Every driver knows that no matter how careful you are, you’re likely to scuff your alloys. You could kerb your wheels, or get into a bump, or even scrape them up with debris. It happens to everyone.

Fortunately, there’s a solution for that: alloy wheel refurbishment.

This gets your wheels looking fresh and brand new again – which can make all the difference to how your car looks!

How does the alloy wheel refurbishment process work?

So first, the wheels obviously need to come off the car. It’d be handy if you could chuck the whole thing into the booth, but that might not end so well for your car. 

In this case you have two options:

You can take the wheels off the car yourself, at home. We’ll pick up just the wheels, leaving you with the car. This saves quite a lot of faffing trying to go to and from the workshop for you.

However, a lot of the time you might not be able to manage that. So alternately, you can bring your full vehicle into the workshop and leave it with us. We’ll remove the wheels and the tyres and then we can crack on.

The tyre being removed from a wheel before processing.

The alloys will go into an acid bath first and stay there for about an hour.

This stage strips your wheels of any dirt or old paint or impurities and gets them back to a clean, workable surface for the next steps. We can get all four of your wheels in our acid bath at once, too so that saves loads of time.

The acid melts the previous paint or powder-coat layer so it all drops away. When they’re in the bath, it can look a bit like a scene from Lord of the Rings, but once the wheels come out they look good as new. 

Well, after a wash to get all the acid and stringy paint off, anyway.

A set of four wheels in the acid bath. The old paint peels away.

Once they’re out of the acid bath and they’ve dried off, the next stage is sandblasting.

We start to pre-heat the oven in this stage to save ourselves time, too. 

Your wheels are buffed and sanded first, using a small tool to smooth any obvious blemishes.

Then, we put them in a sealed booth where they can be sandblasted. This removes any scuffs or rust from the metal of your alloys so the powder coat goes on smoothly.

It’s hard to see what goes on here, but Lee and Ben from EvilGT experimented with putting a Go Pro inside the booth while it was on. You can watch their experience of alloy wheel refurbishment here to see what’ll happen to your wheels!

Two wheels after being sanded and sandblasted. They’re hung up ready for coating.

Then, it’s the main event. 

The powder-coating takes place in a separate booth. The wheels are hung up and sprayed with between one and three coats of powder. Between these coats, the wheels are baked in the oven at a high heat to bond the powder-coating to the metal.

As you can imagine, the next stage takes quite some time: the alloys have to cool down once they come out of the oven. 

A set of wheels after being powder-coated and baked. They’re cooling down ready to be refit.

Finally, once the powder-coating is fully dry and set, our team will put the tyres back on the wheels and re-balance them again. Then, we’ll refit the wheels to your vehicle and torque them for safety. 

Simple!

Frequently Asked Alloy Wheel Refurbishment Questions

How long does the refurbishment process take?

Generally, the process takes a good few hours to do without rushing. A full set would normally be finished within the same day, but it would depend on when you book in and what services you require. Usually, you can expect to receive your wheels back the next day. We do offer a same day service, but this will need to be agreed in advance with our customer service team to assure the timing.

Do you take the tyres off and balance the wheel?

Yes, we have to remove the full tyre and weights to be able to powder-coat your wheel. We bake the alloy in the oven at around 180 degrees which would melt the tyre and make it impossible to fix! The process means everything has to be stripped off the alloy and rebuilt up at the end correctly.

I only have a small scuff, can this be repaired or do you have to do the full wheel?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to repair just one area of your wheel. To ensure an even coating, we need to fully dip the wheel into acid, and put the whole thing into the oven. 

Can you just repair one wheel?

 We absolutely can do just one wheel, however, there are some things you’ll want to be aware of. If your alloys are coloured, we can’t guarantee an exact match to the others (unless they’re black!). We would usually recommend getting at least two wheels done, so the wheels match on each side of the car. However, this is entirely up to you!