by Pat Goss
This time let’s talk about something that we always see almost daily in the repair shops. And that is problems with the alloy wheels, but especially chrome plated alloy wheels. Over here, we have when we’re looking on the outside of it of course. And we can see where the chrome has peeled and is coming loose and in general, this is one ugly looking wheel. Over here, we see the back of it where it looks even worse. Here we have all types of chrome peeling off and corrosion setting in and so on.
But, the problem goes deeper than that. See, in a case like this you have to replace the wheels if you want it to look decent. But all wheels, especially all alloy wheels, not so much steel wheels but alloy wheels will have a tendency to corrode. Now, what we see is, and let's turn this around. What we see in the shop is that they come in, and they have all these blisters and bubbles. Now the reason the car is there is because they have problems with low tire pressure. Maybe a warning light or it may just be the tires look low or drive low or go flat or whatever. Usually the customer comes in, and says I’ve got a nail in my tire or something like that. And we go about checking the tire for nails, screws, and other things that could cause leaks. Ultimately we find that the bead of the wheel is all corroded like this one.
Somebody’s tried to fix this, they’ve used a wire brush like something we have here. It didn’t work, it still leaked. So the things you have to be careful of here, you can help prevent this by making sure the shop that is working on your tires, uses a lubricant to mount the tires that is low in water content. Also make sure that the air that you put into the tire comes from a compressor that has a water separator on it so you don’t get any water inside of the tire. Because remember, this thing is air tight, so if the air can’t get out, the water can’t get out, and it sits in here and it eats away at the chrome and the aluminum alloy. Whatever it is, it creates a problem and you have to buy new wheels.
And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line, right here at MotorWeek.