Switching to winter tires is a yearly ritual for car owners living in snowy climates. No one really likes to do it, though, because it’s costly and inconvenient. What a lot of people don’t realize that there’s a much easier and more affordable alternative: take-off rims.
What Are Take-Off Rims?
Take-off rims are basically brand new or slightly used stock rims taken off a car because the owner decided to upgrade to a better set of rims. The owner then sells the take-off rims at a discounted price. Sometimes you can land a great deal on a set of take-off rims from a brand new car.
Instead of having two sets of tires mounted and balanced every year, you can just buy a set of take-off rims and have winter tires mounted to them. And when winter rolls around, all you have to do is to replace the entire wheels on your car. No mounting or balancing required!
Not only is the process a whole lot easier than peeling the summer tires off the rims and then mounting on the winter tires, but it also comes with other benefits:
While it’s true that the upfront cost of take-off rims is higher than the cost of having winter tires mounted to your already-existing rims, it’s actually cheaper in the long run. A good set of take-off rims costs a few hundred dollars, which is the price you’d pay each year to have two sets of tires mounted and balanced. With take-off rims for your winter tires, you’ll start saving money after the first winter.
Your Summer Wheels Don’t Have To Face Winter
You don’t have to subject your nice wheels to winter conditions. Between road salt (or magnesium chloride) and gravel, your wheels take quite a beating every winter. You can preserve their condition by replacing them with a cheaper set of rims until the roads clear up in March or April.
You Don’t Have To Buy New RimBlades Every Year
If you pay your local tire shop to remove your tires and mount a set of snow tires, you’re going to have to remove your RimBlades or RimSavers as part of that process. Most tire shops want you to remove your wheel protection before they’ll put the wheels on the tire machine.
If you buy a set of take-off rims, you can just leave the RimBlades or RimSavers on your summer wheels alone.
The Downside of Take-Off Rims
Take-off rims are a great solution for vehicle owners who mount winter tires every year. Unfortunately, tere are a few downsides to keep in mind:
- You’ll need to store your winter rims and tires during summer, and vice versa
- Buying take-offs can be easier said than done. There’s a limited supply of take-offs available on the market, depending on your vehicle.
If you’re hunting for take-offs, our advice is to look for wheels from a lower trim level (for example, Mustang V6 wheels can be mounted on your GT), check eBay along with your local tire shops, and setup a Craigslist search alert.