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topic 970

Dealer stained my aluminum truck wheels


I recently purchased a new truck with polished aluminum wheels. The dealer sprayed the wheels and tires with Bleach-White and the wheels now appear stained. The dealer is telling me they can polish it out but the wheels look etched to me.

Can they be restored by merely polishing the wheels?

The replacement wheels I am shopping for, (since I am assuming they won't get them fixed) are chrome-plated aluminum. The wheel salesman says I won't have a problem with rust. I live in Iowa where the roads are heavily salted and it can be weeks between cleaning due to freezing temps.

Is it true the chrome-plated aluminum wheels won't pit or rust?

Tom Lynch
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa


What is most true is that you should read the warranty and not buy them unless the warranty meets your satisfaction, Tom.

It is probably possible to chrome plate aluminum wheels perfectly satisfactorily. But it is also true that it requires a difficult and expensive plating process, and there is undoubtedly a strong temptation to plate them less expensively, or for mediocre platers to try to plate something they are not capable of plating satisfactorily.

They won't "rust" because only iron can rust, but they can fail in many ways and we have a lot of letters on line here from people who are dissatisfied with the durability of their chrome plated aluminum wheels. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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