Aluminum Wheel Refinishing
What is Rim Polishing?
Aluminum Truck rims come with a mirror finish when they are new. Over time they become oxidized, pitted and scratched (a dull grey color) to restore their original finish they must be polished.
Why Do Truck Owners Want To Keep Their Rims Polished?
Safety - oxidized rims camouflage cracks, polished rims show dangerous defects
Pride - a well polished truck communicates the pride of its owner/operator.
Resale - a well polished truck demands a higher price on the resale market
Are Both Sides of a Rim Polished?
Rarely. Steer position rims are polished on the convex side of the rim. Drive position rims are polished on the concave or bowl side of the rim. Truck manufacturers usually supply machined finish rims (no polishing) for inside dual position wheels.
Of the 10 wheels on a truck, it is common that only one side of six wheels will be polished.
Is Aluminum Rim Polishing Difficult?
It can be. Aluminum will not shine to a mirror finish until all surface imperfections have been sanded out and the aluminum has been polished with media of successively finer grit.
Achieving an ideal polish requires a thoughtful combination of surface preparation, polishing media, buff material, buff speed, pressure and heat.
Polishing truck wheels by hand is a dirty, tedious process that can take 2 to 4 hours per rim.
Does Polishing a Rim Damage it?
No. The thin layer of material removed from a rim during polishing will not affect the strength of performance of an aluminum rim.
The heat generated by the polishing process is below the allowable operating temperature of an aluminum rim.
How Often Should Vehicle Operators Get Their Rims Polished?
Tire change intervals are the best time to get rims polished.
Polishing at tire change intervals assures the old rims can be properly inspected before new tires go on. The overall effect of new rubber on polished rims is also very appealing.