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D4 - Wheels and Tyres Refurbing, center caps, tyre brands, tyrefitters - discuss it here

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  #11  
Old 16th January 2018, 07:18 PM
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BigAl5 BigAl5 is offline
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Thanks all the replies guys. Wow... that’s a real mix of experiences. I have AXE alloys on my xc90 (not replicas ofcourse) but they’ve been great. At about 800 a set of AXE alloys is about the same price as a set of RS7 replicas etc. However, I’d prefer to keep to the Audi OEM look if possible.

The Italian replicas on eBay are virtually the same price as OEM so out of the question really at more than 3000 for 4.
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  #12  
Old 18th January 2018, 04:42 PM
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M-A8 M-A8 is offline
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No question OEM wheels are good quality, great finish and often lighter as Ian said, but in my case, I've seen more cracked Audi OEM 20" wheels than non OEM 20" - but that's from real life as I don't have any social media accounts so I'm not aware of everything what's happening out there in the world wide web.

Me personally I can't feel any difference between OEM 20" and non OEM 20" wheels.

I have 2x sets of non OEM 20" wheels for very simple reason - I am really fussy about the wheel's look and colour/finish, and I don't like just silver wheels.
For example my 20" S5 replicas where never available in gunmetal gloss finish with polished face. So when I saw them on Hartmann's website on exactly same colour D3 I fell in love instantly. They were made in Germany or at least by unknown German company called I think OE, but I could be wrong. They are boxed and buried at the back in the garage now so can't really get to them, but there was their brand stamp and model number along with other marking.
Paint quality, lacquer and polished face were really high quality and I have never ever had a single issue with them in 5 years of ownership.
Bare in mind they were on a lowered D3 with fairly hard suspension and I am definitely not a Sunday driver so they were pushed to the limits many times, hit many potholes and speed bumps.

Same situation with my current RS4 replicas, they've never been available in gunmetal gloss and polished face, only gunmetal matt with polished face. I don't like matt wheels at all, so again I went with replicas as they were in my desired finish.
This set I got from a large, long established and known alloy wheel shop in NW London. I took quiet a lot of my mates there because their base is next to my mates place so we kind of got to know each other, and non of my mates has ever had any issues with their wheels. They all were Chinese by the way, but they do German and Italian wheels as well, just not in the designs we liked.
I've had a serious chat with the owner last time and this is what he said.
He always buys from trusted Chinese manufacturers and the rules for Chinese wheels (at least for the ones from trusted manufacturers) are exactly same as for any other alloy wheels - they still have to pass all the safety tests and all that. He personally doesn't know any shop (dont confuse it with an online ''shop'' trading from a shed in the garden) which sells proper nasty and cheap alloys. On top of it he sells in excess of 150+ wheel sets each month and if you are trading as legitimate business, have a large fully equipped garage and showroom on top of it, he wouldn't be selling Chinese wheels if they were unsafe or absolutely crap. Bad reputation spreads like ebola so imagine if you would have to move entire garage and showroom each time he decides to sell a proper cheap crap batch of wheels resulting in him being all over the social media and google branded as a ''guy who sells cheap and unsafe alloys''. And imagine the cost associated with the move. It's just not worth it. And as he said, he is a family man and he would not forgive himself if a proper cheap fake wheel he sold just to earn few extra quid was the cause of a serious or fatal accident especially involving a family.

I am a very much OEM guy who likes and buys genuine and quality items, parts, gadgets, electronics, higher end if affordable, clothing and all that whenever possible, but don't be afraid of ''Chinese'' wheels, just make sure you buy them from a proper, long established shop with good reputation like I did. Check their feedback on google, social media and ebay if they have a shop there as well. Not everything what Chinese is bad, they are just the kings when it comes to manufacturing at much lower rate than EU countries. Unfortunately this reputation has been damaged by fraudsters who are only interested in quick buck and where quality or product's safety is not even existent on their list...and where do you go to manufacture cheap crap ??? Unfortunately China as well, same country where most of the quality stuff is manufactured purely because it's much cheaper to do it there.
People forget that behind many of products are western businesses which do value quality and safety, it's not only Chinese businesses, and if so, not all Chinese companies are bad. Because it's manufactured in China it doesn't mean it's s**t.

One thing I would say is that some ''Chinese'' wheels may not have the flawless finish/paint like OEM wheels, but it's only noticeable when you put your face against the wheel, but again not all of them are like that.

Would I prefer genuine RS4 wheels finished in gunmetal gloss ?? Of course !!! Unfortunately there is no such a variant.
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  #13  
Old 18th January 2018, 04:58 PM
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Thank you M-A8 for posting such a detailed reply. Thats very interesting. Would you mind sharing the details of your suppliers in the London area please?
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  #14  
Old 18th January 2018, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-A8 View Post
Because it's manufactured in China it doesn't mean it's s**t.
I can't personally comment on replica wheels, but have to commend Marcin on his comprehensive response. I would avoid the multi-fit wheels with 10 stud holes, which shows my expertise on the matter.

I did however quote one part of his post which I believe sums it all up. I know this isn't about safety of the item as such, but look on the back of the phones made by probably the two biggest manufacturers of them, and what does it say... 'Assembled in China'.
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  #15  
Old 18th January 2018, 06:00 PM
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Very true Steamship. Im starting to get more confidence in buying a set of aftermarket alloys now.

Thanks for all the replies
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