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      11-22-2023, 01:57 PM   #1
katkins
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Rims Damaged during storage - thoughts on cause?

Just got our winter tires switched over and immediately noticed all four rims are peeling the and the emblem is popping out. The rims are 7 years old and were by all means not pristine but did not in any way look like this. I luckily had a photo of the car in the garage last winter and the rims were fine. Mechanic stores in a shipping container onsite. He maintains this is normal corrosion from the salt/brine used in this area. He then stated it was our fault for not cleaning the wheels prior to storage. Basically gave us a million excuses as to why this normally occurs over the course of 6 months of storage. Interestingly, they also told us the winters had one more season then took them out and told us they were done. I should have gone to look at them. Combined with the condition of the rims, I am now wondering what happened to the tires.

Has anyone see damage like this or have any thoughts if this was caused by heat and/or moisture in the container? It rained excessively this summer and we did have some hot days.

Lastly, appreciate any thoughts on refurbing these or replacing them.

Thank you.
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Last edited by katkins; 11-23-2023 at 10:12 AM.. Reason: Add image
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      11-22-2023, 02:13 PM   #2
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That looks to be quite extreme decay. I'm not sure a sandblasting will leave much undamaged alloy behind.

A before picture would help but that's the poster child of why you shouldn't store salty metal in a potentially damp/humid area. They're toast.
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      11-22-2023, 02:19 PM   #3
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Just to clarify, were the rims still dirty from last year winter season or did you indeed clean them?

I don't have professional experience but IMO if they were still dirty with some salt, I could see it happening especially stored for so long with moisture. I bought used alloys for my winter set up to and have some bubbling like that in certain areas from just normal driving (I would say they are around 7 years to, got them used but I put 5 years on them), so if that winter salty mixture was still on the rims perhaps it infiltrated with moisture. Fun fact (not so much), winter salt corrosion is the worst in spring exactly because of the moisture and temperature.
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      11-22-2023, 02:26 PM   #4
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Agreed, straightforward corrosion. It's the metal underneath, and it's making the finish flake off. Storage conditions didn't help, but there were almost certainly some issues before then which were simply made worse.

Options? The right processes could get off the old finish and clean them up reasonably well. Then they'll need refinishing of course. You might always see some evidence of their condition even under the new finish. And in my experience new powder coating doesn't stick the absolute greatest, so don't expect perfection.

I'd call them your winter wheels and run with the ugliness. At least until it gets to the tire bead and you start losing air pressure. Or of course replace them. You can repair them but at a cost of a new wheel. Not something you really do to 4 wheels, unless it's to get a crazy color for a show car. Usually the process is to repair a single wheel to match the others.
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      11-22-2023, 02:26 PM   #5
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Your rims can be repaired. It probably won't be cheap.
I am very anal about my BMW. I have a rim guy who does amazing work. So good I had him repair my wife's Benz E350 convertible rims. Again I was really impressed by the result.
So do a little shopping, Rim refinishing ranges from about 75 to 250 bucks a rim.
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      11-22-2023, 02:27 PM   #6
katkins
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Added photo of before they were removed in the spring. I think it's clear enough to see they were undamaged. I agree about sandblasting. I am considering buying used from Marketplace.
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      11-22-2023, 02:30 PM   #7
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From the added pic it looks like they were in good shape. I wonder if the mechanic grabbed the wrong wheels? That's a lot for 1 storage season of paint bubbling.
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      11-22-2023, 02:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Just to clarify, were the rims still dirty from last year winter season or did you indeed clean them?

I don't have professional experience but IMO if they were still dirty with some salt, I could see it happening especially stored for so long with moisture. I bought used alloys for my winter set up to and have some bubbling like that in certain areas from just normal driving (I would say they are around 7 years to, got them used but I put 5 years on them), so if that winter salty mixture was still on the rims perhaps it infiltrated with moisture. Fun fact (not so much), winter salt corrosion is the worst in spring exactly because of the moisture and temperature.
I've never cleaned wheels before storing. I asked them if I should have hosed it down first and they then said that would not have gotten the salt out that was on the back of the wheels...so did you want me to hang out and clean them here after you took them off? Response -_-
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      11-22-2023, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katkins View Post
I've never cleaned wheels before storing. I asked them if I should have hosed it down first and they then said that would not have gotten the salt out that was on the back of the wheels...so did you want me to hang out and clean them here after you took them off? Response -_-
Oh right yeah I never realised people who get them changed at the mechanic and stored won't have a proper opportunity to clean. I guess in a situation like that for next time I'd ask them to let me do a quick rinseless wash on them.
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      11-22-2023, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freakystyly View Post
From the added pic it looks like they were in good shape. I wonder if the mechanic grabbed the wrong wheels? That's a lot for 1 storage season of paint bubbling.
It's a pic from far but I do agree they seem to look mint lol. But if it was the wrong wheels the tires in the pictures would most likely be different to than what OP bought?
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      11-22-2023, 02:53 PM   #11
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ugh - those look horrible.... sorry man

