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Honda tech says vibration in steering wheel and generally unsmooth ride is due to 3 bent rims. I drive 40k miles a year on bad roads and hit potholes every other week, so I don't doubt him. OEM rims are over $200 apiece. I see rims on TireRack for about $100 apiece.

My question is are $100 rims just as stable/reliable/safe as $200 rims?

My original rims are alloy so I understand I should stick with alloy and I understand I need to get the same size. I don't care about look, speed, weight, coolness or anything like that. I care about spending as little money as possible to get the vibration out of my steering wheel and get my smooth ride back.

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The main problem with rims is that you get what you pay for them - the cheap rims might turn out to be easter egg shaped (has happened before) and they might not last as long on bad roads as the OEM ones.

What I'd look into would be to find the smallest rims that you can fit (ie, if you can fit, say, 15", 16" or 17" I'd get 15s) and go for tires with higher profile, in other words higher sidewalls. The higher sidewalls tend to absorb some of the bumps in the road and don't transmit them through to the rim, thus preserving your rims.

Either way I'd try to get a second opinion on how bent the rims are before I'd splurge on rims and potentially tires.

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While bent rims is one of the possible causes of a degraded ride quality, I would take the car to an independent tire shop to confirm the diagnosis.

As to your question of stability/reliability/safety:

Any wheels you get from a reputable tire shop will meet your needs for any common driving (NOT racing, off-roading, etc...)

I do not believe buying steel (non-alloy) wheels will adversely affect any performance characteristics of your vehicle and you could potentially save a good bit of money not getting the alloy wheels.

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