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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else's wheels shot to bits like mine?
67 plate, so just over 2 years old.
The two rear ones are the worst affected, but all 4 have marks of some kind on them.
None of them have been kerbed, so are they just poor quality or have I done something wrong?




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Mine are much the same - they were like that when I bought the card (2016 non-advance, so different wheels). tbh, I was thinking of taking off the wheels and putting something a little flashier on there, with winter/all weather tires. The range is so small on the GTE anyway, the difference in drag with non-streamlined wheels will likely make very little difference to efficiency on short runs.

But yeah, mine look horribly corroded, just like yours - I think that it's some sort of protective layer coming off them via some scuffing.
 

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This is a risk with diamond turned wheels. The laquer cannot stick to a shiny surface, especially the edges. I would take them back to dealer if warranty still in force.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Mine is a lease vehicle, so on one hand i'm not too bothered. However it doesn't look great and I don't want the lease company to try charging me when it goes back in November.
 

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After owning more than a few VW's with alloy wheels over the years.
I can tell you that looking after these type of wheels can be a very demanding and on going process.
If you want them to remain in tip - top condition, then it will require a LOT dedication and continues ongoing care / attention from the owner !.
I had a Mk 5 Golf a few years ago and due to difficult circumstances, I did not attend to the alloys in the correct manner they required for just ONE winter season.
When I came to clean these wheels in the following spring, they where totally and utterly knackered !.
Road salt had been allowed to sit on the face of the wheels for some time, and it had totally destroyed the finish of all four wheels.
Lesson learn't the hard way folks here !.
The new diamond cut rims on most modern cars today look fantastic, but if you do not take good care of them, then your wallet will suffer EXTREMELY quick !.
Been there, done that.
My previous car was a VW Mk 7 Golf GTE with diamond cut alloys fitted as standard, lovely rims !.
It was a 2015 model and had covered just under 30,000 miles when I sold it four years latter in 2019.
All four wheels where in excellent condition when I sold this car.
But, the car had been washed and polished almost every single week, this included the alloy wheels of course.
The mirror diamond cut finish of these alloy rims are protected ONLY by the hard lacquer coating that is applied onto the rims after the machining process.
It is easy to see if this protective lacquer layer has been compromised in any way, because moisture / water / salt has started to attack and corrode the alloy of the rim under the protective top coat.
This white milky "Spider Web" affect can be clearly seen taking place under neath the protective lacquer finish.
The affect of this, can be clearly seen in the images shown above.
At this point it's all too late sorry, the damage has already been done.
To return your wheels to their forma glory, they will require a total referb.
This is great, but you have to learn your lesson ( like I did ) and pay greater attention to keeping your wheels clean & protected, or learn to pay the price of neglect almost every year or so !.
When corrosion commences on alloy rims, you can it physically attacking the alloy and causing that white powdery dust under the lacquer, it is like a corrosive fungus spreading out under the lacquer coat
Even if you are unlucky enough to very lightly scrap your wheel against the kerb one day, then you have at this point, removed the protective coating that protects the bare alloy surface.
You disregard this minor damage, but when you return to visit this wheel after only ONE winter, the rim has already started to demonstrate / display a lot of corrosion happening under the protective lacquer finish.
The total replacement cost of these diamond cut rims from the dealer will require a small mortgage in order to replace.
Dealers know this already and diamond cut alloy wheel condition, is something that they will check on closely at trade in time.
If you are on a PCP or better still a lease scheme, then the dealer is then less likely to be less interested in the condition of you alloys TBH.
Lease cars tend to get a harder life and therefore tend to be generally, less looked after in most cases I find.
Selling your car to a switched on "Savvy" private buyer, is a totally different situation of course.
Obtaining a car with with well looked after diamond cut wheels, can give the potential buyer a good indication of how well the rest of the car has been treated as well.
Wheels can sell a car on their own, if they are in good condition.
 

