Wheel Repair: how do I choose the right alloy wheel repair company?

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You’ve scratched your alloy wheel (or wheels) and now face the dilemma of seeking a reputable company to perform a wheel repair. If you’re chasing a high quality wheel repair, at your convenience, and at the right price, here’s a few tips on what to look for when it comes to choosing your repair technician.

If this is the first time you’ve been through a wheel repair process, it can be a daunting situation. The first thing you will notice is that there seems to be an abundance of alloy wheel repairers offering their services and it can be a bit of a ‘social science’ as to which ad you click on to better understand your level of comfort and trust. So what are the key wheel repair ingredients you should look for to ensure you receive a great job, at your convenience and at the right price?

Step 1 – Click on the right alloy wheel repair ad for you.

Wheel RepairAs a guide, the following tips should hold you in good stead for a high quality repair:

a) If an ad is focused on how much better they are than their competitors, chances are they’re focused on the wrong thing

b) If a wheel repair company is determined to be the cheapest, this will in many ways reflect on the job you’re about to receive

c) The sweet spot for a repairer should be focused on you and building your trust. In doing so, a consumer’s view can then consider a repairers’ longevity in business, their quality of workmanship, level of insurance cover, and, hopefully, provide you with a choice in the type of repair (mobile or workshop). We believe the final choice regarding the repair process should be extended to YOU – your budget, your time and your level of precision regarding the repair outcome, and of course the location of the repair (a workshop or a location convenient to you).

Step 2 – Did you click on the right ad for you?

The truth is, this is where the social science comes into to play. Universally we all see things and hear things differently. Chances are, you will know if the repairer is right for you the moment they answer the phone, text or email.

But you may also find that if you hang in there with this initial communication, whatever put you off in the first place, might just have been more about your level of anxiety rather than the way you were treated.

However, first impressions last, and this is after all a service industry, so your expectation should be about high levels of professionalism from enquiry to repair completion and financial settlement. And, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with gaining a second opinion.

Either way, the things to listen for include great listening skills, a strong understanding of the repair process choices you have, their level of convenience to you and of course the outcome you’re looking for at the price to suits your budget. Secondly, check out some of their reviews to provide some confidence you’ve chosen correctly.

If you’ve come this far, it will become a whole lot more relaxing from this point on as you become more confident in their processes, and you feel less likely you’re about to be scammed. You’re starting to understand who you’re talking to and building trust, and this is an important step in the process. The wheel repair industry is building and as it matures into a more professional industry, it will also start to meet new age expectations society has for other like service industries.

Step 3 – What repair choices should I seek when having my alloy wheels repaired?

Repair processes do vary from repairer to repairer, but mostly these are minor points of difference. You do, however, want to ensure that any repair has a clear coat over the top of the repaired area to ensure the wheel is protected and will continue to look good in 5 years time. An alloy wheel repair completed professionally should last for at least this long. Outside of this, it will largely depend on the type of alloy wheel you have as per below

Painted wheel

A painted wheel is easier to repair as a general rule of thumb, but manufacturers are utilising new and different colours and styles of wheels that any good repairer needs to keep on top of. Choosing a ‘mobile’ alloy wheel repair or a ‘workshop’ repair should matter less in this regard if the techniques utilised by the repairer are followed, and the repair is completed in a dust and silicone free environment. Repairing wheels in a car wash environment is typically inundated with complications because of the air borne silicon.

Machined face wheel. There is a choice here for consumers:

Choice 1. Good repairers should be able to provide you with either a touch up repair or a full CNC repair to the wheel. A touch up repair on a machined face wheel is quite an art, and only the absolute cream of the crop technicians have the ability to complete a repair of this kind. However, if you’ve found such a technician, this repair can be completed in a mobile format or in a workshop without any difference to the repair finish or quality.

Choice 2. A full CNC of your wheel bringing it back to new condition. This will involve smoothing out of any blemishes, prepping the wheel, painting the wheel, curing the wheel, CNC lathing of the wheel, and finally a clear coat for protection and shine.

As you can see, the 2nd process is heavily involved and done appropriately, and may take upwards of 3 to 5 days with a bill possibly exceeding $300. However, the touch up repair by a qualified technician will be approximately one hour and usually less than $200.

Step 4 – Payment options

Good repairers will offer credit card, cash or EFT. Once complete, don’t be afraid to write a review if you’re happy with the repair (or in the case of a not-so-good repair). It may have helped you at the start of this process, so it’s sure to be of help to the next consumer requiring this service.