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Corroding Chrome Wheels on a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

I bought this Jeep new and purchased it with Chrome Wheels. I noticed them peeling quite soon, asked Jeep service department about it and was told verbally that it was normal. Over the years, I had the wheels rotated and was told by Costco (in writing in 2006) that the wheels and caps were corroding badly. The tires were just replaced this week and again Costco told me that the wheels were basically falling apart. I'd had to have new valve stems on the old tires and constantly had trouble with losing air in the tires. I took it back to the Jeep dealer that sold it to me and was basically told too bad but they were happy to give me a price of $439.00 each on new chrome wheels! They seemed highly insulted when I told them I wouldn't put that crap back on the car.

Will this wheels have to be replaced? If so, can I just use an alloy wheel? Thanks for helping a female out in this problem.

Sandy Lovelace
- Morrow, Ohio
April 6, 2008

April 10, 2008

Sure, you can use aluminum alloy wheels on the car. Get a reputable tire/wheel shop to make sure you get the correct size. Steel wheels would be cheaper, and they'll work too.

The dealer says "It's normal"? Strong words, perhaps, but shame on him. He's a liar. It's not "normal". Look at all the chrome plating on other cars on the street which is holding up beautifully after 5, 10, 15 years.

If it were me, I'd write a blistering letter to Chrysler for putting such lousy plating on their vehicles. There is no, and I repeat NO reason to sell chrome plating which is so sloppily done as to begin peeling within the first few years.

They should be begging you to let them replace the wheels at their cost, and sending you a case of Champagne too.

You're welcome to tell them I said so.

See what other answers you get from this forum of experts. You may want to include them with your letter.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Once the chrome starts peeling, it's gone. You could take the wheels to a good chrome plater and have them stripped and replated, which would probably be at least a little cheaper than buying new wheels. In my opinion, you got a bad set of wheels and the dealer should have replaced them. I assume they use a lot of road salt in Ohio?

George Brackett III
Plating engineer (35+ years) - Saco, ME, USA
April 11, 2008

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