In General Wheel Info

Here in the Pacific Northwest, though we have milder winters in comparison to other regions of the country, we still experience vastly different weather conditions in the winter months: colder temperatures, ice, snow, and freezing rain. Along with all of these climate and weather changes comes all of the accompanying road conditions and hazards. We know all too well after being in business 28 years how winter weather can damage your wheels and require repair and refinishing. Here are five major reasons winter weather can cause your wheels to need our custom repair and refinishing services:


Curb Damage

Colder weather temperatures lead to the formation of ice, snow, and even freezing rain that leads to layers of ice on the streets for drivers. All too often the first thing to happen as you drive in these conditions is your wheels slip on the ice, and you hit a curb. Hitting a curb with your wheel can cause damage to the rim finish or even the wheel itself. All sorts of different types of damage can be done to your wheels when you hit a curb. Damage can happen while parking in-line, parallel parking, or just while trying to stay in the middle of your lane. Bottom line? There are many ways that your wheels can hit the curb.


Rock Chips

When snow or freezing rain falls, the city will typically lay down gravel in the streets to give extra traction to drivers and larger trucks that need to be on the road, especially up near mountainous or steep areas. Gravel on the road damages your wheels.


Puddles, Water, and Increased Moisture

When water enters the scene, it steps up the electrochemical process of oxidation where the iron or metal atoms are giving electrons to the oxygen, and the oxygen is attaching to the metal, causing it to corrode. Water brings more oxygen and carbon dioxide into contact with the metal, and acts as an electrolyte, with a lot of free-floating ions, so more water means the party gets started with the rust formation. During the winter months, when increased moisture leads to the formation of puddles and water surrounding your wheels with snow, ice, and freezing rain, corrosion on your wheels becomes a huge issue. The process of de-icing through road salts only adds to this problem because those salts add more free-floating ions to the mix. So, watch out for those puddles!


Corrosion From Magnesium Chloride

De-icing crews after snow and ice storms usually combat the road conditions with the use of salt. Salt causes chrome wheels to pit, peel, and fade, while aluminum wheels can end up looking white and chalky. Salt melts both the ice and snow and prevents refreezing. Sodium chloride, the most commonly used road salt, also the cheapest, does its job by dissolving into one atom of sodium for every atom of chlorine or forming one sodium and one chloride ion. Road salt brings a ton of free-floating ions into melting water on the road. These saltwater puddles are just waiting for your tires to kick up that ion-filled road spray into your wheel wells and any other crevices that trap moisture in or on your wheels.


Other road salts, like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, involve more complex molecules that distribute even more ions when they dissolve in water, further lowering the freezing point of water. These types of road salts are more efficient as electrolytes and thus even more damaging to your wheels.



Winter weather causes conditions that can easily lead to scratches on your wheels. Hitting curbs, scraping curbs, rocks, gravel, and also slick conditions on the road can cause you to hit other objects as well. Scratches on wheel rims or the wheels themselves can be an eyesore. It’s important to know of the best place to get your wheels repaired and refinished when you need it. Let the experts at Wheelkraft NW take care of these scratches through refinishing and repair. Depending on the depth and severity of the scratch, it can be a quick fix and pretty inexpensive, or require a little more finessing.


Wheelkraft NW’s Repair and Refinishing Process


First, we remove your wheels from the vehicle and put them in our custom-designed prep station and paint booth. Here they are prepped, repaired, primed, painted, and lastly, they are clear-coated to maintain and protect all the work we do. The wheels cure under infrared lamps before being replaced back on your vehicle. We average about an hour per wheel.


Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get our share of winter weather, even though not as extreme as other regions. Our weather changes drastically during the seasons, and our winters filled with lots of rain and moisture. That moisture can take the form of snow, freezing rain, and ice, which all creates the perfect storm, no pun intended, for damage to your wheels. No matter if it’s just a minor scrape or a deeper gouge caused by the winter weather conditions, let Wheelkraft NW do what they do best. Contact us today to find out how we can help you keep your wheels looking their best!


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