Sim racing wheels can last varying amounts of time, and given how important they are to your sim racing rig as a whole, you need to know how to take proper care of them. This may leave you wondering just how long your sim racing wheel will last.
Sim racing wheels should last at least 3 years, although high-quality racing wheels will likely last much longer than that before needing repaired or replaced. The lifespan of a sim racing wheel is influenced by a lot of factors, such as how much you use it and what brand it is.
Below, we’ll go through all the different variables that come into play when considering how long your sim racing wheel will last. We’ll also give you some tips to get the most out of your wheel too.
What Will Influence The Lifespan Of A Sim Racing Wheel?
How Often You Use It
Probably the biggest factor above all others is how much you’ll be using your sim racing wheel. That isn’t just frequency of use, but the time spent sim racing per session too. Spending a whole day using the wheel will induce more wear than two-hour race sessions, for example.
I’m not telling you to hold back on enjoying sim racing to its fullest by having small sessions! It’s just something to consider when calculating how long your wheel will last, and a pretty essential thing to be aware of from the start.
Brand & Build Quality
Alongside the usage wear and tear on a wheel, you should also look at the brand and the build quality. Companies that specialize in making sim racing gear will use high-grade materials and include a host of longevity features in their products when compared to budget brands, so you can expect a longer lifespan out of these.
As an example, buying a budget wheel from a non-sim racing brand may save you some cash in the short-term, but you’ll likely have to replace it much quicker than a named brand, reputable sim racing wheel. This is due to those sorts of products lacking solid quality control procedures and using cheaper electrical components, leading to a cheaper overall purchase price.
With most warranties covering a product for 1 or 2 years, you really should expect the product to outlast that by a couple of years. Even looking at the minimum length of time, you should expect 3 years of use from your sim racing wheel, regardless of whether you spend every day sim racing or only occasionally on the weekends.
While the warranty itself doesn’t affect its longevity, it does tell you a little about how much confidence the manufacturer has in their products. The longer the warranty, the longer you can expect your sim racing wheel to last.
On sim racing wheels, the places that are easier to accidentally break include the mounting system and buttons/toggle-switches. If you have a wheel that has lots of protruding parts or weak mounting points, you can expect these areas to be at risk of early breakages/damage.
The Minimum Lifespan Of A Sim Racing Wheel
The minimum life of a sim racing wheel should easily hit the 3-year mark. In spite of how many different influencing factors there are for the lifespan of a wheel overall, this length of time is generous when you consider how long gaming systems and other electronics will last.
As with most furniture, appliances and electronics, sim racing wheels come with a warranty that will protect you, the buyer, from early failures and signs of wear. The extent of this warranty will depend on the company you purchase the wheel from, with some stretching as far as 2 years of coverage, and some not offering any warranty at all (this is a bit of a red flag though!).
A warranty is basically a company pledging their confidence in a product they’ve made. As such, it’s always reassuring to see a long and inclusive warranty on anything, let alone a sim racing wheel, which can be such a big expense and a hugely important part of your rig.
KEY POINTS• A sim racing wheel should last a minimum of 3 years
• Build quality and how often you use it will influence its lifespan
• Most reputable brands offer warranty periods of at least 1-2 years
How To Extend The Life Of A Sim Racing Wheel
Taking some time to clean and wipe down the wheel rim every week or so will reduce the risk of embedded fingerprints and other lasting damages that will come from using your hands. Another good practice that I’ve found will work wonders is to keep the whole racing wheel free of dust, because it can gather dust pretty fast!
While it may seem harmless, dust can weasel its way between buttons and other fragile pieces of the wheel and cause them to seize up way before your 3-year minimum lifespan is anywhere close.
Mount It Properly
I’d also recommend, where possible, to avoid using unsecure mountings for your wheel. Many sim racing wheels come with their own clamps or other basic mounting methods. The components of these mount are pretty fragile compared to the heft of the wheel and its base, so it’s best to hard mount it with screws if possible, into a dedicated sim racing rig or wheel stand.
Keep Pets Away
And finally, as somebody who owns multiple cats, let me tell you right now that you don’t want your furry friends sitting on or near your racing wheel! Cat fur gets everywhere and can embed deep into the mechanical and electrical parts of your wheel, which is just asking for trouble!
How Long Do Cheap Sim Racing Wheels Last?
Cheap sim racing wheels will usually last up to 3 years, but some may give out sooner than this, while others may even last longer. I understand the allure of cheaper products, especially when you’re just getting started in sim racing. Spending in excess of $100 or $200, oftentimes more, on your first sim racing wheel isn’t always attainable.
However, buying a budget wheel will have a distinct effect on how long you’ll be able to use it and all of its features. The quality of materials won’t be as high as those of dedicated sim racing brands. And another important factor to consider is the short, limited warranties – or lack of warranty altogether.
Does A More Expensive Sim Racing Wheel Last Longer?
Spending more money on a sim racing wheel doesn’t always mean it will last longer. However, spending that little bit extra on a reputable manufacturer’s wheels can usually lead to a longer lifespan and more consistent functionality.
You would expect reputable brands to provide a higher build quality and more durable materials that are made to last, and that all-important warranty will likely be longer than those of budget wheels.
In the case of sim racing wheel manufacturers such as Thrustmaster, Fanatec and Logitech, they all expect their wheels to be flawless and to provide maximum customer satisfaction. That’s why they’ve stayed so prominent in the sim racing industry for so long!
They all use high-tech electronics and features that will guarantee a longer life, such as using brushless servo motors and high-quality build materials, so the least you should expect is 3 years of sim racing action.
KEY POINTS• Regularly cleaning and properly mounting your sim racing wheel will extend its lifespan
• Cheaper sim racing wheels don’t tend to last as long as named brand wheels
• More expensive doesn’t always mean longer lifespan
Most sim racing wheels should last at least 3 years, with 5+ years not unlikely from a high-quality, reputable brand. Cheaper wheels tend to be made of cheaper materials, which usually show wear and tear much sooner than more durable (although expensive) materials.
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