Is it safe for an Ontario CA auto body shop to use repaired wheels?
Recently a customer came to us at Fix auto body here in Ontario CA with a question about a crack in one of the aluminum wheels on his Lotus. He wanted to know if it was ok to drive as is, could he get them repaired, or did the wheel need to be replaced.
Too many Ontario body shops shops cut corners in order to make an extra buck, at the possible risk of putting their customers’ safety at risk, even if it is unintentional. One of those hotly debated cost cutting measures is that of reconditioned aluminum wheels. Entire industries have popped up which offer mobile wheel reconditioning to the auto body industry.
What are reconditioned wheels?
Ontario auto body shops have taken damaged wheels and used a variety of techniques, like welding, re-machining, and heating the wheels, to recondition them in order to re-use them on a vehicle. The insurance companies who are paying the repair bill push some of this use of reconditioned or repaired wheels on to body shops. Most of the time this is done by mobile wheel reconditioning companies who specialize in wheel straightening and repair.
Wheel repair can make wheels look like new, and undamaged. However most car manufacturers recommend against using remanufactured or repaired wheels because once the basic integrity of a wheel has been affected, the whole part is no longer considered usable. These car manufacturers have issued specific guidelines to collision repair shops warning against the use of these reconditioned wheels, because they jeopardize not only the mechanical functionality of your vehicle, but also the safety of you and your passengers.
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