With more and more smart repair companies hitting the roads in Southampton, we are finding that repairs are not being done well enough to stand up to the conditions an alloy wheel sees in its life. Alloy wheels are powder coated by the manufacturers because they find that lacquer used on car bodywork is not tough enough. So it is no surprise that when a smart repair company paints a wheel on the side of the road, in most cases, it does not last. At Auto Wheels all our wheels are striped back to bare metal, shot blasted to remove corrosion, powder coat primed, coloured and powder coat lacquered. This returns the wheel back to the manufacturers finish.
We recommend that wheels are washed using a microfibre wash mitt and a gentle shampoo in conjunction with the two bucket method. Note that you should never attempt to wash your wheels when they are still hot from driving. This is because products will dry too quickly and leave stains, and you could also crack the discs if you cool them too quickly by hosing them down with cold water. You should start the washing process by hosing off any loose dirt and grime using a hose or a pressure washer, being careful not to knock sticky balancing weights off if you have alloy wheels. You should then scrub the tyres and rims using the wash mitt, being generous with the suds and taking the time to get into all of the nooks and crannies and remove all of the brake dust (if you continually miss some wash after wash it will become more firmly bonded, making later removal more difficult). If your wheels are very dirty you can also scrub them first using a soft tipped wheel cleaning brush. After washing all of the wheels, rinse them off with the hose and then move on to washing the insides of the wheel arches, rinsing your mitt regularly. Finally, rinse everything off again and dry the wheels using a microfibre drying towel.
You might be questioning at this stage whether brake dust can be successfully removed using just a wash mitt and a gentle shampoo. In our experience the answer is yes, providing that the wheels are regularly protected with a high quality wheel sealant. Such products form a barrier on the surface of the rim, staving off any corrosive effects and dramatically reducing the ability of brake dust to bond to the rim. However, such coatings are themselves eroded over time and should be replaced every few months if adequate protection is to be maintained. If you haven’t protected your rims before and you are finding that normal washing is not removing all of the brake dust bonded to your rims, then you may need to initially use a more aggressive cleaning product to solve the problem. Such products are sold en masse in many high street stores, and comprise sprays and foams that promise to remove all traces of brake dust without any effort. In our experience, many of these products do not work, and those that do are often so aggressive (acidic) that they themselves can etch rims if used on a regular basis. We therefore recommend that such products are used infrequently and ideally only if absolutely necessary.
Diamond cut wheels alow the manufacturer to have more than just silver on a wheel. In diamond cutting wheels we remove the face of a powder coated wheel to reveal the bright alloy underneath. In order to do this we have to use a diamond tipped tool on a lathe which gives us a better cut of the alloy and therefore a sparkly finish. After cutting the wheel it is then lacquered to ensure it does not corode.
As you can imagine the set up costs to offer this service are very high and most alloy wheel companies don’t invest in this equipment. However, almost every car manufacturer has launched diamond cut wheels in their standard range this year, which is why Auto Wheels has specifically invested in the technology required to provide this to all our customers.
Ian Tew – Portsmouth
Liam Peterson, Portsmouth
Mike Young, Portsmouth
After the amazing support our customers have given us we would like to announce that we have grown our family by one! Auto Wheels has recently purchased ‘The Wheel Man’ , which is an alloy wheel refurbishment company in Stubbington. ’ The Wheel Man’ will be amalgamated into our organisation at Droxford and we will continue to offer a very high level of service to our existing customer base and that of ‘The Wheel Man’.
Wanted to change the silver colour of my wheels on my vauxhall astra as they were really dull, you wouldnt believe the job Auto Wheels did.
Mike Duffey, Gosport
I recently had a set of wheels done by a smart repairer and I cant believe how bad they were. I then went to Auto Wheels and now my wheels look stunning. It wasnt that much more expsensive, however it was worth every penny. Thanks.
Mr Stamp , Cadnam
Lisa Wood, Southampton
I Phoned round for days, trying to find someone who could diamond cut my Fiat 500 Arbarth wheels, I finally found Autowheels right on my doorstep. The finish was imaculate, a perfect match. Thanks guys.
Shirley Bennet, Petersfield
Other companies wanted me to send my wheels away to have them diamond cut but Auto Wheels Ltd do it all in house. The quality of the work and the excellent service was what made me choose them for my mercedes C63AMG. Thank you.
Nicholas West, Southsea
We are often repairing wheels that have coroded but more recently it seems we are being asked to do split rims with diamond cut surfaces. Thats why here at Auto Wheels we have invested in equipment to re cut the wheels and then lacquer them.
Auto Wheels are the leading repairer of alloy wheels in Portsmouth. We can repair cracked alloys, buckles and even re-polish rims. Give us a call today to see how we can help you get mobile again.