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Almost five years old with the diamond cut Serron alloys of my car. Curbed the car twice (not used to a car with such nice wheels, and yes, I regret it.) Also had one repair done due to an argument with an automatic car wash (that the car wash company agreed to cover.) No signs of corrosion.
 

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Almost five years old with the diamond cut Serron alloys of my car. Curbed the car twice (not used to a car with such nice wheels, and yes, I regret it.) Also had one repair done due to an argument with an automatic car wash (that the car wash company agreed to cover.) No signs of corrosion.
My daughter who has a Fiat 500 Abarth, managed to kerb scape one of the Diamond cut front wheels in the first wheel.
I valeted her car about two weeks ago and you can clearly see now where the area surrounding the damage, has now been affected by corrosion spreading under the protective lacquer.
Having spent over 30 years in the aircraft manufacturing industry, I think have enough experience with dealing and prevention and replacement of corrosion in alloy materials.
You do NOT want to see what the structure of the floor around and under aircraft toilet looks like after ten years !.
When the protective coating has been broken, then corrosion will happen eventually !.
Road salt is the killer when it comes to alloy wheels !.
 

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Aluminium doesn't corrode. It can oxidise, which makes it less shiny, but this should only affect the area in question. It should not cause the darkening effect!

I do periodically check my wheels for signs of corrosion around the small scars. None so far.

My guess is that while road salt certainly accelerates the process, at least in Richard's case, what is being observed is a manufacturing defect in the lacquer application and not the aluminium itself.
 

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My guess is that while road salt certainly accelerates the process, at least in Richard's case, what is being observed is a manufacturing defect in the lacquer application and not the aluminium itself.
Although I agree that if there IS a defect in applying the protective layer of the lacquer, the diamond cut finish WILL then be attacked.
When the mirror finish remains unprotected from the air, it will oxidise and then take on a light grey colour that you mention.
At this point, the finish can be restored by polishing and retreating with a protective treatment.
But then, subject that same oxidised material to a corrosive substance like rock salt or urine in the case of aircraft toilet and you have corrosion pure a simple.
This can not be removed by simple polishing, depending on the severity or extent of the corrosion, it will require removing by machining or replacement in the case of aircraft structure.
When returning to the subject of alloy wheels for cars, below is a brief answer to a question raised by a customer :- "Do alloy wheels rust" ?.

"Technically speaking, alloy wheels don't actually rust. They DO have the ability to corrode, but it is not quite like rusting. Instead of the brownish orange rust colour, you get a white power stain ( corrosion ) forming under the coating of the finish colour or lacquer. Most stock alloy wheels are polished and have a protective finish ( lacquer ) that is designed to prevent corrosion. Sometimes corrosion will get through this protection and allowing the alloy surface to get damaged".

Subject a unprotected alloy wheel to the constant "Leg Cocking" of out beloved male dog population, and very quickly you will see the material turn white as the acid in the urine causes corrosion of the material.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Previous to having this car, I had a Golf GTD, sat on 19" Santiago wheels.
That went back after 3 years, with not a mark on any of them, and I haven't changed my cleaning regime. Roughly, every fortnight, sometimes at home, sometimes at the local hand wash.
That's why i'm questioning the quality.

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Previous to having this car, I had a Golf GTD, sat on 19" Santiago wheels.
That went back after 3 years, with not a mark on any of them, and I haven't changed my cleaning regime. Roughly, every fortnight, sometimes at home, sometimes at the local hand wash.
That's why i'm questioning the quality.

