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Wheel Corrosion

5110 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Cat-a-Tonic
I have had to fill one of my tires twice this week, so i stopped by Les Schwab to see if i had a nail or something and they told me that the wheel was corroded which was causing the air leak, and low tire pressure was starting to wear the tire down on the outside. He then said i should buy all new wheels and tires, when i asked if i could just purchase one wheel and be okay, he said better to buy all four. i didnt have him check to see if the other wheels were corroded or not, cause i didnt have time. he put some kind of sealant on the corrosion to help stop the air from leaking. my question is why wouldnt i be able to just purchase one new wheel? other than the fact that he wanted me to buy Les Schwab wheels instead of a cadillac wheel, it seems okay to just replace the one, although the dealership wants six hundred for it. i feel like les schwab's was just trying to make a quick sale on new tires and wheels, to a girl who doesnt know better... can anyone recommend an online source for wheels? Will this sealant fix work, for how long? i saw the corrosion, didnt seem major to me...i am just not in the mood to spend a couple thousand dollars on tires and wheels at the moment, and the wheels they showed me at les schwab were pretty cheesy unless i was willing to pay a ton...also, why would such a nice expensive wheel get corrosion? if i do end up paying a ton, how can i prevent it from happening to the new wheels?
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You can always replace one wheel ,i think the place you went wants to make an easy sale ,like you said and you can buy catera wheel(s) on Ebay there are lots of them all the time and at a reasonable price.
Hope it helps
Yes, that helps, thank you. i went on Ebay to look at wheels and i did find the exact wheel that i have already, in a couple places, however, they both say fits 97-99 catera, and mine is a 2000...i am new at this, so bear with me, is it possible i have the wrong wheels on my car, or is that just not possible? if i took it to the dealer would they be able to tell me the exact wheel i have so that i know how to match it with an ebay wheel?
Saturn LS's are supposed to have the same wheels. But corrosion on the bead? Ya must be driving in salt water a lot! So now that you've had the one tire 'patched' have you had to put air in it? It would be good to go to an independant brand name tire store and have them remove all the tires from the rims. Dress the bead on the rim, check the bead edge of all the tires. Gee look for nails and stuff while you're there. Your rims are probably a lot healthier that you've been led to believe. Of course you'll need to have the wheels rebalanced. Not a bad idea of you're down to about 50% tread wear.
thank you for the tip...the wheel they said they put the sealant on has not leaked since they did it, which makes me think i might be able to get some more mileage out of it...i am nowhere near salt water, but i am the second owner, so who knows where its been. i just have never heard of this happening before. you mention rebalancing? the tires have unusual wear, all are wearing on the outer three inches or so of the tire, but the inside edges are not wearing like that at all. i asked les shwabs if this is an alignment issue and he couldnt tell me one way or the other. seems like it would be an obvious fix if they are all wearing to the outside? i asked him to rotate them, but he wouldnt, said it would be better to purchase all new. they seem like they have at least 10k left on them to me...what would that wear pattern suggest?
Most every Catera I've looked at has camber on the rear drive wheels. they're turned out at the bottom. So when you rotate your tires, mine can only be changed fron lf to lr and rf to rr. , the tread will wear on the outside. If you see feathering ( higher on trailing edge than the leading edge of the front tires' tread blocks, it suggests an alignment is required.
I have had a 1998 Catera for several years and have lived with this problem for most of that time. I live in Canada and we do get snow and they do use salt on the roads however, there are a lot of other cars running wheels that are similar to what I have and they don't seem to give the same problem. I have talked to just about anyone that would lissen to this issue and have basically concluded that the rims are a problem. I have tried the sealent that you tried and it work - sort of. I also have taken the rims into shop that machined them very slightly and this has beem the best fix. However, this last fix is limited by the extent of the damage. For my money I would try this and just keep an eye on them. Re the ebay idea (and I am a big fan of ebay) I personally wouldn't go there for this item. If you and I are having the same problem chances are that a lot of others are also in that boat. So how do you know that what you get will be any better? - just my thoughts.

Good Luck Doug
Hummm, if rustproofing like Zebart or Krown works on body metal and doesn't harm rubber/wiring, why not spray it around the tire/rim bead after it's been mounted?
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