What is the best option for repairing your alloy wheels?
We all know the feeling, you have just got a new car and have been extra careful not to scratch your new wheels. Something distracts you and you hear the worst sound imaginable. You finish parking and jump out to inspect the damage and want to cry looking at the scratches on your new alloy wheels. You immediately go into problem solving mode and jump on Google or call the dealership to find out how to make it disappear. After talking to a few people and browsing the web for a while you are not sure on what option to use. Should you use a mobile service, a workshop or replace the wheel. This article will help you decide on the best option for you to get your wheels looking like new again.
Mobile Alloy Wheel Repair
A mobile alloy wheel repair service is a great option for most people due to the convenience and low cost to get your wheels repaired. Most mobile technicians will repair the wheel on the car at your home or office in less than an hour and the average cost per wheel will be around $140. Using this process, the technician will sand the damage out of the wheel, prepare it for painting, match the colour and blend the repair in with the rest of the wheel. If you have painted rims in good condition, apart from the gutter rash this would be the best option as a factory finish is able to be achieved with out the time and money it will cost to replace or have the wheel repaired in a workshop.
If you have a machine face alloy wheel or polished wheel it will depend on how good you want the repair to look. The only way to get a machine faced wheel back to a factory finish is to remove the wheel and tyre from the car and have it re-machined in a CNC at a workshop. You will lose your wheel for up to a week and it will cost around $300 to repair. The problem is, if you damage it again you will have to go through this same time consuming and expensive process. For a polished wheel, the clear coat will need to be removed from the whole wheel and reapplied to get a full factory finish. Again this would be better suited for a workshop if you wanted the wheel to be 100%.
These types of wheels however can be repaired to a high quality, long lasting finish with a mobile service. If you look closely at the repair you may be able to see the difference in the area that has been repaired, step back and you will not be able to see the difference. Most customers on a close inspection cannot even see the difference. At Platinum Wheel Repairs, machine face wheels are the most common type of mag wheel we repair and we have never had an unsatisfied customer. We are always honest about the finish the customer can expect to get with the repair and it always exceeds their expectations. Obviously if you need the wheel to be back to 100% factory condition this will not be the best option for you. If you want you wheel to look like new again and are fine with it not being 100% then this is definitely a great option as it will save you hundreds of dollars and a lot of time compared to a work shop repair. Visit our Gallery page to see some of our machine face repairs.
If you have machine face wheels that you want to be back to factory, want to change the colour of your wheels, have a cracked or bent rim or an old wheel with flaking and peeling paint, this is the best option for you.
As stated above, if you want your machine face wheels back to factory, it will need to be done in a workshop with a CNC machine.
If you want to change the colour of your wheels to something more modern, like black, I would recommend having them done in a workshop. Due to size of the area being sprayed it is best to have this done off the car in a spray booth with the tyre removed. This way you will not get any over spray on the car or any dust particles in your new paint. Also, the wheel will be painted around the tyre bead and wheel nut area giving it greater longevity. At Platinum Wheel Repairs Sydney we do not conduct nor recommend getting a full colour change done on your mag wheels with a mobile service. Full resprays can be quite inexpensive if you shop around and powder coating is a also a cheaper option again. The only draw back is that you will lose the wheels from your car for up to week while they are getting painted. If you damage the wheel after it has been resprayed it can be repaired inexpensively using a mobile service.
If your wheel is bent or cracked this will need to be fixed in workshop.
If you have an older wheel and the paint is in really bad condition, with the clear coat flaking off all around the wheel, then a workshop refurbishment will be the best option again. When the paint is in a bad condition like this it is very had to feather the old paint back as it keeps flaking away. The best way to handle this and get a high quality and long lasting repair is to strip and sand the old paint right back and respray the whole wheel. Again, at Platinum Wheel Repairs we do not offer full refurbishments as a service and do not recommend getting them done with the wheels still on the car.
Replacing the Wheels
For the majority of people this is the least viable and cost effective option. Genuine alloy wheels range from $600 per wheel to replace on the cheaper Japanese cars to $3000 per wheel for a machine faced wheel on a Mercedes or Audi. That is a lot of money to spend when there is much more affordable options available. If you do replace the wheel and damage it after you leave the dealership, you are back to square one and will probably choose to go with cheaper option this time around. It is possible to get aftermarket genuine wheels that look the same but without the hefty price tag but it is still a more expensive option the others talked about.
I hope this helps you decide what to do next time you damage your alloy wheels. Contact us today to get a fast quote to get your mag wheels repaired.