What more are hub caps than a fashion statement? Do these decorative disks really hold any value in how your car performs? There must be something behind your wheel covers that makes them valuable and of a substantial importance, right?

Wrong! Hub caps are just designed to give your vehicle a better look. What good would a BMW be with a set of hub caps from Wal-Mart? Exactly! If you have a fancy, expensive, high maintenance vehicle, you need the best of the best. That means you should be comfortable with spending hundreds of dollars just for nice hub caps. If you have a 1993 Ford Tempo, you obviously won't buy expensive hub caps, but a brand new BMW definitely needs to be appealing.

What's the Difference between Rims and Hub Caps?
A lot of people make the mistake and think that rims are really the same thing as hub caps, but they're not. Rims are wheels; they're what hold the tires in place. The hub caps are just wheel/rim covers. Rims can easily cost over a thousand dollars for an exotic set, but hub caps generally only set you back a few hundred dollars, even for highly desirable sets.

Alloy Wheels
If your vehicle has alloy wheels (or styled wheels) then you will likely be buying smaller hub caps which may also be named "center caps". In some cases, you may even leave the rims bare and just use the wheel locks instead.

Hub Cap Designs
There are many different types of designs available for hub caps. Certain styles will look better on specific types of automobiles. For instance, a sports car requires a much different style of hub caps than a truck would.

It definitely comes down to how flashy you want your hub caps and rims to be. If you're looking for a car to turn heads and get everyone's attention, you'll want the rims and hub caps to complement the rest of the car. If you just have a business or family car, get classy or casual styled hub caps. The color of your vehicle can also play a role in what hub caps would go best with it.

In the past, hub caps were usually chrome plated. There were various designs available with unique spoke patterns, but there's a lot more too choose from now. You can choose what color hub caps you want, the amount of spokes, how big the spokes are, and much more. Your possibilities are pretty much endless.

Losing Hub Caps
Some people that are hunting to buy a new hub cap, or set of hub caps, are doing so because they lost one (or all) of their hub caps. This can be a result from a few different occurrences. The most common would be that you hit a bump while driving and the hub cap falls off. The other reason for losing hub caps, although not as frequent, would be them getting stolen. Hub cap companies have attempted to fix the issue with driving on bad roads by adding features that keep the hub cap in place.

Keeping Hub Caps from Falling Off
Hub caps are now designed with clips that can be used to keep the hub cap from falling off. Usually the hub caps have a clip-on retention feature. This feature is designed with a spring steel clip (plastic clip if it’s for a plastic hub cap) that grooves into the wheel. The other design used to prevent your hub caps from falling off is the bolt-on retention feature. This feature is designed with a threaded fastener that supports the hub cap in place. In some cases, a plastic washer (connected to the lugnut) could be used instead.

Hub caps that are designed with the clip-on retention will generally fall off easier when you suddenly hit a pot hole or bump. On the other hand, hub caps with the bolt-on design will usually loosen up from vibration as time progresses. The bolt-on hub caps will also make squeaky noises or rattling noises in some cases, when worn out.

Whenever you go hunting for hub caps you'll have to make sure that they're styled perfectly for your car. Make sure the color matches; the spokes have an intriguing pattern, etc. When attempting to perfect your vehicle's appearance, an unattractive set of hub caps can really ruin your car's exterior beauty.

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