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October 26, 2015

Can My Wheel Be Repaired?

There are varieties of events that may cause damage to a Buick wheel. The extent of the damage may range from simple sun damage (paint fading), clear coat peeling, and curb scrapes (aka "curb rash") to more severe forms such as dents and even cracks. The range of repair and recondition options can vary depending on the original finish along with the type and severity of damage. The cost of repairing a wheel is less than replacing it in most cases. Sometimes however, the damage can be too severe to repair in which case a replacement should be used.

In the case of sun fading or simple clear coat peeling, repainting and clear coating is all that might be needed. Wheels with machining or polishing done may also need machining again to retain the original look. Repainting the wheel will bring back the original luster to the wheel. In most cases when a wheel is repainted every effort is made to get as close to the original color, however sometimes the color may be just slightly off but only noticeable upon close inspection when the wheels are side-by-side. In almost all cases, a newly refinished OEM or aftermarket wheel will appear brighter than the other wheels on the vehicle.

Deep curb rash damage to the wheel cannot be repaired by paint alone. Before repainting and machining the wheel, the scraped metal needs to be addressed. In the case of minor damage where the rash is not deep or the scrape is small in length, the wheel may require minor filing and/or sanding to smooth the surface. Damage that is more severe may require adding metal to the scraped area before smoothing it back down or machining the wheel. While not likely, the finish may appear to have an off shade different color where the metal was added that resembles a stain. This is usually minor and not seen without close inspection. When metal is added and then polished or machined, repainted, and clear coated, a discoloration where the metal was added could be more prominent.

Repairs to cracks in the wheel are usually welded. However, not all cracks should be welded as their location or size could make it unsafe and degrade the wheel's structural integrity. A professional should be consulted to determine if a weld can be done while keeping the wheel in safe condition.

Corrosion is damage that can affect any wheel but especially chrome wheels. Depending on the severity of the corrosion, it can be counteracted through a process of stripping and re-chroming. However, chromed rims with corrosion may become more pitted and have an uneven finish after being re-plated due to the porous nature of the wheel. An early indicator of a chromed wheel having corrosion may be a leaky wheel.

No matter the cause, type, or extent of the damage, our experts at Stockwheels.com can help. We can determine if the Buick wheel is repairable and what needs to be done. If a wheel cannot be repaired safely, our professional staff can help you get a replacement.

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) California Tire Dealers Association Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)