Wheels and tyres are hard-working parts of any vehicle. Together they form the system that ultimately executes the driver's commands, as well as providing crucial traction that keeps the driving safe and controlled, while sustaining impact from the surface and the vehicle. In addition, they are a prominent element of the vehicle's appearance; wheels, also called rims, are particularly sought as a way to enhance style and uniqueness, as well as boost the vehicle's resale value.
eBay's online website has a broad selection of automotive parts, including wheels with tyres. Whether looking to replace old parts, purchase a set of seasonal rims and tyres, or upgrade to a new look or performance level, buyers can find a wide range of new and used items on eBay. Before setting out to buy, however, it is important to be aware of what size and kind of wheels and tyres they need, special considerations for buying used parts, and a few crucial steps in the buying process.
Before buying wheels with tyres on eBay, there are a couple steps to consider. These help smooth and focus the search process.
Mounting Wheels and Tyres
It helps to know ahead of time who mounts the wheels and tyres to the vehicle. If a mechanic is servicing the vehicle, it may be useful to confirm ahead of time whether they have any specific requirements or policies, particularly with regard to used parts.
Do-it-yourselfers can find the necessary tools and equipment, such as wheel installation kits, on eBay.
Plan Ahead for Seasonal Tyres
eBay regularly features good deals on wheel and tyre sets. When buying seasonal wheels and tyres, however, consumers can benefit from a wide selection and lower prices by shopping well in advance.
Determining Rim Size and Tyre Size
eBay lets buyers modify their search according to factors like rim width, rim diameter, tyre width, and aspect ratio. The advantage of buying wheels with tyres is that the two parts are fitted for each other, which takes away some of the guesswork when shopping. To determine the rim and tyre size needed, look first at the information on your current tyres. Clearly labelled on the side should be a set of numbers and letters, such as "205/50 R17 93W XL". The first three sets of numbers and letters give vital information about the tyre and rim size. Here, 205 is the tyre width in millimeters, and 50 is the aspect ratio, which is the ratio of the sidewall height to the width. In this case, the sidewall height is 50 per cent of 205 mm. "R17" means that the tyre has a radial construction (R), with an inner rim diameter of 17 inches. Note that tyre width is expressed in millimeters, while rim diameter is expressed in inches.
Rim width, also expressed in inches, is more complicated to determine, and should be done either using an online calculator, or through consulting a professional. However, buying wheels with tyres means that the two parts have been paired to fit properly.
Wheels vary in terms of the materials from which they are made, their construction, and their manufacturing methods. Familiarising themselves with the different options helps consumers navigate their many choices when shopping for wheels.
Steel and Alloy Wheels
The two choices of wheel material are steel or alloy. Steel wheels are an economical choice standard on many vehicles. They are often painted black and covered with a hubcap for cosmetic purposes. Some people choose to upgrade to alloy wheels, which are both stronger and lighter in weight than steel wheels. Made from a metal alloy, generally aluminum and other metals, they are highly durable and reduce tyre wear. Finally, because they are 15-to-20-per cent lighter than steel wheels, they offer better handling and responsiveness. Alloy wheels are more expensive, however, and therefore viewed as an investment.
Another important factor in choosing a wheel is its construction. Wheels can be made of one, two, or three pieces. One-piece wheels are cast or forged in a mould as a single, integral unit. In two-piece wheels, the centre and the barrel are separate parts that have been joined either by welding or bolts. Three-piece wheels have a centre, an inside rim, and an outside rim, joined by quality fasteners.
Wheel Manufacturing Methods
Manufacturing methods affect wheel quality and performance. The four main techniques are low-pressure casting, counter-pressure casting, forging, and roll forging.
The most common method; involves pouring liquid metal into a mould and removing it once cool
Also employs a mould; however, liquid is sucked into the mould rather than poured; this process filters impurities, resulting in a stronger rim
An aluminum "billet" is compressed into a wheel using heat and millions of kilograms of pressure; considered the best manufacturing technique, forging produces a lighter and stronger wheel than casting
A specific type of forging in which a metal piece passes through rollers with particular impressions in their shape to give the wheel its form; reduces need for aluminum for a lighter rim that is still strong
Understanding these terms helps buyers assess wheel quality and compare different models within their price range.
Selecting the right tyres depends on many factors, including vehicle type and driving conditions. Because vehicle companies work together with tyre manufacturers to develop tyres that work with a given model's specific characteristics, it is recommended that consumers buy the same tyres that were originally on the vehicle, provided they are satisfied with the way their car handled. If the tyres are not available, they can consult with a tyre shop or one of many websites online that can suggest a similar product recommended for the vehicle make, model, and trim size.
