Alloy Wheels: Repair and Maintenance Tips

July 4, 2024
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The best alloy wheels don’t merely look great – they also contribute to a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, handling and performance. However, alloy wheels can also be susceptible to accumulating scratches, scuffs, dents, and even cracks over time.

Proactive and regular maintenance – such as cleaning the wheels with a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner, and using wheel protectors or coatings – can prevent you from needing to arrange mag wheel repairs so often. That being said, if the wheel comes into contact with the curb or a nasty pothole there is no avoiding damage occurring.

Sooner or later, you will probably require more involved alloy wheel repairs to keep your wheels looking great.

Can You Repair Alloys at Home?

If you are reading this as someone with no professional expertise in alloy wheel repairs, you might be tempted to try some DIY techniques, such as paint touch-ups, and sanding and filling minor scratches and scuffs.

Amateur methods do come with severe limitations. Even if you’re only trying to tackle a minor blemish, you can’t expect to achieve the spotless finish a professional can achieve.

So, an amateur, at-home alloy wheel repair job could still allow the wheel rim to continue deteriorating. This could lead to the structural integrity of your wheel rims eventually becoming compromised – and with it, your safety behind the (steering) wheel.

Professional alloy wheel repairs are the way to go for the best results and peace of mind.

Types Of Alloy Wheel Damage

The following are some of the types of damage that necessitate alloy wheel repairs:

Scratches and scuffs

They might be the most “minor” damage to alloy wheels, at least because they don’t usually immediately threaten the wheel’s structural integrity. But scratches and scuffs are still extremely annoying, given how they make the wheel look worn and degraded.

Curb Rash

As the name implies, curb rash is the type of damage that accumulates as a result of contact between an alloy wheel rim and curbs. The consequent scratches and deep gouges are typically more visual than structural, at least to begin with.

However, if you fail to arrange for curbed wheel repair at an early stage, when these blemishes appear on your alloys, you could compromise the broader finish of the wheels over time due to corrosion as water the elements can now start to get between the wheels finish and the alloy beneath it.

Cracks And Dents

This results from various circumstances such as contact with potholes and accidents, as cracks and dents tend to penetrate the wheel’s structure. This makes them a threat to the vehicles performance and general road safety.

A cracked wheel will usually cause a slow loss of air pressure to the tyre much like a puncture. A dented or buckled wheel on the other hand will cause a vibration through the steering wheel or the vehicle generally similar to when your wheels need to be balanced.

If you start seeing cracks and dents in your wheel rims, or you notice symptoms described above then arrange for prompt alloy wheel repairs by reputable experts, such as our team at Alloy Wheel Repair.

Bending or buckling

Over time, wheel rims can take heavy impact from obstacles such as potholes, speed bumps, and uneven roads. Repeated impacts like these can cause wheels to lose strength until the rim becomes visibly bent or out of round.

A bent rim can cause problems like air leaks and wheel wobble at higher speeds, causing a flat tyre or complete tyre failure. For this reason, buckled and bent wheels are a reason for rejection (fail) at warrant of fitness inspection. So, if you see the signs, enquire about professional bent wheel repair.

Man wheel washing

How To Maintain Alloy Wheels to Prevent Damage

Follow these maintenance tips to ward off future serious damage to your wheel rims and boost your alloys’ longevity:

Clean The Wheels Gently and Regularly

Use a soft brush or sponge and use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner to clean your alloys routinely. Abrasive or harsh cleaning materials can easily scratch alloy wheels, so be sure to read the label of your chosen product carefully.

Never apply caustic cleaners to your wheels when they are hot. Always wait until your wheels are stone cold, wet them down with water first, and then apply the cleaning solution.

Don’t forget to clean both the outside and inside of your alloys. You don’t necessarily need to remove the wheels for this, if you have a long wheel brush that can reach and clean the inside rim.

Consider Wheel Protectors or Coatings

Both edge protectors and ceramic coatings can provide a crucial further layer of defence against wheel damage while also removing some of the stress from cleaning.

Modify Your Driving Behaviours to Avoid Damage

Very few drivers can avoid driving over potholes or coming into contact with curbs. However, taking greater care as a driver can greatly help prevent or slow down accumulative damage to alloy wheels.

Check The Wheels Regularly for Signs of Damage

The more alert and vigilant you are about the indicators of damage to your rims, the sooner you can react by arranging for professional alloy wheel repairs.

This will also help to stop relatively minor aesthetic damage from deteriorating into a more advanced structural problem that will be more expensive to fix, and may become a road safety issue.

Why Should You Seek Professional Help for Alloy Wheel Repairs?

For anything beyond the most minor cosmetic damage – and perhaps even if the damage only seems to be minor and purely cosmetic – contact skilled and knowledgeable professionals for Alloy Wheel Repairs.

From the moment our team at Alloy Wheel Repair gets to see your vehicle for the first time, they will work methodically – drawing upon their expertise and experience – to assess the form and severity of the damage. This will allow them to decide on the most viable way to repair the wheel.

There are various processes that reputable specialists in alloy wheel repairs tend to follow, to help ensure optimal results. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:

Removing the wheel from the vehicle

This is always required in every case for proper alloy wheel Repair. The tyre is also removed along with the valve and old wheel weights.

Cleaning And Stripping

Drivers who turn to us for curbed wheel repair can also expect us to clean and strip the damaged area to remove dirt, debris, and past coatings. This allows for a quality and effective refinishing process.

Wheel color at Alloy Wheel Repair


If, on the other hand, it is bent wheel repair or buckled wheel repair that you require from us, we will use specialised equipment – such as ovens, hydraulic presses, dial gauges, and re rolling machines – to gradually straighten the affected parts of the wheel until it is back to within acceptable tolerances.

Sanding And Smoothing

We occasionally use metallic based fillers to fill in any deep scratches or dents on your alloy wheel. In the case of a machined finish wheel, deeper gouges will be filled using TIG welding to replace the material lost. The subsequent sanding and refinishing of the repaired area will ensure a consistently smooth surface with no indicators of where the repair has been carried out.

Painting Or Powder Coating

This is the final stage of completing alloy wheel repairs. It involves a team of qualified painters carefully matching the paint or powder coating to the original wheel colour using our extensive library of factory colours or matching custom colours using a spectrometer. We also regularly colour change wheels to suit our clients individual requirements.

Talk To Our Team For Quick And Easy Alloy Wheel Repair In Auckland!

To learn more about our alloy or mag wheel repairs that will leave your beloved rims looking as good as new, please click through to read about how we handle wheel cracking, bending, and buckling alike.