How to Repair Your Alloy Wheels

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Alloy wheels are used by many car manufacturers today. Alloy wheels are tough, but they can be damaged from hitting a deep pothole or a curb. Damage from curbing your wheels is the most common type of wheel damage. When there are indentations or small chunks missing from the surface of your alloy wheels, you can repair them to look almost like new in less than a day. If there are large dents that change the shape of the rim, the wheel must be repaired by a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Microfiber towels
  • Masking tape
  • Paint thinner
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Filler putty
  • Plastic squeegee
  • Wheel paint
  • Wash the wheels and tire around the damaged area using liquid dish detergent and a microfiber towel. Rinse the soap and let the wheel and tire dry completely. Go over the area with paint thinner and a microfiber towel. The dish detergent removes grease and the paint thinner removes the layer of silicone protectant on the tires and clear coat of the wheel.

  • Place masking tape around the damaged area. If the damage is along the rim of the wheel, cover the tire with masking tape too.

  • Sand the damaged area with 220-grit sandpaper. Smooth the area of any rough spots or points with the sandpaper.

  • Apply a small amount of filler putty over the damage. Smooth the putty with a plastic squeegee and make sure you use enough putty to completely fill up any dents, scrapes or gouges. Let the putty dry for one hour.

  • Sand the dried putty with the 400-grit sandpaper and water. Keep the sandpaper wet while sanding to prevent buildup and putting deep scratches in the putty. Sand until the area is smooth and level with the surface of the wheel. Rinse the wheel and let it dry.

  • Spray a thin coat of wheel paint on the repaired area of the alloy wheel. Hold the can 8 to 10 inches from the surface. Let the paint dry for 10 minutes. Apply a total of four coats of paint, letting each one dry for 10 minutes between coats. Let the last coat dry for 24 hours before handling it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Auto parts stores sell a variety of silver and other color spray paint just for wheels so it matches with the original wheel finish.
  • Bent alloy wheels or wheels with large sections or chunks missing should be taken to a professional wheel finisher or replaced. Bent rims can allow air to leak from the tire and can affect the tire's roundness. Don't attempt to repair this type of damage on your own.
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