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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wills.WindowsAndWheels's Avatar
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    How to tell what type of metal rims are?

    Hey peoples!

    I know this is probably an easy question to answer but...I was wondering how to tell the difference between metal types.

    I mean Chrome rims are obviously pretty easy to spot...but when you get to aluminum and magnesium and alloy and POLISHED aluminum...I'm kinda lost.

    I THINK i could pretty much tell the difference...but maybe someone can make a post of all the different types of rims, their standout features that helps you know what type they are...and if there are any 'do's and dont's' with each specific type.

    Thank you much!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator killrwheels@autogeek's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell what type of metal rims are?

    aluminum wheels often come uncoated (usually called high polished uncoated) or coated (clearcoated). For best and safest results you need to know them for proper cleaning as uncoated wheels can etch pretty easily when an acid is introduced.

    With polishing, you use metal polish on uncoated (which turns a bit of a grey color) and paint polishes is coated. I would suggest testing in a very small and unseen spot if you really cannot find out from owner.


    Scott

  3. #3
    Just call me Mr. Mom forrest@mothers's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell what type of metal rims are?

    Magnesium and aluminum are both alloys, and get the same type of polish.

    Mg will almost always be a dull gray in color because it oxidizes so fast. They're also very light (and very expensive). Bare aluminum or magnesium will turn black when you rub a metal polish on it. If it doesn't turn black right away, that means there's a coating - usually a clear, sometimes anodizing.

    A clear is sometimes noticed because of a rainbow hue on the rim when seen in direct sunlight. Use a paint product, or a plastic polish on the clear.

    Anodizing is a hard thin coating, and can't really be polished. Once scratched, like chrome, the only proper fix is a replate.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wills.WindowsAndWheels's Avatar
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    Re: How to tell what type of metal rims are?

    Quote Originally Posted by forrest@mothers View Post
    Magnesium and aluminum are both alloys, and get the same type of polish.

    Mg will almost always be a dull gray in color because it oxidizes so fast. They're also very light (and very expensive). Bare aluminum or magnesium will turn black when you rub a metal polish on it. If it doesn't turn black right away, that means there's a coating - usually a clear, sometimes anodizing.

    A clear is sometimes noticed because of a rainbow hue on the rim when seen in direct sunlight. Use a paint product, or a plastic polish on the clear.

    Anodizing is a hard thin coating, and can't really be polished. Once scratched, like chrome, the only proper fix is a replate.
    Ouch...that sucks about the anodizing...I usually only use soap and water to clean rims...no acidic cleaner unless its INSANELY filthy. Personally i think its the safest way regardless of the type of rim...but with polishing I wanted to make sure I was using the correct product.

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