The Ultimate Guide to Alloy Wheel Repair and Refurb

The most important thing that you need to know when buying a set of aftermarket wheels is that they are made from one of three materials, Aluminium Alloy, Magnesium Alloy or Steel. OEM wheels will always be made with an Aluminium Alloy shell while aftermarket wheels can be one of the two other metals. Timely Alloy Wheel Repair Newcastle Upon Tyne is essential for smooth performance.

The reason for this has nothing to do with strength; in fact, all three types are strong enough for use in cars. It is simply cost and production time.

  • The easiest way to make an alloy wheel is by using an Aluminium alloy as the core because it’s less costly than making them out of Magnesium or Steel.

  • Magnesium wheels are lighter but more expensive than Aluminium alloy and Steel is even stronger than both of them but also more difficult to produce.

The reason that OEM Alloy wheels almost always use Aluminum wheels is because they’re cheaper, quicker to make and easier to repair so the factories make your vehicle’s want to keep production costs low by using them.

Custom Refinishing an OEM Alloy Wheel

OEM Wheels usually only need minor repairs done on their outer surface whereas refurbishing aftermarket wheels can be a lot more labour intensive depending on how bad their condition is when you receive them. If your wheel needs major refurbishing then it may be best if you bought new rims altogether as refurbishing damaged alloy rims will cost roughly the same as buying a new set of rims.

The cheapest way to refurbish alloy rims is to refinish them yourself. This shouldn’t be confused with repainting them, which will wear within months and require much more regular maintenance.

  • Refinishing an alloy rim simply means going over the outer surface until it becomes smooth again and shiny bright. This level of repair only requires that you have access to a good polisher and some fine grade sandpaper or wire wool pads.

What Are the Ways to Refurbish Alloy Rims? 

You will also need a container for water to keep the wheels from drying out very quickly, cooking oil for lubricating the polisher bit, high-quality metal paint, clear coat paint if required and masking tape.

  • First, spray your wheel with cooking oil to keep the wheel moist while you work. Avoid spraying the wheel directly as this will soak into the wheel and make it very difficult for you to do your polishing later on in the process.

  • Instead, apply an even coating of oil around the wheel at about arm’s length.

  • Next, tape off any parts that you don’t want to be damaged by the polisher bit or paint (taping off brake callipers is essential if they aren’t already protected).

  • Finally, get to work on smoothing over your wheel; remember, you’re trying to make it look like new again so take care not to go too deep when removing scratches or damage otherwise you may find yourself working back through your repair job when you refinish failing prematurely.

  • Polish all around the wheel until there are no deep marks or scratches and you can see your face looking back at you from behind the wheel.

  • Once you’re happy with how it looks, apply a coat of high-quality metal paint in a colour that matches your vehicle’s original paint job.

  • Allow this to dry fully before applying a second coat and then allow it to cure overnight or for 12 hours depending on the instructions with your paint.

  • Finally apply a clear coat over this if required, again following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

 Let this dry for 24 hours before replacing it with your car unless otherwise instructed by the manufacture of your clear coat layer.

Alloy Wheel Refurbishment Kit

An alternative method is to use an alloy wheel refurbishing kit such as those sold by Collinite. The advantage of this method is that it’s much faster, easier and cheaper than having your alloy wheels refinished by a professional. Furthermore, the results are just as good if not better depending on how badly damaged they were before you started refurbishing them.

  1. All you have to do with these kits is first to give your wheel a thorough cleaning using the degreaser provided in the kit so that all grease, grime and dirt are removed from its surface.

  2. Once cleaned you should immediately wipe any remaining water away with an absorbent towel or cloth (avoid letting water dry onto your wheel as this will make polishing near impossible).

  3. Apply the “945” liquid metal polish included in your kit to both alloy surfaces before working it into its surface for a few minutes using a polishing machine.

  4. Then apply the liquid metal wax onto your wheel’s surface and work it into its surface again for a few minutes before wiping off any excess with a soft microfiber cloth.

  5. Finally, give your wheel a final wipe over with the included microfiber cloth to leave it looking as good as new.

You can even use this kit to refine existing paint jobs on alloy rims Electric Repair Newcastle Upon Tyne if necessary without damaging them further, which is an all-inclusive package and one that we highly recommend if you’re considering refurbishing your alloy wheels at home.

Finally, you could always spend hundreds of dollars having your alloy rims restored professionally by experienced technicians who will know how to properly restore alloy rims without causing damage or compromising on quality. Before choosing this option, however, be sure to get multiple quotes from several different companies so that you can compare costs and quality of workmanship before making your final decision.