Consumers should also take driving conditions into consideration when choosing tyres. For cold winters, winter tyres are an excellent seasonal choice. These tyres are designed to perform their best at temperatures below 7 degrees centigrade, whereas other tyres with a lower natural rubber content tend to harden and lose traction. Winter tyres are also designed to handle better in snow and ice than all-season tyres. For more extreme conditions, there are snow tyres specifically made to have optimal traction in snow and ice. The disadvantage with these is that they do not handle as well on pavement. Studded tyres are meant to handle on icy roads and packed snow, making them good for coastal winters. Non-studded winter tyres are better for snowy roads, but require extra caution at crossroads, where there is likely to be more packed snow or ice.
For areas with more moderate temperatures year-round, all-season tyres are an excellent choice, while summer tyres are meant to endure higher temperatures. In areas with potentially icy or mixed weather in autumn and spring, a good solution may be to choose non-studded winter tyres for three seasons and switch to summer tyres in the warmer months.
The Advantages of Having Separate Seasonal Wheels and Tyres
Winter tyres add extra security when driving in snow and ice, while summer tyres are made to endure contact with hot pavement. Having a separate set of winter or summer rims already fitted with the appropriate tyres makes the seasonal transition much easier, since it requires having the tyres mounted only once. In addition, this reduces additional wear that may result from repeatedly mounting and unmounting tyres.
Tips for Buying Used Wheels With Tyres
As tyres sustain a lot of wear, and rubber itself breaks down gradually over time, buying used tires can be a tricky business, especially online. However, those looking to save money may still be able to find gently-used tyres. Sellers should explicitly state the tyres' mileage, whether they have curb rash, and if they are worn evenly. Tread depth, which is the distance from the top of the tread to the groove, is also an important figure; UK law requires a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm for vehicles weighing up to 3500 kg or carrying eight passengers, and 1 mm for vehicles whose weight exceeds 3500 kg or motorcycles over 55 cc.
Used wheels are less problematic, and may perform very well in spite of having been used, provided they are in good condition.
Inspect pictures of the tyres and wheels closely. They should be clear, close-up photos of the items themselves, and not stock pictures. Look for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, dents, rust or abrasion. If shoppers have any questions, they should contact the seller.
How to Search for Wheels With Tyres on eBay
When you're ready to start your search for wheels with tyres on eBay, simply go to eBay's home page and type keywords into the search bar. Some examples include "winter tyres with wheels" or "Honda wheels with tyres". The more specific your set of keywords is, the narrower the range of search results. You can also modify your search results after the original search by selecting factors such as price range, manufacturer, size, and more. For additional hints about effective searching, visit eBay's Search Tips page.
Reading Product and Seller Information
When buying wheels and tyres on eBay, take a few extra steps to ensure that you are getting a quality product from a reliable source. First, always read the full product listing before purchasing. The item description has details about size, materials, and condition (new or used). It should also note the conditions of sale, including whether the seller has a return policy. If you have any questions regarding the wheels and tyres, you can contact the seller through eBay.
Get to know a little more about the seller, too. Look at their feedback rating and browse comments left by previous customers who have bought wheels and tyres or similar items from them in the past. This helps you assess how reliable they are, so you can buy with confidence.
Postage Fees and Local Pickup
Keep in mind that some postage and handling fees may be additional, and since wheels and tyres are bulky and heavy, what may seem like a bargain could turn into a more expensive purchase. Be sure to note fees ahead of time: details are on the full listing. Local pickup is an option with some sellers. If circumstances allow, this can be a good way to save money. However, both parties should be judicious and select a safe, public, well-travelled place to meet during daylight hours for everyone's comfort.
Buying wheels with tyres has a few advantages. First, it ensures correct sizing between rim and tyre, which is essential for the proper function of both parts. Next, it is a convenient and often money-saving approach to buying new or used parts. Finally, it can be of practical benefit, since it eliminates the need to mount and unmount seasonal tyres, which reduces the amount of wear to the tyres and other parts.
eBay has an excellent range of wheels with tyres, both new and used. Before shopping, buyers should understand what size rims and tyres they require, and also have an awareness of what kinds of wheels and tyres are available. If opting for used items, there are certain steps to help assess their condition. Regardless of whether buying new or used wheels and tyres, buyers should read product information and check the seller's feedback prior to purchasing. Following these tips helps consumers find a set of wheels with tyres that are right for their vehicle and driving needs.