How To Repair Scratched Alloy Wheels

Got a set of scratched up alloy wheels? You came to the right place. We’re going to show you how to do away with the cosmetic damage that’s putting a serious damper on your car’s appearance.

Repairing your scratched alloy wheels isn’t the only option. There are a few more solutions you can consider:

Replacing Your Wheels

If you have some extra money burning a hole in your pocket, you can just replace your wheels and call it a day. However, there’s still the risk of your new wheels suffering the same fate as your old ones, but you can take preventative steps, which we’re going to cover later.

Refinishing Wheels

Wheel damage looks like

Can you spot the damage on this wheel? Photo credit: Magnus Back

John Adams put it eloquently when he said, “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” When you’ve got scratched up wheels, you’ve got an opportunity to refinish the wheels in their entirety instead of repairing only the damaged parts. You can either hire a professional to do it, which will cost you up to $150 per wheel, or you can go the DIY route.

Hiding The Damage

This is the easiest and cheapest option. Just grab some wheel protectors (like RimBlades or RimSavers) and install them over your scratched alloy wheels. Problem solved! This solution comes with a bonus, too, which is long-term protection against future damage.

Hiding wheel damage with RimBlades

Black RimBlades were applied to this Morgan Aero 8, almost completely hiding substantial wheel damage.

If you still have your heart set on repairing your alloy wheels, we’ve got you covered.

3 Ways To Repair Scratched Alloy Wheels

1. Using An Alloy Wheel Repair Kit

The advantage in using a kit is that:

  • It’s inexpensive (most kits cost less than $50
  • It’s easy enough to be a DIY project

The disadvantage in these kits:

  • The process is lengthy. You’ll be doing a thorough cleaning, sanding, cleaning again, applying putty, sanding, cleaning once more, priming, and painting. It’s a lot of steps.
  • The result doesn’t always look great. Most kits come with silver paint, black paint, and a shade in between. You can blend these colors to try and match your wheel, but it’s not always a good match.

While anyone with a little bit of experience can complete a repair using one of these kits, it’s only for people who are seriously motivated.

2. Doing A Complete Wheel Refinish

This type of job requires removing all the existing paint (usually, you do this with a media blast), filing and sanding down any gouges or scratches, then priming and painting. The downside to this process is the time and the cost. The upside is that, unlike a lot of repair kits, the wheel comes out looking perfect.

If you’ve got a set of wheels that need refinished anyways – and if replacement wheels aren’t easy to buy – this is a great option (a lot of classic car owners do this). Just be aware that it will usually cost more to refinish wheels than it will to buy new ones.

3. Hire A Pro

If you really value the appearance of your wheels – and the idea of spending a Saturday refinishing wheels doesn’t do much for you – hiring a professional is the way to go. They have the materials, tools, and experience to pull off a great repair job.

Typically, professional wheel repairs will cost $75 to $150 per wheel. The result will look great, however, and the people that offer this service can usually come to your home or business to complete the repair. Very convenient.

Prevention Is Key

Whether you’ve refinished your wheels, completed a repair job, or bought a new set of alloy wheels, it’s a good idea to protect your investment by preventing any future damage. The best way to do this is to install a set of wheel protectors like RimBlades or RimSavers. These products are designed to take the brunt of any accidental curb scrapes and scratches, and they’re much cheaper than a professional wheel repair.

Red rim blades

A RimBlades wheel protector over an alloy wheel

Remember: You don’t have to accept scraped or scratched wheel rims. Set yourself up with a set of RimBlades or RimSavers today!