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"Aftermarket Chrome Rims peeling after small scrape"


I have a 2005 Subaru Legacy and it comes with aluminum wheels. Two weeks ago I was taking it to the car wash and missed the guide by a bit and the wheel rubbed up against the metal guide. I didn't think much of it because I have had chrome wheels before on other cars and had maybe a little scrape in such a circumstance. In this case a good portion of chrome just peeled off of the rim. I believe while the catalyst for this happening was me rubbing up on the wheel guide that the chrome on a 1 month old car shouldn't just peel right off. I feel as though the company that did the chroming should at least help out in the cost of the repair of the wheel.
Below is a picture of the 'damage'. Am I being unreasonable saying that this shouldn't have just came off like this?


David J [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Car Owner - Naperville, Illinois


From this distance and the facts you've presented it certainly looks like the chrome plating is manifestly defective. Chrome plating should not peel. Period. And thanks for the photo, I've never seen a better example of separation of the nickel from the copper :-)

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


You are exactly right! that definitely looks like a bad chrome job to me.

metal finishing shop - Springdale, Arkansas


I think you point is very valid. Although in their defense they will most likely say that, "it's newly chromed, it's susceptible to damage easily" B.S if you ask me. They should definitely help you out on that repair. I purchased a 2000 Nissan Maxima about 3 years ago. I purchase 20" chrome rims, I had them for less then a year, and the chrome began to peel off. I would wipe them down and chrome flakes would come off on the rag. I contacted them and they said it was a one year warranty. Very upsetting, however I plan on powder coating them soon. Good luck with that. You deserve to win this one guy!

Aaron [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Hawthorne, California


To me it's not merely a case of "helping out". Assuming the story as related is true, and the photo undoctored, the plating is hugely defective. It's not easy to chrome plate aluminum rims, and mistakes can happen . . . and they may be delighted to do a free replacement and get this scandal of a plating job off the road.

In any event, the responsibility should be 100 percent on the manufacturer because the plating should be absolutely inseparable from the wheel.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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