Repairing and Reconditioning OEM Wheels and Rims
Does your customer need their wheel repaired? Need to know whether or not it can be done? The ability to repair a wheel depends on the amount and type of damage to the rim. For instance, a used wheel with only “curb rash” is almost always repairable, while a rim with a crack may not be. One of the benefits of working with us is that we will tell you right away if your wheel is repairable or if it is even worth repairing. In some cases, an OEM replacement wheel may be a better option. But, here are some tips to give you an idea of what is and is not a repairable rim.
A curb rashed wheel is just as it sounds, a wheel that has sustained damage from a curb. This type of damage is fairly common. A curbed wheel will usually not result in a structural issue, or in other words, will not cause a vibration. If the wheel has been slightly damaged from a curb, the cheap fix is simply filing and repainting, as long as the grinding done by the curb is not too deep into the metal. However, It’s a different story altogether once we get into more exotic OEM wheel finishes including hyper silvers and chrome as the finish is much more difficult to replicate when touching up. Deep damage may require welding, otherwise filing will leave an indentation or flat spot. Your customer may want to opt for fully reconditioning the rim which will take care of curb rash as well as any other cosmetic and/or structural damage.
Corrosion on a wheel is often irreversible and will get worse over time. Excessive corrosion on the mounting surface is the main issue as the wheel and tire assembly tends to leak air in this situation. Many shops will sand down and then put a coating on the bead of the wheel to remove corrosion and create a smooth surface for mounting. This solution works for a while, but there’s no telling if and when the wheel will leak again. Once corrosion has started to eat away at the metal it is bound to continue. Sometimes it’s best to replace the corroded wheel, but even a brand new wheel could corrode down the road. Corrosion is more likely to occur on chrome wheels because of small pitting, or holes, in the plating that expose the bare metal underneath. Moisture gets into these areas and starts to wear the metal away. Your customer may want to get their wheel re-chromed but even this is a temporary solution and may not solve the leaking issue if the corrosion has eaten away too much material.
Repairing a bent wheel is a common practice, but not all bent wheels are repairable. The main factors are the location of the bend and how badly bent the wheel is. Small bends on the backside of the wheel are typically easy repairs. Bends on the front side (styled side) of the wheel are much more difficult as the design of the wheel may interfere with repair processes. If a bend is severe it may cause the wheel to be bent from the center, these types of bends are non-repairable and a replacement would need to be purchased.
Leaks or cracks are a little more difficult to discern, so the rim must be inspected carefully. Cracks are common on the backside of the wheel and will often start at the outer lip. If the crack is small enough, the wheel may be repaired to prevent it from leaking. If there is a large crack in the wheel, the chances of repairing the damage are slim to none. Any crack past the safety bead will not be repaired, at least by us! Cracks or holes in the barrel are also deemed non-repairable in addition to cracks on the front of the wheel including spokes. Some steel wheels are known to leak from the area of the barrel that has been welded to attach the center. These wheels are not repairable and must be replaced.
Wheel Repair and Refinishing Services
At 1-800EveryRim OEM Wheels we offer chroming, polishing, machining, painting, color changes, and wheel repair service on a limited basis. We offer to pick up and deliver in the greater Los Angeles area on sets of 4 but on anything less than 4, the wheel(s) must be shipped to us. If you do not have an expert wheel repair or wheel reconditioning company near you, then ship it to us to have it done right! In the event you need a replacement rim, we offer reconditioned wheels as well as used rims and new take-offs in both steel and alloy. For all of your factory original rim and wheel needs call 1-800EveryRim (1-800-383-7974), text pictures to 951-RimText (951-746-8398), or log on to EveryRim.com to view our large inventory of stock OEM replacement wheels shipped from here in the Southern California/Los Angeles area!