|Looks nice but can't take hard knocks
Question : ONE of my alloy wheels was
damaged when my Perodua
Kembara hit a pothole last
My local tyre centre suggested
that the wheel could be straightened
and refinished but I am uncomfortable with the idea.
I would be more comfortable with
the idea of purchasing a new wheel.
What would you advise?
THE term "alloy wheel" is widely used
to describe wheels made from aluminium mixed (or alloyed) with
small quantities of other metals, carefully chosen to give the final product
the desired strength and other properties. Alloy wheels are good looking,
light in weight and, in general, run
cooler than their steel counterparts.
You have good reason to be uncomfortable with the idea of using a refurbished alloy wheel on your vehicle.
When subjected to severe stress,
steel wheels tend to bend whereas aluminium alloys, which are stiffer and
more brittle, are more likely to crack
rather than bend.
Wheels made from both types of
metal can be easily damaged on poor
road surfaces, especially with the current trend towards low-profile tyres,
which offer the rims much less protection.
Modern alloy wheels are usually of
a single-piece construction, cast from
an alloy of aluminium (or, in the case
of the more exotic and expensive
types, magnesium) and then machine
Any post-production distortion of
the wheel usually results in internal
material fracture, although it may not
be obvious from a casual inspection by
the human eye.
Such cracks can normally only be
detected by sophisticated methods
such as X-rays. Unless you have your
refurbished wheel X-rayed for cracks,
there is no way of telling if it still safe
for use on your vehicle.
In the interest of safety, therefore, it
would be advisable to replace the
damaged alloy wheel.