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That is a fair comment.
I am NOT suggesting that you have not looked after your wheels properly here, it could well be that the lacquer used on your older wheels may have been of a better / harder protective quality.
I think the problem you have here of course is convincing VW that their supplier has a quality problem.
The faster this issue is spotted and identified and raised, gives you a fighting chance of a successful claim under warranty.
With good and regular fort nightly cleaning program like yours, early detection / reporting should have been no problem.
The longer the time frame, the less likely you are in succeeding with a claim.
They are likely to blame everything under the sun to prevent replacing these wheels.
How often are they cleaned, what type of produces do you use, are they genuine ( over priced ) VW branded products etc etc !.
My nephew bought a second hand really nice 7.5 Golf from a main dealer.
The two front wheels had sustained some kerb damage, the dealer attempted to refurb them and they did not meet my nephews high standards.
He then decided to have them black powered coated instead.
The car is finished in that yellow / gold colour ?.
The black wheels really suits the car.
They are a good contrast to the gold colour and match the other black gloss styling trims around the rest of the car.
I really do wish you the best of luck with your claim.
Good luck !.
 

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I need to actually wash the car wheels, but I have 3 areas on the front left which are probably going to be over "fair wear ". 2 of them shown below. As I'm sitting down, how much for a replacement wheel ?

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Didn't have those wheels on my GTE but had a Fabia VRS years ago with similar that had that happen. Some from kerbing/stone damage but some areas where the lacquer failed. Diamond cut wheels are really prone to it, they're painted then cut on the lathe and immediately lacquered - if the aluminimum underneath gets exposed at all then it stars oxidising and gives the nasty white effect. Trouble is that process then pushes the lacquer up, exposing a bit more and it goes on spreading out across the wheel.

Refurb is expensive because they need re-cutting as well as the paint/lacquer process. If it was out of warranty I'd just refurb in a plain colour instead.
 

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I need to actually wash the car wheels, but I have 3 areas on the front left which are probably going to be over "fair wear ". 2 of them shown below. As I'm sitting down, how much for a replacement wheel ?

View attachment 127229
Not sure on price, but I would hazard a guess at £250 for a brand new rim from VW !.
Ouch !.
If you only require one wheel, this maybe an option ?.
Any more than one, it is getting to expensive !.
You could have the one wheel refurbed, but I guess this will be around the £130 ish ???.
What about our old friend Ebay for a single rim.
Do you intend to keep the car for a while yet ?.
If some of the other rims have potential future issues, then you could consider “After Market” rims and sell your current wheels.
What about powder coating your present wheels ???.
A few options to consider !.
 

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Last time I enquired, VW wanted over £400 for a factory Serron alloy.

I picked a mint unmarked one up with a nearly new tyre from eBay for £200, which I considered to be a fair price.

As ever, some eBay sellers wanted daft amounts of money for clearly jiggered alloys.
 

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Last time I enquired, VW wanted over £400 for a factory Serron alloy.
OUCH - That’s going to HURT real bad !.
Looking like a very strong case for a refurb on your current wheel mate @gladini .
A few of these refurb companies offer a MAX 48 hour turn around now.
A lot are done by night shift workers to achieve this quick turn around !.
I was watching a “Tube” video featuring one only the other night strangely enough !.
It featured a diamond cut wheel refurb in it.
 

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OUCH - That’s going to HURT real bad !.
Looking like a very strong case for a refurb on your current wheel mate @gladini .
A few of these refurb companies offer a MAX 48 hour turn around now.
A lot are done by night shift workers to achieve this quick turn around !.
I was watching a “Tube” video featuring one only the other night strangely enough !.
It featured a diamond cut wheel refurb in it.
The wheel refurbishment company did my GTE alloy on the driveway.

Cost about £90 and the guy took about an hour and a half to do the job, results were perfect (you can just about tell which wheel has had the work done on it but you'd have to look very carefully to see the machining work.) Still great >6 months later.
 

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My car is end of lease, and I've heard about that lease co saying a repair done privately to someone else was not good enough, and stung them for a lease company carried out repair. So the "just replace it" is a safe, but looking expensive option.

Also with the refurb route I guess I have to leave the car with them ... not sure how long for etc. I guess I need to find one locally and get a quote and how perfect the repair could be.

## Now I've just seen the reply above from @tom66 and makes me a bit happier
 
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