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Alloy wheel refurbishment explained

April 11, 2022 by

A curbed alloy wheel can really damage your cars value, as well as your pride. There’s no need to buy new ones just yet though, You may be able to get them refurbished.

When you’re maintaining your car, there’s no harm in making sure the alloy wheels are kept in good condition. After all, not only can they help sharpen up the looks of your car and give it a bit more curb appeal, but making sure they’re pristine can also help maintain the structural integrity of the wheel.

Through general wear and tear or another cause, though, you may need to have your car’s alloy wheels repaired or refurbished to make them good as new again. If you’re looking into having your car’s alloy wheels refurbished, read on for a full breakdown on all you need to know and look out for.

Why get your alloy wheels refurbished?

The main reason you’d want to get your alloy wheels refurbished is to repair any damage they’ve sustained. For instance, you may have scratched or scraped them after misjudging where the curb was when parallel parking, or they may be blighted by a layer of corrosion.

Depending on the cost of replacements and the refurbishment process, it will usually be more cost effective to refurbish your car’s alloy wheels rather than buying a set of new ones.

How are alloy wheels refurbished?

Alloy wheels are refurbished by first removing the tyres from the wheel, before being stripped of their existing finish. This will then make it easier for the technician to determine how much damage there is on the wheel, and what work is needed to repair it.

If there are only small scuffs and scratches on the wheel, it can be refurbished by simply sanding down the outer layer to remove the blemish. If there’s more substantial damage than that, a filler will instead have to be applied and sanded down so it’s flush with the rest of the wheel.

Once the damage has been repaired, the wheel can then be prepared to have a new shiny metallic paint finish applied, which will usually be colour matched to the alloy wheel’s original shade. Once the paint has dried, a lacquer coat is applied and the wheel is cured and polished.

Alloy wheel refurbishment costs

The exact price of an alloy wheel refurbishment will vary, depending on a variety of factors. The size of the wheel for a start can influence the cost, and you could face a higher bill to pay if your car has a complex alloy wheel design.

As a rule of thumb, a diamond cut or split-spoke alloy wheel will typically cost more to refurbish than a simpler and more conventional design.

Likewise, costs can vary depending on the company providing the service, and how comprehensive the job will be. Understandably, a simpler repair job won’t be as pricey as a more thorough process.

With this in mind, if you need to have your car’s alloy wheels refurbished, try and get a selection of quotes so you have an idea of how much you’ll need to put aside.

Where can I get my alloy wheels refurbished?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, seeing as so many new cars nowadays are available with alloy wheels, there are a number of companies that can refurbish your car’s alloy wheels for you.

In some cases, you may need to drop your car off at the company’s facilities (as you would when you take your car in for a service or MOT at a garage), though some may also be able to offer a mobile service and therefore refurbish the wheels at more convenient location such as your home address.

Alloy wheel refurbishment FAQs

How long does alloy wheel refurbishment take?

This depends very much on how large your alloy wheels are, and how much damage needs to be repaired. As a rule of thumb, expect the alloy refurbishment process to take between 12 hours and a day, depending on size and condition.

Can alloy wheels be refurbished whilst on the car?

Typically, the alloy wheels will be removed from the car when they’re being refurbished. The tyres will be taken off the alloy wheels while the work is being carried out, too.

How many times can you refurbish an alloy wheel?

How many times your wheel can be refurbished will depend on its condition. As a rule of thumb, an alloy wheel can be refurbished around two to three times, though the technician working on the car will be best placed to tell you whether the alloys can be refurbished or not.

When can an alloy wheel not be refurbished?

While alloy wheels can be refurbished in many cases, there are situations where it will be either very difficult or impossible for the wheel to be refurbished. For example, refurbishment may not be possible if there’s too much corrosion on your alloy wheel, or if the wheel has been repaired before by welding.

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