As beautiful as they are - alloy wheels are quickly damaged: Be it a small tour into the terrain, grit and split or the well-known curb. Such scratches are unsightly, but we can reassure you. If the damage is not too great, they can be repaired relatively easily on your own. Therefore, in the following article we would like to provide you with step-by-step instructions and a few videos that you can use to repair your alloy wheels. In addition, the legal framework for repairs clarified.
Who is only interested in very specific areas around the topic Rim repair interested, you can use the following jump labels to navigate directly to the desired topic with just one click. And just as quickly you can return to this overview from the selected menu item with just one click. We of course recommend our readers to read the entire article. Some menu items are only really comprehensible once the full info article has been read.
- Can I repair my alloy wheels?
- Repairing rims yourself or going to the workshop?
- Repair after damage from the curb.
- The repair of aluminum rims using repair kits.
- What does such a repair kit contain?
- Where can I have alloy rims repaired?
- What does it cost to repair aluminum rims?
- More tutorial videos on rim repair!
AND! Basically the elimination optical defects allowed. Examples of this are sanding, polishing, rounding notches, filling or painting scratches in the base metal are not deeper than 1 mm. You are of course always on the safe side in a qualified workshop in which the aluminum rims are manufactured using the "WheelDoctor“Can be treated. This is a so-called rotary grinding process, in which the durability of your rims is not impaired. This means that sufficient road safety is still guaranteed. However, there are a few things that are not allowed. These include, for example Deformations, Heat treatments, welding and other interventions that affect the structure of the material. Put simply, it can be said that the repairs just mentioned are permitted, but the subsequent use of the affected rims in road traffic verboten. That's why you should definitely buy new rims in the event of severe damage to be on the safe side. (Back to overview)
It depends on several factors, such as how badly the rim is damaged. Besides, yours is also self-assessment Crucial in terms of your skills and knowledge: Are you sure about the condition of the rim and do you trust yourself to repair it? If not, you should leave the repairs to the specialist workshop. This can also use special procedures to thoroughly examine the rim for deeper damage in the material. Doing repairs yourself is always cheaper, but safety should by no means be neglected! But if you know the nature of the damage, for example by lightly touching the curb, by falling over when changing tires or slipping with the wheel hub, then nothing stands in the way of repairing it yourself. After all, in the event of such damage, profound defects in the material can be ruled out. So if you think you can do the repair yourself, next we have instructions and 1-2 videos for you. (Back to overview)
- Step ⓶:: Preparation of the alloy wheels
- Regardless of the damage, the aluminum rim should first be cleaned thoroughly before the repair. The reason for this is that you can assess the damage without the view being made difficult by various types of dirt. Here it makes sense to dismantle the wheels. Furthermore, all areas that should not come into contact with sandpaper should be taped on.
- Step 2: Sanding the alloy rims
- Now it's a matter of removing the damage. If there are rough cracks and scratches, they can easily be sanded smooth again with an electric grinder. However, you should be careful not to sand too much, but rather to proceed carefully, flat and slowly. You can then use the appropriate sandpaper (different grain sizes from e.g. 80 to 800) the finer scratches are removed, whereby you should work your way from coarse to fine. Finally, it is important to clean the rim again so that it is free of grinding dust.
- Step 3: Polishing and Painting the alloy rims
If the rim has been properly cleaned and degreased again, it can be freshly painted. Depending on the rim, the vehicle and the manufacturer of the paint, the procedure here can be different. As a rule, you should put on a primer and only then apply the actual paint. You can usually find appropriate instructions from the paint supplier. You should also study the instructions for the paintwork with regard to drying out and any subsequent polishing to remove dust inclusions. (Back to overview)
So-called repair kits save a lot of work and time, because you get an "all-round carefree package", so to speak. This means that only one set has to be bought in order to have all the necessary utensils for the repair. However, this method is only suitable for repairing individual damage to the rim. This is also referred to as a smart repair or a spot repair process. It should also be noted that this type of repair cannot be used on chrome rims, compacted rims, or polished or polished rims. Rims with such a special surface should usually be repaired by a specialist. For example, in order to be able to let a front-polished aluminum rim shine again in its old shine, the surface must be slightly turned off with a special machine and then re-sealed (with clear lacquer).
This step can hardly be carried out by a layperson without specialist knowledge and without the appropriate tools. Especially when it comes to keeping the material removal within the legally correct framework. And when doing repairs yourself using conventional vehicle paintwork on a “normal rim”, you should always keep in mind that there may be visual differences compared to professional repair / painting. For example, if you only treat the damaged area plus / minus a few centimeters around it, a color difference will usually always remain visible. (Back to overview)
In addition to sandpaper from coarse to fine, a repair kit usually also contains repair compound, a spatula, a brush, varnish or a touch-up pencil, cleaning accessories and protective gloves. After the rims have been sanded and cleaned, the repair compound is pressed into the crack or scratch. It is also a good idea to model the rim edge with the repair compound. Then you sand the rim smoothly and then the point of damage is processed with a brush and varnish or with a touch-up pen. (Back to overview)
If you do not want to or cannot carry out the repair yourself, it is of course also possible in the specialist workshop. That costs more, but you can expect a professionally carried out repair with perfect results. Here you should make sure that the workshop offers a TÜV-tested procedure for the repair of your aluminum rims. If there are only slight scratches on the surface, any paint shop can generally recondition the rim properly. If the damage is more severe or if the exact extent of the damage is not known, a special specialist workshop should be sought to repair the rim. (Back to overview)
Here, too, the specific price depends on the condition of the rim and also on the method chosen. While the smart repair method is cheaper, repairs that may even require welding (which, as already mentioned, is not allowed), significantly more expensive and in the middle three-digit range. The rim also usually has to be completely painted, which costs an additional 50 to 100 euros. In addition, there may be a need to check for correct concentricity. As you can see, it is quite difficult to estimate the exact costs, which is why it is best to get a cost estimate from the relevant workshop. In summary, it can be said that repairing aluminum rims can be done by yourself if you have the appropriate knowledge and skills. Otherwise it is advisable to go to a qualified workshop. Especially when it comes to high-quality rims for several thousand euros, you should always leave the repair to the specialist workshop. (Back to overview)
And so that you can enjoy the rims for a long time, a rim seal should be applied to protect the surface. It is worth taking a look at our guide. So far so good! But what if the steering wheel vibrates suddenly when accelerating or braking? What if the whole vehicle shakes and you have no idea where the imbalance is coming from? Then maybe our contribution on the topic "Car vibrates or wobbles while driving - why?"!
Of course that had not happened yet!
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