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#2444967 - 11/25/11 10:55 PM Aluminum Wheels in Winter
repeater Offline


Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Holland, MI
I have aluminum wheels on my Grand Am. They are showing some localized corrosion mostly because of the road salt in use around here. I always wax them before winter, but they always seem to corrode more each season.

Is there a better method than just waxing to keep this from happening?

What is the best way to remove corrosion and at least make it look more like polished metal?

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#2445037 - 11/26/11 01:30 AM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: repeater]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 14362
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Carefully sand the corroded area with 400 and water then go finer to something like 1500-2000 and water. Buff with a Dremel buffing head and compound, wash with warm soapy water and dry.
Mask around the spot and touch up the spot with spray can wheel clear from Duplicolor.

Go to the junk yard and get some cheap steel wheels for the winter and maybe some winter tires.
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#2445128 - 11/26/11 08:23 AM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: repeater]
carwreck Offline


Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 464
Loc: CT
If you have a dremel tool, get the "Dremel 20-Piece Clean & Polish Rotary Tool Accessory Kit" and use the polishing compound that comes with the kit on the corroded areas.

Instead of wax, use an aluminum polish such as Mothers liquid for the whole wheel, and "Mag & Aluminum polish" for the corroded areas. You can apply by hand, or with any drill/polishing tool like Mothers mini cone.
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#2445435 - 11/26/11 03:55 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: repeater]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 17341
Loc: Upstate NY
Do all aluminum rims come with a clear finish? The rims on my 2001 Jeep GC don't look or feel like it. I also have some corrosion. Guess I need to follow the advice in this thread.
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2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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#2445446 - 11/26/11 04:03 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: repeater]
ltslimjim Offline


Registered: 08/06/10
Posts: 5505
Loc: WatUpDoc
^My came with a clear coat finish, I have 3 original wheels that come with stock VX/HX Civic models(92-00), I purchased a re-furbished and it definitely appears the others have lost their clear coat. It looks like brake dust deposits 'caked on', but more likely aluminum corrosion.
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#2445606 - 11/26/11 08:37 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: Donald]
carwreck Offline


Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 464
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: Donald
Do all aluminum rims come with a clear finish?

Some are clear coated; varies by car and year. Grand Am and Olds used clear coat in 1980's, polished or machine finish starting in late 1990's.
On 1980's GM clear coat wheels, the corrsion would form white lines (like a spider web) under the clear coat, and you have to remove the clear coat with paint remover.

It is vary easy to tell if you have clear coat. Metal polish will react with oxidation and turn black on the rag when you polish bare metal.
Metal polish will stay white like Turtle wax if the the wheel is painted or clear finished.

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#2445623 - 11/26/11 08:51 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: repeater]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 3073
Loc: MTL, CANADA
glad i didnt get aluminum wheels, steel wheels hold up alot better in winter
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#2446882 - 11/28/11 05:18 AM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: repeater]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 17341
Loc: Upstate NY
If I use as suggested "MAG & Aluminum" polish will that protect the wheels or just shine them up?
_________________________
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#2446906 - 11/28/11 07:14 AM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: repeater]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 9817
Loc: Upstate NY
Best is to get a separate set of wheels for the winter. Then the OEM wheels can be pristine while the aftermarket ones take the salt.
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#2446939 - 11/28/11 08:12 AM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: sciphi]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 17341
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: sciphi
Best is to get a separate set of wheels for the winter. Then the OEM wheels can be pristine while the aftermarket ones take the salt.


OK, but that is just not going to happen. Its a 2001 Jeep. Whats the next best thing.
_________________________
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2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
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#2448391 - 11/29/11 04:49 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: repeater]
Dusty Offline


Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 23
Loc: Omaha, Ne
Poorboy's World Wheel Sealant, or a stronger paint sealant would stand up to the conditions better than wax.

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#2452798 - 12/04/11 12:39 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: Rolla07]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 11460
Loc: The Motor City
Originally Posted By: Rolla07
glad i didnt get aluminum wheels, steel wheels hold up alot better in winter

In my experience, both steel and aluminum rims corrode and give problems at the same rate.

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#2453018 - 12/04/11 04:37 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: Dusty]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 17341
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: Dusty
Poorboy's World Wheel Sealant, or a stronger paint sealant would stand up to the conditions better than wax.


I assume you refer to Pepboys. Not sure there are any around. Anything else? Maybe order something on Amazon.
_________________________
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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#2453035 - 12/04/11 04:53 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: Donald]
pottymouth Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 639
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Donald
Originally Posted By: Dusty
Poorboy's World Wheel Sealant, or a stronger paint sealant would stand up to the conditions better than wax.


I assume you refer to Pepboys. Not sure there are any around. Anything else? Maybe order something on Amazon.


No, he meant Poorboy's.

Poorboy's Wheel Sealant

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#2453118 - 12/04/11 06:23 PM Re: Aluminum Wheels in Winter [Re: Donald]
cchase Online   content


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 4021
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Donald
If I use as suggested "MAG & Aluminum" polish will that protect the wheels or just shine them up?


On raw aluminum wheels it will polish them but probably not provide any real protection from salt.

On clearcoated aluminum wheels, it's not going to do anything.

The bottom line is that you can't run raw alloy wheels in the winter if you like them.

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