Stay with Steel (winter) and Alloy (sp/su/fa) or just one? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 12:06 PM
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Stay with Steel (winter) and Alloy (sp/su/fa) or just one?

Hey all

I know this question has been asked to death, but I was wondering if you guys could help me out.

In August 2009, I became the proud owner of a RAV4 Limited ('09), and with the purchase of the vehicle I received an additional set of (steel) rims which is what I was going to use for the winter.

For the past 3 winters I have been doing the switch between steel winters and alloy otherwise. I am not too keen on the ride difference when switching to the steel rims, however if it means further protection from salt, sand, slush, snow, and grand canyon size potholes (seriously, if you've ever been to Montreal you will know what I am talking about), then I will take the pain for long lasting pleasure.

BUT, I was thinking I could lessen the ride difference blow by switching to one type of rim, either alloy all the time, or steel all the time. They both carry their pros and cons; pro for steel being durability, con being heavier feel than alloys; whereas for alloy the reverse is applicable - especially when it comes down to durability. My sister in law has a 2007 or 2008 Lexus IS 250 AWD, and has already had rim issues with her alloys which she uses all year round - then again my brother likes to drive the living **** out of it, so in conjunction with the lunar type craters, that really doesn't help.

If I stick to my steel rims, either all the time, or just the winter, here is what they look like at present:



Should I change the nuts, even though a dealership here in Ottawa says they are fine - the nuts were a mandatory purchase when I first got the winters put on (at a garage in Montreal where the tires are being stored), as I did not know the nuts from my alloys wouldn't work. What about the end caps - same dealership here in Ottawa is charging 45 per (date 03-apr-2012).

Thanks all for the help

(EDIT: tire sizes are the same for both rims (225/65 R17))
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 01:37 PM
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I would continue to use your alloys in the summer and steelies in the winter. It takes me half an hour to install my winter wheels/tires and I could really care less about the look when it's below zero and you're driving around in salt/slush.

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#3 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 01:49 PM
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Yeah I been to Montreal and it was not to see your potholes....

My vote is for keeping the steelies for the winter too.

Those lug nuts look fine, I've seen much worst. I'd get some center caps and it you want you can spray a little wd40 or grease on them. For the center caps try a local junkyard or ebay.
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 11:46 AM
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Keep the steelies for winter and get some lug nuts from Walmart or Canadian Tire. I believe they are around $7 for 4. Since you need 20, it will cost you $35 +tax.

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#5 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 01:11 PM
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Steel Rims Solution

I have installed full crome lug nuts that dont rust so far at $2 per nut. I have also bought 2 1/4" Dust Caps from a camper dealer they just knock on the steel rims looks great they cost $4.50 per.
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#6 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jossmith View Post
I have installed full crome lug nuts that dont rust so far at $2 per nut. I have also bought 2 1/4" Dust Caps from a camper dealer they just knock on the steel rims looks great they cost $4.50 per.
Wished I was as resourceful as you . . . . I sprung for the Toyota center caps to cover up the axle hole - $40 each!!!!! Dang!

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#7 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CanuckRAV4 View Post
Wished I was as resourceful as you . . . . I sprung for the Toyota center caps to cover up the axle hole - $40 each!!!!! Dang!
are you sure they didn't come with steelies at that price?
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 04:33 PM
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are you sure they didn't come with steelies at that price?
Unfortunately, not.

On the bright side, the dealer price of the steel rim in OP's picture only retails for ~$90.

$40 center cap on a $90 steel rim . . .

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#9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 04:59 PM
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You can get the "same" steel wheels at Walmart for $60 each.
I too had to buy another set of steel wheel nuts, they are chrome, but I doubt the pretty shine will last for any length of time....
I'm like a previous poster and could care less how it "looks" in the salt, slush and snow at -35 celcius! I do however spray the center shaft and nut with rustcheck.....

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#10 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kevcules View Post
You can get the "same" steel wheels at Walmart for $60 each.
I too had to buy another set of steel wheel nuts, they are chrome, but I doubt the pretty shine will last for any length of time....
I'm like a previous poster and could care less how it "looks" in the salt, slush and snow at -35 celcius! I do however spray the center shaft and nut with rustcheck.....
Does that means we can't use the same nuts on steel wheels as on alloys? I know the alloys are completely different as the nuts have a flat washer and the conical end is much smaller. I think I still have regular nuts and chrome plated nuts from my previous vehicles hoping the thread is the same...
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