How to Repair Chrome Wheel Rims

Written by reese armstrong
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How to Repair Chrome Wheel Rims
Scratches in chrome wheels can be repaired to keep them looking shiny and new. (rims image by Brett Bouwer from Fotolia.com)

Many things can cause damage to chrome wheels, such as accidents, chemical deterioration and salt rust. The best way to keep chrome rims looking nice is to maintain them diligently. General upkeep such as washing them frequently will prevent most damage caused by the environment. Car experts recommend that people living in the northern states purchase a second set of wheels -- not chrome wheels -- for poor weather periods such as winter to best keep your chrome wheels looking nice. If damage does occur to your car's chrome wheels, in most cases, it can be fixed.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rag
  • Soft cloth
  • Chrome rim paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Hard epoxy
  • Buffing cloth

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Look at your chrome rims and determine the extent of the damage. The rims might simply need cleaned and not repaired.

  2. 2

    Wipe off and loose dirt or debris from the wheels using the rag.

  3. 3

    Pour the rubbing alcohol onto a soft cloth and wipe the rims down. It may take a little elbow grease to completely remove any rust.

  4. 4

    Paint small scratches using the paint brush and chrome paint. The paint may be slightly noticeable up close, but to most onlookers it will be undetectable.

  5. 5

    Apply hard epoxy to any deeper gashes or grooves that require filling. Allow the epoxy to dry and then buff it with a buffing cloth to make it smooth. Paint the hardened epoxy with the chrome paint.

Tips and warnings

  • If the wheel has any tarnish on it, it is not chrome and is most likely polished aluminium. Other measures should be taken to repair a polished aluminium rim.
  • If it's damaged enough, your chrome rim may need to be completely replated. That is a task that you cannot do at home; it requires large equipment and experience.
  • Be careful when cleaning your rims or buffing the epoxy not to scratch the chrome. Use very soft materials to clean and only a buffing cloth for the epoxy.

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