: What causes pitting on the chrome wheels?



lousy_investor
06-30-10, 10:56 AM
What causes pitting on the chrome wheels?

Is it workmanship? Weather conditions?

I am looking for a set of 18" chrome wheels as my winter set and I found one with some pitting in the corners between the spokes. They look okay from 5 ft out now, and I can live with that, but I am not sure if they will "grow" and become everywhere in a year. This set came from south florida so I am surprised it is in such shape, comparing to the other 22" I have seen on vehicles.

Thanks for your insight!

Ronin
06-30-10, 01:02 PM
Lowest bidder "quality".

Poor workmanship (goes along with number 1).

Quality control, or lack thereof (also goes along with number 1).

Poor surface prep (guess what? also goes along with number 1).

Road/weather conditions (I'm not gonna pick a fight with The Big Guy or Momma Nature on this one...)

Improper use of wheel cleaner (too caustic for chrome, etc.); operator error.

Maintenance (cleaning, polishing, waxing, etc.) or lack thereof; operator error.

Before anyone leaps to Cadillac's defense I'd slow my roll if'n I were you...Cadillac chrome wheels (the 22s in particular) have a horrific history of chrome defects and are right up there as being one of the highest customer/warranty complaints (just ask you trusty neighborhood Cadillac service advisor). Try getting them warrantied if you have a problem, and if you do, it's a one shot deal. And if you think you're gonna rechrome them on your own or do something even smarter like Permachrome, the process is almost cost prohibitive. I looked into it and I could buy new wheels for what it was going to cost me to go Permachrome (which is ideal for polished wheels since the process is MUCH cheaper)...

lousy_investor
06-30-10, 01:09 PM
Thanks for the input Ronin.... appreciate it.

One follow-up question. If I find the existing pitting on a set of wheels "acceptable", is it likely it will get worst over time because this set is a set that pitts and is more prone to further pitting, vs. others that might have been done right during the manufacturing process?

Thanks!

TSS
06-30-10, 01:10 PM
My biggest, well maybe my only, complaint with my 07 Lade was the chrome wheel issues (18" on mine). Dealer took care of me TWICE, but when I turned in the lease, they were on their way to pitting again. I like OEM wheels, so if I had kept it, I would have had some problems getting a third set I am sure.

I love GM, but not the cheap chrome plating on the Caddy wheels.

lousy_investor
06-30-10, 02:30 PM
hmm.. if that's the case I could convince my wife to get the alloy instead of the chrome. But she likes the blink blink.

TSS
06-30-10, 02:43 PM
hmm.. if that's the case I could convince my wife to get the alloy instead of the chrome. But she likes the blink blink.


For winter use, I would get the alloy. Definitely. Alloy wheels look better than rusty pitted chrome. I washed my truck every week during the winter and I waxed the truck regularly - still had issues. Never had issues with any other GM OEM chrome or non-chrome rims before. :confused:

lousy_investor
06-30-10, 03:16 PM
For winter use, I would get the alloy. Definitely. Alloy wheels look better than rusty pitted chrome. I washed my truck every week during the winter and I waxed the truck regularly - still had issues. Never had issues with any other GM OEM chrome or non-chrome rims before. :confused:

Thanks TSS... I will tell my wife. And I definitely don't wash my cars every week. :)

Ronin
06-30-10, 03:38 PM
Once the pitting starts, you're hosed. Outside of completely redoing them, you can only slow down the process, not stop it, and only by keeping on top of it, and since you said washing it weekly would be a stretch; that might not be an option...

The alloy 18s can look like arse too if you don't take care of them; it's called oxidation and it's their version of pitting, and looks almost as bad.

lousy_investor
06-30-10, 04:31 PM
Once the pitting starts, you're hosed. Outside of completely redoing them, you can only slow down the process, not stop it, and only by keeping on top of it, and since you said washing it weekly would be a stretch; that might not be an option...

The alloy 18s can look like arse too if you don't take care of them; it's called oxidation and it's their version of pitting, and looks almost as bad.

Yikes, yikes and yikes.

My last BMW M5 replica wheels were the best. Hose them down and they looked like new! Much better than the OEM 18" ones that I had for the summer. Maybe after market wheels is the solution here. :(

TSS
06-30-10, 08:17 PM
You will be fine with the alloys. The alloys on our 01 SLS look pretty good, considering they are used year round and are 9 years old. They looked better, rust/deterioration wise that my Lade chrome rims after one MI winter. I have polished alloy on my 09 SS (look like polished stainless steel), and they seem pretty resistant too. No pitting/rust/corrosion/clearcoat issues.

My issues with factory GM rims were strictly limited to the Lade Chrome rims and winter. Never any other issues. If I had a Lade again, and owned it versus leasing, no question I would have chrome for the summer and 18" alloy for the winter.

concorso
06-30-10, 08:32 PM
Lowest bidder "quality".

Poor workmanship (goes along with number 1).

Quality control, or lack thereof (also goes along with number 1).

Poor surface prep (guess what? also goes along with number 1).

Road/weather conditions (I'm not gonna pick a fight with The Big Guy or Momma Nature on this one...)

Improper use of wheel cleaner (too caustic for chrome, etc.); operator error.

Maintenance (cleaning, polishing, waxing, etc.) or lack thereof; operator error.

Before anyone leaps to Cadillac's defense I'd slow my roll if'n I were you...Cadillac chrome wheels (the 22s in particular) have a horrific history of chrome defects and are right up there as being one of the highest customer/warranty complaints (just ask you trusty neighborhood Cadillac service advisor). Try getting them warrantied if you have a problem, and if you do, it's a one shot deal. And if you think you're gonna rechrome them on your own or do something even smarter like Permachrome, the process is almost cost prohibitive. I looked into it and I could buy new wheels for what it was going to cost me to go Permachrome (which is ideal for polished wheels since the process is MUCH cheaper)...Remember, too, that GM doesnt make the wheels, they are outsourced. That doesnt excuse the poor quality, but it is an important distinction.

For info sake, who makes the Escalade wheels? I know Alcoa are starting to supply wheels more and more to domestics, but Speedline of Italy makes most of the Cadillac car wheels...

concorso
06-30-10, 08:35 PM
The alloy 18s can look like arse too if you don't take care of them; it's called oxidation and it's their version of pitting, and looks almost as bad.True, though pitted polished aluminum wheels will be much cheaper to get to their original condition versus pitted chrome rims.

I just had my stock 18's refurbished before being sent off for shadow chroming. 3 wheels were refurbished for $150 Canuckistan.

Ronin
06-30-10, 11:32 PM
Remember, too, that GM doesn't make the wheels, they are outsourced. That doesn't excuse the poor quality, but it is an important distinction.

For info sake, who makes the Escalade wheels? I know Alcoa are starting to supply wheels more and more to domestics, but Speedline of Italy makes most of the Cadillac car wheels...

I'm sorry, what's your point exactly? There's a whole lot of parts on these cars that aren't made by Cadillac/GM but once the car gets assembled and the badge goes on it, they own it. That's why there's supposed to be quality control managers to stay ahead of issues like this, but GM's evidently got a whole lot more to worry about than quality on its flagship SUV... :bigroll:

lousy_investor
07-01-10, 01:05 AM
For info sake, who makes the Escalade wheels?...

A rim and tire dealer told me these OEM Chrome wheels are made in China.