Alloy wheel refurbishment guide
There are several things to consider when getting your alloy wheels refurbished, and several ways to do it. It really depends on what you're requirements are and what you want the finished wheel to look like. The key things to bear in mind are; How long can you wait for your wheels? How long do you expect the job to last? How much work is needed to restore the wheels?
Diamond cut wheels
Diamond cut wheels are wheels which have had the face of the wheel machined back to a bright metallic finish. Click here for an example of a diamond cut wheel.
Typically, a diamond cut wheel will need refurbishing because water has worked its way behind the lacquer - lifting the lacquer and creating a "whiteworm" effect, or the wheel has been kerbed. Regardless of the cause of the damage, a diamond cut wheel must be re-machined if the original finish is required. Danum Powder Coating can have your wheels re-cut, but as the process is quite involved the lead time is 7-10 days.
An alternative to having diamond cut wheels re-machined is to have them powder coated, essentially treating them as a standard wheel. Whilst this may not look original, the process is faster, cheaper and more durable than the original finish.
If your wheel paint is blistering or flaking, chances are the wheel alloy is starting to corrode. This kind of fault is typically seen on Japanese wheels and wheels older than 5 years.
The best option for refurbishing a corroded wheel is powder coating, where all of the old paint is stripped from the alloy. This allows the refurbishment process to start on good, clean metal, and not mask over metal damage. Whilst it is possible to re-paint corroded wheels, it can be expensive to have done correctly, or will not last long if done cheaply.
If a single wheel has been "Kerbed", it may be more suitable to get a mobile alloy wheel repair specialist to put things right. This generally involves a specialist coming to you, and working from a van. It should take between 1 and 2 hours. A downside to this kind of repair is the longevity - we've seen plenty of "refurbished" wheels which looked good initially, but were peeling 3 weeks later! The key is to use a reputable wheel specialist.
If more than one wheel is kerbed, or if the damage is particularly bad, the best option depends on how long you can be without your wheels. A mobile repair may be more convenient but has no guarantee, powder coating takes a bit longer but will last a lot longer.