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Peeling or Flaking Chrome Wheels

by Tim Gowens

Have you ever wondered what causes the chrome on the inside barrel of a wheel to peel? How about the chrome peeling or flaking on the inside of the tire?

If so, then you are about to be informed by the experts at Metro wheels. Over the past 16 years of doing business, we have seen this problem many times - perhaps daily! Metro wheels receives many wheels for repair where the chrome is peeling or flaking off - either inside the tire area or behind the face of the wheel in the barrel. This is due to several factors.

Chemical Deterioration

The first and most predominate reason for peeling and flaking of the chrome in the tire "air" area (where the wheel is suppose to hold back the air pressure from the tire) is due to the use of fix-a-flat type products. Fix-a-flat type products are the chemicals that you put into a flat tire that inflates the tire while sealing the damaged area of the tire. The chemicals from the use of these types of products interact with the chrome compounds and cause the chrome to flake or peel. It is fine to use the product as a temporary fix - which is its intended use. However if one forgets that it is inside the tire, and allows for several days to pass before either replacing the tire, or having the tire fixed, you will discover that the chemical has caused the chrome to begin to let loose from the Aluminum wheel. If it is left inside the wheel for an extended period of time, the aluminum wheel itself will also start to deteriorate and will eventually cause the wheel to leak. This leak will be a slow leak - and will in most cases ruin the tire from under inflation. The only way to fix the leak is to remove the chrome with a heavy brush, have the wheel sealed with silicone (which is a temporary fix) and have it checked on periodically. The best solution is to have the wheel re-chromed, but this can be costly. Metro wheels can handle both types of repair for you. Learn more in-depth information on the wheel repair process.

The simple solution to this problem is very basic. If you have to use the fix-a-flat type product, make sure that you get your tire replaced or repaired as quickly as possible. Make sure that you tell the tire technician or salesperson that you have used the product (it's a real mess for the tire technician otherwise) and that you would like for that person to clean the fix-a-flat product off of the chrome. Even if it is cleaned from the tire, the wheel will still need a good "bath", if you will, to ensure that there are no future problems.

Salt Rust

The second most common cause of peeling and flaking chrome - usually behind the face of the wheel in the barrel area, or in the actual face of the wheel itself is the salt used in the northern states for snow conditions. This will destroy any chrome wheel - given time and the right conditions. If the underside of the car is not kept clean or coated with some type of undercoating this salt will also eat the metal construction under the car and cause major rust problems with the vehicle.

If you live in the northern states where snow and ice is a regular occurrence, and you want to protect your chrome wheels, we suggest that you get yourself a second set of wheels and tires from Metro wheels, for winter use. Leave the expensive chrome wheels and tires in the garage and keep them clean. This will prevent them from being damaged from the salt and harsh chemicals used to melt the snow and ice during the winter months. You can obtain a set of basic wheels and tires from Metro wheels for a fraction of the cost of the expensive chrome wheels. So call us today at (770) 423-0440 or email your make and model to [email protected] for a used set of wheels and tires to use during those harsh winter months.


Written on Thursday, January 16, 2014 by
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