05 9 / 2012
You want to change the look of your car, but you don’t really have a lot to spend on the venture. This has sent you to a mission of finding items and services that will complete the task, without going overboard on your budget concerns. The changes that you want to happen are minimal, but your main concern is to look for quality, great-looking, but affordable hubcaps.
Brief Introduction about Hubcaps
Did you know that these accessories were first known as grease or dust caps when these were introduced in 1932? Before its introduction, such part of the vehicle was mostly made of nickel plated brass, specifically before 1915 and in the 1920s, these were manufactured using mostly aluminum. The snap-on type of center caps on the wheels was first manufactured from 1927 to 1928. More developments happened in the industry and these accessories have also undergone many changes when it comes to appearance and where these are made from.
Shopping for the Right Hubcaps
A hubcap can be used interchangeably with the wheel covers, both of which can be made from plastic or metal and serve as cover for the hub of the tire. Before you begin shopping, you have to make sure that you know what you need and what fits the requirement of your vehicle. Here are the things that you ought to follow before buying such accessories.
1. Make sure that you have the right size of the car’s wheel. You have to carefully inspect this part of the vehicle. You can find the wheel’s size on the tire. The size is indicated by a series of letters and numbers. Standard sizes apply for many tires. With several numbers and letters to remember, it is best that you write all these down in a piece of paper. This will come in handy, especially if you are finding it hard to look for the supplier that can give you the right stock. You can simply refer to the paper where you have written the size that you are looking for to make it easier for you to get done with your inquiries to as many suppliers as possible.
2. Aside from the tire size, there are other details that you will be asked to provide the suppliers that selling such products. You have to list down the make and model number of your car as well. If you aren’t that sure about this, you can simply refer to the vehicle’s manual to get accurate information.
3. You can begin your search at online shops. This will give you more time to access pictures of how various models of such accessory would look once properly fitted. This is also your chance to compare prices, depending on the model, material used and current state of the product. Once you have done the necessary comparisons, you can opt to proceed ordering online or you can list down your choices and look for these at shops that sell car accessories, which are located near your place.
4. When you are ready to buy, you have to choose again with two options. You can get original and new hubcaps or prefer the used types. Between the two, the latter would fit your budget concerns, unless you would aim for the vintage models, which can be more expensive than the new ones because most of these are hard to find.
Old or New?
If you want something new and prefer to get an Original Equipment Manufacturer accessory, it is best that you get in touch with a car or hubcap dealer to order the right hubcap replacement for your vehicle. Check the other hubcaps that are installed on the vehicle to make sure that you will be getting the kind that will match these. You can also opt to get decorative wheel covers if you want to give the car a somewhat different appearance and appeal.
It is completely okay though if you would prefer to avail used hubcaps. Aside from the reduced price, you will be getting great quality for as long as you buy the material only from reputable sources. You have to learn how to check the material for any kinds of deformities that might affect its performance once installed on your tires.
First off, check the product for any dents. Although such damage, especially if it is only minor, would not affect the performance of the accessory once installed in the vehicle, this will add up to the negative points of its appearance. This is an essential factor if you intend to sell the car. Its selling price is going to be based not only on its specs and performance, but the appearance will contribute a lot to the overall value as well.
You must also be on the lookout for cracks. It is recommended to be very frank with the seller about the blemishes, if there are any, to the items that they are selling. If you will only purchase this online, it is best that you ask for proofs, like close-up pictures of the problem areas and also ask how these were incurred.
Added Safety Feature
Hubcaps, whether these are used or brand new, do not only add to the vehicle’s appeal, but these also serve minor aerodynamics and safety points. Such accessory is placed at the center of the wheel, giving this part protection against natural causes, such as weather, dust and dirt, and helps in preventing the buildup of rust on the part where it is installed.
This also helps in saving fuel by adding up to the aerodynamic features of the vehicle. This accessory also helps you prevent the loss of your wheel lugs, which can fall off if the installation was not tight. The hubcap catches these and you will be alerted through the jingling sounds that you have to put the lugs back in place.
For the cheapest prices of used hubcaps, you can try checking out recycling yards near your place. You never know, but you might be able to find gems amidst what many people perceive as trash.
25 6 / 2012