Taking Off Alloy Rim Stratches
February 2, 2013
The prevalent architecture of cars nowadays has somehow made alloy rims a standard component. Its inherent property which very well accommodates the creativity of car wheel designers makes it extremely popular. This popularity and the fact that it is now used by perhaps majority of car owners is also the reason why alloy wheel refurbishment has become a major service industry within the automotive world.
Popularity however doesn't save alloy wheel rims from being prone to scratches. In fact they are notoriously easily scratched especially if the car is handled by reckless drivers that have no orientation on the sensitivities of alloy wheels. Most car owners would immediately think of professional alloy wheel repair when that happens. Not so long ago, that is perhaps the safest way to go. However, recent advancements in materials, equipment and technique have made it possible for car owners to fix alloy wheel scratches by themselves.
The first thing you must do especially if it is your first time to attempt alloy wheel refurbishment is to talk to a professional who already have extensive experience in refurbishing scratched alloy wheels. Inquire about the right materials and equipment to acquire and prepare. Ask for an alloy wheel refurbishment manual or any guide book that will serve as your reference when you do the process alone. If there is an opportunity, watch him perform an actual procedure.
After getting yourself mentally conditioned for the task, it is now time for you to purchase everything you need to purchase. Most probably you will have a local home improvement store nearby. These materials will most likely be available there. Make sure that when you buy your paint, it matches the one that your alloy wheel has. Otherwise you may have to repaint the entire conspicuous portion of you alloy wheel assembly, at the very least.
Begin taking off the scratches in your alloy wheels by cleaning the area covering the scratches. Use a rag wet with paint thinner to remove both dirt deposits as well as the prior paint application on the affected area. Make sure to achieve maximum cleanliness as any impurity can compromise the delicate quality that you need to match when refurbishing alloy wheels.
Cover the side of the vehicle you are working on by taping the sheet wall, making sure no paint will be sprayed where it's not supposed to. Likewise, cover your tire by wrapping it all over with newspaper. This should then leave only the alloy rim prominently exposed.
Gently but firmly rub the scratched area with 240-grit grade sandpaper making sure you don't do more damage instead of fixing the scratches. Applying too much pressure when sanding your alloy wheels may result into deforming the wheel surface instead. Your goal is simply to flatten the affected surface until such point that it is already even with the rest of the surface.
Once you have successfully levelled the scratched area with the rest of the surface, apply the putty you purchased into it. Follow the instructions found on the putty container especially when achieving the right mix. Allow it to harden just enough and apply it on the area you've been working on.
Now get the 400-grit sand paper and use it to sand the area where you applied the putty. Continue sanding until you feel the putty blending well with the rim. You will feel this because you will notice that the surface can now be smoothly ran with your fingers without the unevenness caused by the scratch.
Finally, it's time to paint. First apply the primer from a distance of around 8 inches to achieve the right thickness and to avoid the paint from running down. Later on, lightly sand this paint application with 400-grit sandpaper. After which, apply the finishing paint to finally restore the alloy wheel from its scratches. Maintain the same distance if you are applying spray paint. Otherwise, make sure you don't overload the brush to achieve the right thickness that blends with the rest of the alloy wheel surface.
Your final act is to spray the clear coating, the final finish that should fully restore your alloy wheel to its original form. To achieve the most even result, cover the entire wheel with the clear coat in a sweeping motion. Allow the paint to try totally before using the car again.
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