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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Very soon after I bought 7 new tires (ouch), I found a lag bolt stuck in one. I took it to a chain tire shop to have it plugged, and they gouged the rim in 2 places. The gouges are perhaps 1/16" deep,
Automotive lighting Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Alloy wheel

in an arc. The wheels are standard alloy. The shop proposes trying to "sand" out the marks, and if that doesn't work they will replace the wheel. It's not clear who will decide if the buffing is satisfactory. The backstory is that I purchased the tires from my Ford dealer, and they sent the truck out to some shop because Ford's equipment might damage the wheels! I don't know if something was temporarily broken or if this is standard practice. I wasn't happy about my truck being sent to somewhere unknown. And the shop managed to break my tire iron! Ford and I both know where it happened, but there were no answers as to how. Ford replaced it.
My questions;
Exactly how does this damage occur?
Is this a common occurrence?
Is it possible that the sanding fix could significantly weaken my wheel?
 

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The wheel needs to be sent out to a wheel repair center. I had damage done at a tire shop and they sent out my two wheels to wheel collision center and they looked great. That was probably 18+ years ago and the repaired wheels held up better then the ROH OEM paint. Don’t let some hack try and sand and polish them.
 
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They didn't have the tire machine setup right for those rims -- or a kid that didn't know what they were doing

Why not just have them replace the wheel ? -- a polish job will not look right since the contour will be different and the reflection will show the spot -- on those wheels the "repair" will still be noticeable
The shop will try to weasel out of it with the "not responsible for damages" stuff -- but keep your cool and try to convince the manager the do the right thing, and replace the wheel they f'ked up
 

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That looks pretty deep. It ain't going to buff out. And as Hydro pointed out, if they take it down to the bottom of the gouge, it's unlikely they will not end up without a distortion in the reflection. And you will notice that the rest of the time owning this truck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm headed back to the store soon. By the way, the Ford wheel is over $1200.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The damaged wheel was sanded, buffed, waxed, etc. for 3 hours while I had to wait. It wasn't satisfactory at all. The shop personnel was not happy and I am greatly understating this. I was asked for my phone number for the 3rd time and was left standing there. I asked what to expect next and I was told that they had turned it over to "claims". I was surprised that I didn't have to initiate a complaint, and it still might come to that. I asked about the wheel that was ordered, and was told that it was an unpolished wheel. This mess has gone on for days, with several calls and trips by me to find out what was going on. Also, I want to mention that I had downloaded an app that applies a date and time stamp to pictures. So everything is documented well.
 

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Is it possible that the sanding fix could significantly weaken my wheel?
Gouges compromise the fatigue resistance of parts because the sharp internal corners create stress concentrations, and aluminum is worse than steel for that because aluminum does not have a lower fatigue stress limit; with steel there's a stress level below which the part will never see a fatigue failure, but that's not the case for aluminum (although at low stresses the fatigue life can be many hundreds of millions of cycles).

Sanding and buffing out the gouge removes the tight radii, thus removing the stress concentration and any risk of crack propagation from the gouge (since it's not there any more). The strength of the part will still be lower due to the reduced cross-sectional area, but whether or not that reduction is significant depends on the application; it may (or may not) be able to provide reliable service for your expected loading and lifespan and in order to predict that you'd really want to do a finite-element analysis. If the web is (let's say) 1.25" thick then reducing the section by 1/16" will reduce its strength by 5%, but the reduction in strength of the wheel as a whole would be less than that... just guessing, maybe 2%.

If I did that to my own wheel, I'd polish it out and get on down the road. If one of my employees did it to a customer, I'd replace the wheel and blame myself for improper training. Maybe chew the employee out a bit for not paying attention if he should have known better, or fire him for being stoned on the job if that were the case. But absolutely replace the wheel.
 

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The less deep trailing end of the deep scratch. There is no way to address this correctly, other than a new wheel.

Thumbnail so it can be expanded.

Tire Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Wheel
 
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I'll say it again, this wheel is a dime a dozen... its not special in any way.

Have them polish it out and either get a new wheel or give you the money for a new wheel and roll on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I appreciate all the responses and help. If I had done the damage myself, I would try to make it look better and just live with it, and hope it was safe. But to have a well-known shop do it and try to get out of correcting it is wrong. This AM early, the shop called to say that if I could come they would mount the tire on their new rim. I was skeptical since yesterday I was told that the new one wasn't polished. I had the work done and it is fine. I'm certain it isn't the OEM wheel, but I imagine they can use a comparable part for repairs. Glad it's over! Today is day 12 of this mess and I don't want to add up the hours I waited. Also, they sent the tire and rim to another shop to be mounted!
 
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