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How to Refinish Aluminum Wheels the Right Way

aluminum wheel refinishing

aluminum wheel refinishing


Proper wheel maintenance is essential for keeping commercial truck tires in good working condition. Without the right maintenance, you can expose your vehicles to premature tire damage, resulting in increased spending on repair and replacement needs for your fleet.


But refinishing aluminum wheels isn’t as simple as it might seem: Fleet managers must take care to use proper refinishing techniques in order to yield the best results for their commercial trucks.


Why Aluminum Wheel Refinishing is Important


Especially for fleets operating in wet or snowy climates, wheels are routinely exposed to outside forces that can seriously impact their structural integrity. De-icing salts and moist environments can lead to corrosion in your aluminum wheels. When this happens, not only do your vehicles suffer aesthetically, but corroded wheels can puncture tires and leave drivers to experience unexpected blowouts.


Rusting is a reason why steel wheel refinishing is essential for commercial trucks: Vehicle inspectors will automatically be drawn to signs of rusting and corrosion, citing rust spots as a sign of greater vehicular damage lurking beneath the surface. While aluminum generally resists corrosion and discoloration for a long time, it’s imperative that fleet managers seek out ways to further boost resistance to maintain the integrity of their wheels and tires.


Aluminum Wheel Refinishing Tips & Tricks


Ready to get your aluminum wheels back to like-new status? The following steps illustrate how proper aluminum wheel refinishing should be approached by commercial fleets:


  • Clean the wheel with wheel polish to remove dirt and debris and avoiding scratching the wheel’s surface during the polishing process.
  • Sand the entire wheel with 200-grit sandpaper as this will help remove deep scratches or pits in the aluminum.
  • Next, sand the wheels with 500-grit sandpaper to further eliminate any burrs or pits
  • Scrub and file the wheels with steel wool to smooth out scratches and restore the wheels’ smooth finish. You may also consider using a small amount of wheel polish with the steel wool to achieve the desired effect.
  • Apply more wheel polish and continue polishing the wheels using a scotch-brite pad to further refine and smooth the wheel surface.
  • Clean off the wheels with a water hose, then apply a coat of wheel polish and let it sit for two to three days to oxidize and cure the aluminum.
  • Apply another coat of wheel polish, allowing it to dry completely before buffing.
  • Cover the tire and valve stem with newspaper, securing with masking tape, before spraying three coats of clear coat on the wheels, allowing wheels to dry thoroughly between each coat.


Refinishing your wheels is no easy task — especially when balancing all of the other demands of your commercial fleet. That’s why it’s always best to take your vehicles to a professional for proper aluminum wheel refinishing services.


At STTC, our team uses the VIS Service Automation VIS-Polish automated wheel polishing system to deliver optimal refinishing results every time. Contact our team to schedule your aluminum wheel refinishing services today!


STTC’s Aluminum Wheel Refinishing Services


Powered by a robotic aluminum wheel polisher and backed by our money-back guarantee, there’s no team better suited to your wheel refinishing needs than STTC. Ensure your wheels clean and corrosion-free by contacting STTC for your aluminum wheel refinishing service today!


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