Can you repair chrome wheels?
We can straighten some bent chrome wheels but repairs to surface damage on chrome wheels is very restricted. When a chrome wheel becomes damaged, there is only a limited amount of cosmetic repair that can be done. This is because there will be an evident separation line between where the chrome ends at the repaired portion of the wheel. In some cases, the repair will be quite satisfactory.
However, in other cases there is no satisfactory procedure to repair the damage short of stripping and re-chroming. In such a case, the only thing that can be done is to repair the damage and then have them re-chromed in the States (California or Florida has the best chroming facilities). Although we can do the repairs and then make arrangements through our suppliers for re-chroming, it is both a time consuming and costly process. This process takes about three to six weeks and the cost is around $450.00 per wheel, not including shipping.
We do repair chrome clad aluminum rims such as the ones you see on Dodge Rams, Ford F150’s and a lot of other GM and Chrysler models. This repair is limited to the aluminum lip with corrosion issues or gouges. To identify this type of chrome clad / chrome skin rims you can tap on the chrome part and you’ll notice it’s made of hard plastic material.
How do you repair the aluminum wheels?
Some of the products and repair procedures we use are proprietary. We use a variety of techniques, depending on the type of damage and the construction of the wheel. For example, machined and polished wheels require different procedures than wheels that have painted finishes.
We are equipped with state of the art CNC lathe, powder coating systems and straightening machines that were custom made for wheel repair applications. These methods involve the use of machinery and a variety of abrasives and fillers to repair the damaged area of the wheel. We also aluminum TIG weld if needed, we have licensed welders who will decide if the crack is safe to repair or not based on our welding guidelines. When the damaged area is repaired, we prepare the remaining portion of the aluminum surface for refinishing.
We next use a special surface cleaner and then apply a franchise approved primer to the repaired surface. Next, we apply the base coat. We select the color based on the franchise recommendations. In some cases, we are required to match the base coat color. Our finishers are constantly conducting color match research and we are periodically provided with the latest formulas and color matching techniques. Lastly we apply the final layer of powder clearcoat which is oven baked to seal the wheel and provide a beautiful deep shine. We use the highest grade, powder clearcoat available for our final applications equivalent to factory OEM finishes.
How do you differ from other wheel repair companies?
We are an international franchise and have the backing of a huge network of wheel refinishers. Secondly, we are locally owned and operated and have a repair shop that is located right here in Ottawa. We employ local people, use local suppliers and service the whole of Ottawa, Gatineau and area. Unlike other companies that come from out of town, we have a store front and service bay area that can accommodate our commercial and retail customer’s vehicles for a few days while we refinish your wheels, this will take out the inconvenience of jacking-up your vehicle and leaving it in jack stands or in your hoist (if you’re a commercial account). We are fully insured and we offer pick-up and delivery services for our commercial accounts.
Thirdly, our network of Techs, who are operating all over North America, are experiencing new repair situations on a daily basis. The knowledge gained from these experiences are then shared throughout the franchise. Exceptional ideas are reviewed and evaluated by our technical counsel, who approve all of the latest ideas and techniques. These approved procedures are then reported throughout our international association.
In addition, our franchise is involved in research and development to provide us with the latest in wheel repair technology. This not only includes the latest methods, but the most advanced materials. We also share the formulas for matching the most current wheel colors from the factories. All this translates into a more effective and efficient service for you.
How does your work compare to the original factory finish?
In most cases it is not discernable. However, we do not profess that our repairs are the equivalent of a brand new wheel. No damage repaired wheel will ever be as good as the original product. Even a total remanufacturing process cannot restore a damaged wheel to original factory specs. It is not possible. However, it is possible to come close. In order to restore a used wheel to brand new condition, close to the original factory specs, the entire wheel must be stripped to the bare metal, all low damaged areas must be filled with weld and then the original manufacturing process must then be repeated as this not only takes a whole production line work but is not cost effective for repair of a set or less of multi-brand wheels.
Is your work guaranteed?
We guarantee our work 100% against inferior workmanship. If the customer is not completely satisfied, we will redo the wheel free of charge. Our guarantee does not cover damages to wheels resulting from improper care, incorrect assembly, repair or handling, unsuitable wheel weights, use of acidic cleaners, stones chips, abrasions, accidents or other remote impacts. We guarantee our work for one year from peeling and discoloration both for repaired wheel or core exchange program. We do not give warranty on straightened rims as there is always possibility of hitting them again while in use. We do not charge for bent rims that we cannot repair.
Part of the responsibility of keeping repaired wheels in good condition rests with the owner of those wheels. Good care and maintenance is the key. Certain procedures are required to insure that the finish of the wheels remains in good condition. In order to maintain wheels properly, we offer the same advice to customers as do the manufacturers of premium alloy wheels.
Is there anything we can do to keep wheels in good shape?
Keep your wheels cleaned and waxed. Hand care is always the best. The use of the correct cleaning products is critical to proper maintenance. Never use an acidic cleaner on your wheels. Any cleaner that uses acid will damage the clearcoat and substrate. It is very important to your wheels with a solution made specifically for aluminum wheels. Quality products such as the one made by Eagle One would be a good choice. Waxing your wheels periodically will help protect the "skin" of the clear coat from foreign matter build-up. We have been told by many of our customers that Wheel Wax is a quality product made specifically for use on aluminum wheels.
If you must use a car wash, use a "touchless" carwash. Try to avoid car washes with rails that could damage the edges. Always pay close attention to the appearance of your wheels, particularly before and after going into a car wash or turning your car over to a valet service.
Responsible care and maintenance effort is the key to keeping your expensive wheels in good condition. We offer the same advice to our customers as do the manufacturers of premium alloy wheels.
How long do repairs take?
There are several factors that dictate how long a repair will take. Normal refinishing of one wheel will have a turn around of 3-4 days, for a set of 4 we normally ask 3-5 days. Straightening is normally a next day turn around time. Rims with cracks normally take longer, average of 3-4 days depending if need to refinish it or not. Lead times also depends on our work load for the specific week. Our busiest time of the year is early Spring, all Summer and early Fall.
Does the process require tire removal?
Rim refinishing, crack repair and straightening does require tire removal, after repairs, we will mount and re-balance it for you. If there is a crack, we will need to take it off for aluminum welding. For refinishing, we prefer to have the tires removed, but if you bring us the rims with tire, we can demount it and mount it afterwards and balance it for a nominal fee. This will take the risk out of having it installed somewhere and scratched afterwards.
How much does wheel repair cost?
Although repair costs depend on the extent of the damage, typical cost to refinish a single wheel will be about $150.00 to $195.00. Straightening is around $110.00 to $145.00. Aluminum welding and straightening averages between $165.00 to $185.00. There are many variables that affect the cost of a repair. There are many things you need to consider before deciding whether to replace or repair your wheel. We highly recommend you bring the wheel to us or email us a picture before deciding.
What are the factors that affect pricing?
Alloy wheels are becoming more expensive every year, some costing over $1,200.00. Replacement is always an option. However, properly done repairs can be done at a fraction of the cost of replacement.
Factors that affect the cost of repairs are as follows:
Some of the above items are obvious. However, labor is the biggest factor. It takes the same amount of time to repair a $200 wheel as it does to repair a wheel costing $1,200.00. Obviously, the decision is up to you.