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Chrome Flakes Inside Rim Where Tire Beads


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I have a 2011 Chevy Avalanche LTZ with nice 17" 5 Spoke Chrome Wheels. 1 tire started loosing air so I brought it in thinking a picked up a nail or something.

 

I was told the chrome on the inside where the tire beads to seal is starting chip and peel. This is causing the rim to not seal properly allowing the slow leak of air. I'm sure it's not going to get any better with time.

 

Is there anything that can be done about this problem. The outside of the rims still look brand new with no visual problems at all.

 

I have another vehicle (Brand X) that did the same thing last year. Almost makes me think it might be the tire changing machine that rotates around the rim while pulling the tire down, but I have no idea or proof that's what it is.

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You can remove the tire and hit the lip of the wheel with a wire wheel and remove he chrome plating that is peeling. It's a common issue with GM for well over a decade. Salt doesn't like the thin plating.

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I live in CA, to my knowledge they outlawed salt many years ago, We don't get the real heavy winter snows they do in other parts of the USA so they don't need salt. I don't think this is caused by salt corrosion, I know how caustic salt can be to metals. Is the plating so thin that the machines they use to change tires on rims is damaging it. The truck has 213,000 miles on it so I've put 3 sets on it so far. The truck runs great it pisses me off that my main problem going to be the rim.

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I live in CA, to my knowledge they outlawed salt many years ago, We don't get the real heavy winter snows they do in other parts of the USA so they don't need salt. I don't think this is caused by salt corrosion, I know how caustic salt can be to metals. Is the plating so thin that the machines they use to change tires on rims is damaging it. The truck has 213,000 miles on it so I've put 3 sets on it so far. The truck runs great it pisses me off that my main problem going to be the rim.

They use a salt mix in certain areas. Mountains between kern and LA counties is one area

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I guess it's just something I'll need to live with. I live in N CAL . Start looking at/saving for new rims that aren't Chrome plated I guess.

 

Thank you for the responses. Doesn't look like much I can do about it other than as Matt says wire brush the loose flakes off. I wonder how many times I'll have to do that. I would think where the chrome is not flaking YET it would be much tougher to get it off, and would I damage the seal area on the rim.

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There are a number of things that can cause/make this worse. The clamping action on some tire changers is one. Most machines have protective boots to prevent this but many shops don't take the time to use them. Another possibility is where the inside wheel weight clips to the rim. The attaching/removal of the weights chip the chrome slightly and corrosion starts. All this adds to your problem. Road salt accelerates the process. Once you have the rim cleaned as best you can, they do make a rim sealer that works pretty well. It has the consistency of thick black paint. It should be applied either to the rim or tire bead before tire mounting. Any place that does tire work should have some. Hope this helps.

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What a great tip, thank you.

 

One problem I foresee is that to properly clean the rim first I would probably need to have one tire at a time taken off the seal broken so that I could get to the inside seal area and I guess grind off the chrome from around the rim.

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So I guess my plan of action is going to be when one of the tires starts to loose air I'll bring it in to see why. If it turns out that is the rim I'll have them put the spare on and give me the faulty rim & tire to bring home and grind off the Chrome on the inside them bring back and have it re-installed. Sounds like eventually I'll have to do all of them at one point or the other.

 

Thank you to everyone for all the advice.

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