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Parts of Wheel and Their Function: A Complete Guide

There is no doubt that wheels are the most crucial part of automobiles. Often described as one of the most important inventions in the history of mankind, the wheels reduce friction and are evidently responsible for transportation.

Despite their indisputable importance, how many people can correctly name all parts of a wheel? Let’s be honest. Too often we have seen a rim advertised as a wheel and vice versa.

A defunct wheel means a defunct automobile and nothing enhances the aesthetic appeal of a vehicle more than a good-looking set of wheels.

Since wheels are that important, it’s time that we learn about all the parts of wheel and their function.

Different Parts of Wheel and Their Functions

A wheel is composed of many parts such as tire, rim, hub, and valve system. These components then further consist of numerous parts which combine and constitute a wheel. In this guide, we will cover only the major parts of wheel.


Tire is the outermost part of the wheel that keeps you safe and comfortable whilst driving. A tire performs multiple functions. It surrounds the rim and prevents the rim from coming into contact with the ground. It also supports the weight of a vehicle and absorbs shock from rough terrains such as potholes or uneven roads. Additionally, tire also transfers braking or acceleration force to the ground.


Rim and wheel are often used interchangeably but they’re not one and the same. Rim is one of the parts of the wheel which connects the tire to the wheel and holds it firm in its place. It also allows the air to fill in the tire. Rims are made from various materials; steel rims as well as aluminum rims are available in the market. Rims come in a variety of designs and colors making them very popular in the aftermarket wheels industry.

Wheel Hub

Wheel hub is the most important part of wheel. It is at the center of wheel and the rim is attached to it. Wheel mounts on the wheel hub and wheel hub assembly is responsible for keeping it attached to the vehicle. It is also responsible for the motion of wheel i.e. it allows you to steer.

Valve Stem 

Valve stem is a basic component of wheel that allows you to inflate or deflate the tire. A tire pressure monitoring system is present in the valve stem that keeps the driver informed about the air pressure of tire at all times. Valve stems are made from different materials. They are also customized and manufactured in various designs for cosmetic purposes.

Drop Center 

As the name sounds, drop center refers to the deep well at the center point of a wheel. It allows for the convenient installation and removal of the tire from wheel. It also keeps the tire attached to the wheel in case of low tire pressure. Moreover, drop center is beneficial for drivers as it allows them to control the directions of a vehicle.

Center Cap

Center cap also called hub cap is not an essential part of the wheel. It does not affect the functioning of a wheel and you can drive a vehicle without center cap without facing any difficulty. However, this small disk at the center, mostly featuring an emblem, plays an important role. It protects the spindle nut and wheel bearings from dirt and also significantly improves the overall look of a wheel.


Spokes are rods that connect the rim to the center of wheel. In the aftermarket wheels, spokes are given special attention as they are the most eye-catching part of a wheel. Their number as well as design varies in different wheels; some wheels feature spokes as low as 3, while others may have as many as 10 or more.

Final Word

A wheel has many more parts other than the ones listed in this guide. However, one thing is certain that a wheel is not a single unit rather it is made up of numerous parts which are assembled together. All these parts play a significant role in wheel and quality of these components essentially determines the quality of your wheels and ride.

If you are looking to update your vehicle with an eye-catching set of aftermarket wheels, get in touch with us to get the best deals!

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