Factory Wheels - Terms to Know

Depending on your knowledge and experience, you may know some of these terms. A lot of wheel products use similar words but mean different things This glossary will help you make the most educated choice about buying new rims for your car.

Here at BAM Wholesale Parts, we offer a huge selection of OEM style steel and aluminum rims, center caps, wheel covers, and lug nuts that match factory specifications.

Alloy Wheels 

Alloy wheels are made from a mix of different metals, mostly aluminum and some magnesium. Also known as "aluminum wheels", these are more expensive but offer the benefit of much lighter weight compared to steel wheels. 

These wheels are softer than steel ones, so they have the potential for being damaged more easily compared to steel wheels. Alloy wheels are stylish, and are meant to be shown. Depending on make and model, alloy wheels can be painted, powder coated, or given a textured surface.

Factory Replica Wheels

These wheels are built to match the look, size, and dimensions, and all other measurements of stock OEM factory wheels. Depending on the manufacturer, the replica wheel may be designed to look very similar, but not exactly like the factory design. OEM replica wheels usually always replicate the steel or aluminum construction of original factory rims, and contain similar surfaces.


The finish on wheels is a layer of colored paint, powder coat, clear coat paint, or another material that is applied to the surface of a wheel. Steel rims are typically painted black or silver. Alloy wheels usually feature some a silver or gray finish, or clear coat on top of bare metal. You can also get wheel covers and wheel skins with more than one type of outer finish.

Wheel Cover

This is a removable disc that is designed to fit over an entire basic steel wheel. Most snap into place and are held in place by tension clips. Some wheel covers are secured by lug nuts that also keep the wheel on. Some wheel covers feature steel construction, while some are made of plastic. These are often described as "hub caps", which cover only the center part of a wheel.

Remanufactured Wheels

This term refers to a wheel that has been stripped down, sanded, refinished, and restored to factory condition. Dents have been repaired, corrosion has been fixed, and any imperfections have been eliminated. These wheels are in new condition, but they are not newly built the way factory replica rims are. 

We offer both factory OEM rims and alloy wheels for those who prefer to stay with an OEM product. Click HERE to find the right rims for your car!

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