Alloy wheels are an expensive and attractive addition to any vehicle. They not only enhance the overall look but also improve the performance of the car. However, it is not uncommon for alloy wheels to suffer from damage due to various reasons, including curbs, potholes, or even accidents. Fortunately, repairing alloy wheels is possible, and it can save you a significant amount of money compared to replacing them entirely. In this article, we will go over how alloy wheels are repaired, the different types of damages that can occur, and how to prevent them. 1. Types of Alloy Wheel Damage Alloy wheels consist of different materials, including aluminum, magnesium, and nickel. Due to their composition, they are prone to several types of damages, from cosmetic to structural. - Scratches and Scuffs Scratches and scuffs are the most common type of damage that alloy wheels suffer from. They are typically cosmetic and occur due to accidental contact with curbs, debris, or other objects on the road. These damages are easy to spot and can be repaired using sanding, polishing, or re-painting techniques. - Cracks and Dents Cracks and dents are more severe damages that can occur due to significant impacts or accidents. These damages can compromise the structural integrity of the alloy wheel and can lead to tire pressure loss, vibrations, and even wheel failure. In most cases, cracked or dented alloy wheels will need to be replaced, as repair efforts are not sufficient for this type of damage. - Corrosion and Oxidation Corrosion and oxidation occur due to exposure to harsh weather conditions, chemicals, or salt on the roads during winter. These can result in pitting, flaking, and discoloration, and they can weaken the alloy wheel over time. Corrosion and oxidation can be repaired by sanding, filling, and repainting the damaged areas. 2. How Alloy Wheels are Repaired When it comes to repairing alloy wheels, the process is generally the same, regardless of the type of damage. - Inspection and Analysis The first step in repairing alloy wheels is to inspect them thoroughly for damages and identify the type of damage that they have suffered. This is essential to determine the best approach for repairing the wheel. - Straightening and Truing If the alloy wheel is bent or has suffered from minor damages, it can be straightened out using specialized machines and tools. The wheel is placed on a lathe or a straightening machine that applies pressure and bends the wheel back into its original shape. - Sanding and Filling If the alloy wheel has scratches, scuffs, or corrosion, the damaged areas are sanded down to remove any debris and create a flat surface. Then, a filler material is applied to smooth out the damaged area and create a seamless surface. - Re-Painting After the wheel has been straightened, sanded, and filled, it is time to re-paint it. The alloy wheel is color-matched to the rest of the car, and a protective coating is applied to prevent future damages. 3. DIY Alloy Wheel Repair Techniques While professional alloy wheel repair is recommended for severe damages, minor damages such as scratches and scuffs can be repaired using DIY techniques. Here are some tips: - Sanding and Polishing Minor scratches and scuffs can be removed by sanding the damaged area with high-grit sandpaper. Then, a polishing compound is applied to create a smooth and shiny surface. - Filling and Touch-Ups For small dents and chips, a filler material can be used to smooth out the damaged area. Then, a touch-up paint is applied to match the color of the alloy wheel. 4. Preventing Alloy Wheel Damage To prevent alloy wheel damage, it is essential to drive cautiously and avoid contact with curbs, potholes, and other obstacles on the road. Additionally, make sure to get your alloy wheels inspected regularly to catch any damages early before they become more severe. In Conclusion Alloy wheels are an investment in your vehicle, and repairing them can save you a significant amount of money compared to replacing them. Remember to inspect your wheels regularly and take necessary precautions to prevent damages. In case of damages, seek professional assistance for optimal results.