In Wheel Advice

winter wheel repairWinter can be tough on everyone in the family—including your “baby” that’s parked in the garage. Whether you’re facing snow, ice, sleet or salted roads, your car’s wheels take the brunt of the harsh winter road conditions.

Generally speaking, it’s much more affordable to refurbish or refinish your existing, factory-installed wheels rather than replacing them. As an added bonus, factory wheels are also usually the best match for your vehicle since they were hand selected by experts to best complement your ride. Don’t toss them just yet—they may be salvageable.

Factory-installed wheels are made specifically to match your car’s performance, work better than most aftermarket options, and fit best. If it’s already too late and Jack Frost has done damage to your wheels, consider your options.

Wheel remanufacturing restores your wheel to its original integrity, providing the driver with the safety and strength they were used to in the summer months. Alloy wheel restoration can address numerous winter-related issues, including scratches, rust, curb damage (from chronically hitting that troublesome curb buried in the snow), rock chips, damage from chains on wheels and even de-icer damage.

To Refurbish or Replace?

Whenever possible, refurbishing and remanufacturing are more affordable and thus the smarter choice. Maybe your chrome wheels have fallen victim to de-icer, which causes peeling, pitting and fading. By putting damaged wheels in a custom prep station and painting booth, the wheels are completely prepped, repaired, primed and painted. That’s all topped off with a clear coat to make them look (and perform) as good as new. The best part? It only takes about an hour per wheel so you’ll be back on the road in no time.

However, it’s not just your wheel’s performance that’s an issue. Looks matter, and cruising around with “bald” tires or otherwise worn-out-looking tread is kind of like heading to a gala with scuffed up shoes. It doesn’t matter how stellar everything else looks—one beat up looking element can ruin the whole thing. You want to look your best for the holidays all the way from New Year’s Eve to Valentine’s Day so that when you pick up your date or you show up at the biggest parties and finest restaurants, your car (and wheels) reflect style and quality.

An Ounce of Prevention

Ideally, you’re preventing potential winter wheel damage before it begins. Check your tire pressure on a regular basis—too much or too little can spell trouble. Ensure that the alignment is in check, too. It’s best to take your car in for an annual checkup (just like you do for yourself) every autumn before the first cold weather front arrives. Rotate your tires on a regular basis, checking the owner’s manual for the best rotation pattern for your auto, and use the rotation period to check for any red flags.

Finally, remember that how you drive can make a huge difference in how quickly your tires wear out. Lead feet, riding bumpers, quick and sudden stops and sharp turns can all wear tires down more easily. While your wheels might look simple enough, they’re actually made up of many parts including the sidewall, bead, liner, breakers, chafer, cord, steel belts and cord liner.

However, there are only three major types of damage seen in the winter, time and again: Sidewall damage, bead damage and tread damage. When the tires can’t get a good grip on the roads, whether from black ice or slick snow, these areas can quickly become damaged and need fast refurbishment.

Wheels need a little TLC? Call WheelKraft today!

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