Wheel/Rim Repair - Refinishing


If you have painted, chromed, or polished wheels and they have become scratched, scuffed, pitted, or chipped, you could replace them. But this means you could end up spending thousands.

You could also have them refinished, which can save you having to order new and having your tires remounted. Refinishing could also save you a lot of money.

If you decide to have your wheel(s) refinished, the first thing a professional refinisher will do is inspect the wheel to see what approach s/he will take. Often, because old paint is a very good primer base, the technician decides to "fill in" the existing finish (repair it so that all surfaces are even and will serve as a good base coat), prep the surface and re-paint the wheel with new paint.

Other times it is best to strip the old finish off the wheel. In this case, the best approach is for the technician to use a blast cabinet that employs a circulating plastic beads, an acrylic medium similar to sand. This medium is better than metal oxide or steel shot, which are often used because they remove the finish quickly and cheaply. Metal oxide, however, tends to tear away some of the metal and roughs up the surface. This is not desirable, especially if you want to retain the manufacturer's original cast markings.

Next, the refinisher straightens the wheel, removing any side-to-side wobble (also called lateral runout). After this, the technician rebuilds the wheel's outer lip and repairs any cracks or scrapes. Tig welding is best because it matches the base alloy of the wheel with the weld alloy. The technician then grinds down the weld to the original factory condition.

After the wheel is true, it's time to refinish it. Professionals use a computer color- matching system in order to match the factory paint. Final steps before remounting include a final runout check and monitoring the finish for dust or dirt in the paint and application evenness. Polishing and re-chroming are also tasks handled by wheel repair facilities.

Remounting is also crucial. Professionals take care when remounting your tires not to re-damage the finish.

The result is that you have a wheel that will give you many years of stylish, good-looking service without having to buy new. You retain the wheels you love, and you have saved yourself a lot of money in the process.