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banth | 12:49 Thu 26th Jan 2006 | Motoring
6 Answers
I was bought a car and told I had alloys but someone recently told me they can't be alloys because they are flaking and look like they have rust which has caused "bubbling" on the surface.

My tyre has gone flat twice in the last month or so and I haven't driven the car in that time so I've been told my "alloys" may need reconditioning because this bubbling is creating a gap between the tyre and wheel thus letting the air out.

Firstly, do you think I have alloys?

Secondly, can I get them reconditioned if they are alloys and how much would that cost (they are 13", probably only need the front two doing, and I live in central London)?

Finally, what should I do if they are not alloys!

Gosh, sorry if that sounds really dumb, I just have no idea about cars and many different people telling me different things!

Thanks if you can help!



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Well you either got alloys or you don't! I don't quite understand that part of the question, but my old car had a problem with tyres going flat - I took it to a tyre place and they but some seal round the rims, and told me air can escape through alloys. Don't think that is related to bubbling though.
well I had a set of original Fiat Abarth alloys on my first car. The had bubbled and rusted in places. Had them reskimmed - job done. So alloys can rust and bubble.
I had a set of alloys that bubbled - had them blasted at a specialsits. I was quoted �200 by one company but had mine done for around �50.00 in the end.

Alloy wheels are usually coated with a clear type lacquer to keep them shiny and this can flake and bubble after some time. Simple test take a magnet (fridge door thingy?) and see if it attaches to the wheels, if no then they are alloys.
One point, you should NOT sandblast alloy wheels as the blasting creates microstresses in the alloy which weaken the wheels and can lead to early cracking of stressed points.
Check this out here

Alloy wheels, like any metal item, certainly do corrode, and corrosion around the rim will allow air to weep out, and thus tyres to go flat. Yes you can have them reconditioned, my understanding was that they were polished, not sandblasted, but I could be wrong. A quote I had for this job a few years ago was approximately �50 per wheel. What car exactly is it? this might help to determin if you have alloys or not, (always assuming they are the original wheels).
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Thanks all, it's an N reg VW Polo 1.6GL if that helps, I think they are the original wheels, I only have four plus a space saver spare, but have no idea really!

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