STTC Logo
Search
Close this search box.

How to Refinish Aluminum Wheels the Right Way

Share This:
aluminum wheel refinishing

Proper wheel maintenance is crucial for maintaining the performance and safety of commercial truck tires. Neglecting this aspect can lead to premature tire damage, escalating repair and replacement costs for your fleet. Refinishing aluminum wheels, however, requires precision and expertise to ensure optimal results and extend the lifespan of commercial trucks.

Why Aluminum Wheel Refinishing is Important

For fleets operating in regions with harsh weather conditions, aluminum wheels are constantly exposed to de-icing salts and moisture, which can severely affect their structural integrity. This exposure can lead to corrosion, which not only diminishes the aesthetic appeal of the vehicles but also poses serious safety risks. Corroded wheels may cause tire punctures and unexpected blowouts. Unlike steel wheels, which are prone to rust, aluminum wheels resist corrosion better; however, they still require regular maintenance to enhance their durability and performance.

Steps to Remove Oxidation & Restore Wheels

Refinishing aluminum wheels involves several detailed steps to remove oxidation and restore the wheels to their original condition. Here’s how to achieve the best results:

  • Cleaning the Wheel: Begin by cleaning the wheel with a high-quality wheel polish to remove any dirt and debris. It’s crucial to avoid scratching the wheel’s surface during this process.
  • Sanding: Start with 200-grit sandpaper to sand the entire wheel, focusing on areas with deep scratches or pits. Follow up with 500-grit sandpaper to smooth out any remaining imperfections.
  • Scrubbing and Filing: Use steel wool to scrub and file the wheel. This helps in smoothing out scratches and achieving a finer finish. Applying a small amount of wheel polish with the steel wool can enhance the smoothing effect.
  • Polishing: Apply more wheel polish and continue to polish the wheel using a scotch-brite pad. This step is essential for refining and smoothing the wheel surface further.
  • Rinsing and Coating: Rinse the wheels thoroughly with a water hose. Then, apply a coat of wheel polish and allow it to sit for two to three days to oxidize and cure the aluminum.
  • Final Polishing and Clear Coating: Apply another coat of wheel polish and let it dry completely before buffing. Protect the tire and valve stem with newspaper and masking tape, then spray three coats of clear coat on the wheels, allowing them to dry thoroughly between each coat.

How to Prevent Aluminum Rims from Oxidizing

Preventing oxidation in aluminum rims is key to maintaining their appearance and functionality. Here are some tips to help protect your aluminum rims from oxidizing:

  • Regular Cleaning: Regularly clean your rims with a quality wheel cleaner that is safe for aluminum. This removes build-ups of dirt and grime that can hold moisture against the rim, leading to oxidation.
  • Protective Coatings: Apply a protective sealant or wax designed explicitly for aluminum wheels. This creates a barrier against moisture and salt, which are the primary causes of oxidation.
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: When cleaning, avoid using harsh chemicals that strip away protective coatings and expose the aluminum to the elements.
  • Routine Inspections: Regularly inspect your wheels for any signs of damage or wear that could expose the aluminum to the elements. Early detection and repair can prevent further oxidation.

Why Choose STTC for Your Aluminum Wheel Refinishing Needs

At STTC, we utilize the advanced VIS Service Automation VIS-Polish system, an automated wheel polishing system that ensures high-quality refinishing. Our services are backed by a money-back guarantee, affirming our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction.

Don’t let corroded wheels compromise the safety and efficiency of your fleet. Contact STTC today to schedule your professional aluminum wheel refinishing service. With our expert team and state-of-the-art equipment, we guarantee your wheels will look and perform like new ones. Reach out to STTC now and ensure your fleet remains in top condition!

You may also like...

More from other categories