I head over for a car wash the same day I am going to swap out my wheels

I change and store them in my garage - so when I do the swap, sometimes they are still wet, but I let them dry off before wrapping them in their tire protectors

I cannot see that happening in one round of storage - very confusing
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      11-22-2023, 03:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Oh right yeah I never realised people who get them changed at the mechanic and stored won't have a proper opportunity to clean. I guess in a situation like that for next time I'd ask them to let me do a quick rinseless wash on them.
I checked in with my dad who stores at the dealership and they clean the tires prior to storing. Lesson learned.
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      11-22-2023, 08:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
It's a pic from far but I do agree they seem to look mint lol. But if it was the wrong wheels the tires in the pictures would most likely be different to than what OP bought?
I asked this question and they said it was impossible. They also told me I did not buy my wheels at a BMW dealer as no dealer would put 17 inch rims on an x3. I called Toronto BMW where they were purchased and the parts guy laughed. He has sent me the invoice.

Every part of this experience has been a peach let me tell you. The owner also went on an anti BMW rant and said he will only service in warranty BMWs going forward.
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      11-22-2023, 08:23 PM   #14
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Salt.
Replace.
Car must be clean as a whistle for storage, end of story. ZERO salt.
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      11-22-2023, 08:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MPhatic View Post
Salt.
Replace.
Car must be clean as a whistle for storage, end of story. ZERO salt.
Definitely a lesson learned though in 7 years, I've never experienced this. I won't be storing again and will make sure to clean them myself.
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      11-22-2023, 08:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim90046 View Post
Your rims can be repaired. It probably won't be cheap.
I am very anal about my BMW. I have a rim guy who does amazing work. So good I had him repair my wife's Benz E350 convertible rims. Again I was really impressed by the result.
So do a little shopping, Rim refinishing ranges from about 75 to 250 bucks a rim.
Got a quote - $175 per rim. Found the exact rims on marketplace for $500.
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      11-22-2023, 09:08 PM   #17
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Each fall/spring I change out the winter/summer shoes for our buggy. Just put the winter shoes on and was looking at the summer shoes and thinking I do not want to get bucket out and wash them. Just want to put them away for the winter. But I did. Left them for a couple of days in the garage to dry, then put them in their bags and stored accordingly. Rinse and repeat.

As for the OP wheels. A couple of thoughts, obviously we have two sets of the wheels. I was not a fan of the original wheels which I managed to ding one nicely. The others had some minor road rash so I had them all stripped, repaired, and repainted. They were repainted in a gun metal gray. They look sharp for the winter.

Last edited by BeEmVe; 11-22-2023 at 09:15 PM..
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      11-23-2023, 10:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauldunlop13 View Post
ugh - those look horrible.... sorry man

I head over for a car wash the same day I am going to swap out my wheels

I change and store them in my garage - so when I do the swap, sometimes they are still wet, but I let them dry off before wrapping them in their tire protectors

I cannot see that happening in one round of storage - very confusing
Finally stopped raining so I could upload better pictures of all four. Yep they look horrible. We picked up the car after closing but noticed the second we got it in the garage.
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      11-23-2023, 10:57 AM   #19
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FWIW you aren't crazy, that's an incredible amount of corrosion for 1 season of storage.

What's up with the marks on the tires? A lot of white stuff going up the sidewalls. Did it happen during storage? Was somethign flung off the wheels when you were driving home?

It might be related...
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      11-23-2023, 11:09 AM   #20
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Looks like something very caustic got ahold of those wheels
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      11-23-2023, 11:24 AM   #21
katkins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracer bullet View Post
FWIW you aren't crazy, that's an incredible amount of corrosion for 1 season of storage.

What's up with the marks on the tires? A lot of white stuff going up the sidewalls. Did it happen during storage? Was somethign flung off the wheels when you were driving home?

It might be related...
Yah I see that now. Those are brand new tires. When the wheels came off in the spring I specifically asked about tire condition and they wrote "tread is good for another season" then when I booked my appointment to get them put back on they said "tires are no good". I definitely think that's connected but the tires are gone now. I should have gone to look at them. Regrets. But yes it does look like the rims are casting off something.
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      11-23-2023, 11:26 AM   #22
katkins
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Looks like something very caustic got ahold of those wheels
According to the shop that's "very common" and just salt damage.
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