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Discussion Starter #1
Hello peeps,

The girlfriend has a V6 2011 RAV4 LTD 4WD and it's got the 17" wheels with all season tires. The tread is still good but I want to get her another set of wheels and winter tires. I looked at the spare wheel in the back and it's a cheaper steel rim unmlike the other 4 (alloy?) wheels. I found a similar one online for $73.42 each and was wondering if you guys think it'll work with factory lugs?

According to CarID.com this is Replace® - 17x6.5 5-Spoke Silver Steel Factory Wheel


We're not looking for anything fancy, just an extra set of wheels for winter tires. Any help/advice is much appreciated!

 

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That is a pretty good option. Get 3 new wheels and use the stock spare's rim. Run the OE size. Then simply hang the spare from the off season on the back.

The factory alloys come with fancy captured washer lug nuts like this.


When running steel wheels only the beveled tip contacts the rim. Thus the washer of yoru fancy lug nuts will rattle around. Better to get a 2nd set of basic lug nuts for the steelies.


I have 2 sets of wheels for our RAV. A set of factory steel and a set of alloys. I have 2 sets of lug nuts for the 2 sets of rims. My toyota friends that also swap wheels seasonally, swap lug nuts for their steel /alloy wheels.

Some cars it is very easy to buy used factory wheels since people "upgrade" their wheels. The RAV4 crowd however is not vain enough to buy fancy wheels, thus there is not a surplus of cheap factory wheels. But you should check your local craiglist type listings.

On-line tire vendors such as tire rack will often have a steelie/winter tire package, where the wheels are pretty cheap. This is a great option as the tires come mounted and you simply throw them on. For the RAV the wheels will run about $90. I just checked. THis is a pretty big price increase from a couple of years ago. They also only have the 16" steelie. Might check with other vendors.

Another thing is to consider if you are going to get TPMS sensors on your winter wheels. Some states require it, and tire shops might give you a hard time for not running them (ie not mount your wheels/tires).

Finally you might find other used toyota wheels for sale. The RAV4 uses an offset that is different than most other toyota cars. It is reported that these other wheels work fine. But I really wanted to stick with RAV wheels. I suspected that toyota had a reason for the different offset.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Awesome advice, thank you much!
 

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I gave up on sanding and repainting my steel winter wheels each year due to the salt causing severe rust. Just recently I have bought brand new alloy wheels that should be good for many years.
 

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I gave up on sanding and repainting my steel winter wheels each year due to the salt causing severe rust. Just recently I have bought brand new alloy wheels that should be good for many years.
Each year? I have been running my stock steel wheels (like the ones pictured above) for 7 years and they do not show signs of rust yet.

One thing that I do when I swap out wheels/tires seasonally, is to wash them before I store them. Hose them down, and scrub them with a brush. They still look good. And do not think that alloy wheels will not "rust". Aluminum will react with salt and create an aluminum oxide. This will eventually eat the seat and the tires bead will not seat properly and leak air. I am sure you have seen alloy wheels with "the cancer".

 

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Each year? I have been running my stock steel wheels (like the ones pictured above) for 7 years and they do not show signs of rust yet.

One thing that I do when I swap out wheels/tires seasonally, is to wash them before I store them. Hose them down, and scrub them with a brush. They still look good. And do not think that alloy wheels will not "rust". Aluminum will react with salt and create an aluminum oxide. This will eventually eat the seat and the tires bead will not seat properly and leak air. I am sure you have seen alloy wheels with "the cancer".

I wash the steel wheels each year but the rust comes back each year. Our area gets a very high amounts of salt each winter. I see many drivers with rusty wheels so I am not alone. By the way these steel wheels are 15 years old from a 2005 RAV4.

Some aluminum wheels are winter approved will withstand salt corrosion well. Ones with machine metal that looks like chrome are not winter approved. My wife has alluminum winter wheels bought used and they show no signs of rusting. I told her to get alloy wheels and so far after 6 years they are rust free and she does not bother washing them. The ones I bought is winter approved and has a durable finish to withstand corrosion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We also get heavy salt around here so maybe I should go with alloy wheels, something I hadn't previously considered... Another question, anyone know which TPMS sensor is compatible with system equipped with this vehicle?
 

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Lost my picture. But oxidized alloy wheels are terrible too.


Those sure look bad but the steel wheels with rust are much worse looking. There are some alloy wheels that are made better that are winter rated. Then there are other alloy wheels that are not winter rated. So that is the point I am making.
 
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