to tell your car insurance company in writing that you have fitted them. This should help to keep you clear in the event of any dispute.