R-Tec Auto Design quality standard for wheels is very high and the manufacturers that we represent in this market understand that we constantly monitor products to ensure that quality products are sold to our customers. But what determines quality?
Manufacturing processes and levels of testing are critical to a wheel's structural integrity. (Read more in What are alloy wheels) International quality standards such as ISO9001, QS9000, TUV of Germany or VIA of Japan, establish important production and quality standards that manufacturers must follow. In addition, dimensional tolerances based on strict, Original Equipment market standards versus the more "casual" standards allowed for many aftermarket products should be met. Even durability standards for finish are different between the Original Equipment market and the aftermarket.
"JWL" (Japan Light Wheel Alloy) is a compilation of standards defined by the Japanese Government to ensure the vehicle's safety for aluminium road wheels. Every wheel put to market must be tested to meet JWL standards before a wheel can be put out to market in Japan. These standards are generally accepted worldwide as acceptable for most road conditions. That is why you will see these marks on European and other Asian country wheels.
"VIA" Vehicle Inspection Association Registration System. VIA marking can only be engraved on the wheel if registered by Japan Light Alloy Automotive Wheel Testing Council after strict quality tests by the authorized testing facility on the adaptability of JWL or JWL-T technical standard.
In Germany, it is required by law that any aftermarket product fitted to any vehicle must be approved by the TÜV and the appropriate certificates must be carried in the vehicle. The testing that all TÜV approved wheels are subject to include: Application of a wheel for a specific wheel model for use on a specific vehicle model, Load capacity test specific to vehicle model, Appropriate tyre size and load testing, Nut/bolt specifications and tensioning measurements.
Other tests include X-ray scans of every single wheel, UV tests for paint finishing longevity, Prolonged usage simulation testing to replicate long term usage and more. When we supply a wheel to you, we supply the TÜV approval certificate to you, this is because you may be required to prove that your wheels are suitable for use by your insurance company, especially in the event of a claim. We also supply them for your own peace of mind.
An accurate fitment is a difference between good, better and best. Critical wheel dimensions such as width, diameter, offset, centre bore, brake clearance, as well as load factor and nut/bolt hardware, are the basics when it comes to properly fitting aftermarket wheels. The installation also requires a high level of sophistication. Many new vehicles are available with features such as ABS, traction control and other features that create a more difficult environment for installing aftermarket wheels. Stability control systems, run-flat tires, large high-performance brake systems and staggered wheel and tire sizes are also factors to be considered when establishing accurate fitments. Wheel manufacturers with product design, research and development teams work to determine proper fitment as part of the manufacturing process.
The type and quality of protective finish on your wheel (as well as proper maintenance) will determine how your wheels look years from now. Check for finish warranties backed by manufacturers with outstanding reputations for quality.
The reputation of a manufacturer is a strong indicator of quality since it is quality upon which a distinguished reputation is built. It takes time to build a positive reputation and a commitment to maintain it is important. And know a wheel company's roots. Many wheel manufacturers first established themselves in the motorsports arena and apply that technological and philosophical foundation to their production of wheels for use on the street.
R-Tec constantly checks wheel data from new vehicles to be sure that we are aware of the Original Equipment sizes and packages offered. We inspect many of today's new vehicles and often help supply technical data to some of the UK wheel manufacturers and wheel data collectors. For many wheels that we import or represent, we specify certain dimensions that we require to ensure wheel fit and maintain our high-quality standards.