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Author Topic: Chrome wheels in the snow? Bad idea?  (Read 6024 times, 19 Replies)
robmack
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« on: February 09, 2008, 10:34:33 PM »

Anybody have an enclave with the chrome wheel option and live in a snowy environment? not a good idea? i can't seem to find an enclave without the chrome rims, but Toronto in the winter is a lot of snow and salt, just wondering if anybody took this risk (without switching out to steel rims in the winter)
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cruiser68
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 11:54:22 PM »

Chrome wheels in Chicago.  Going on 3 months of a very snowy winter for us.  Wheels seem to be holding up very well.  Started using Eagle One Chrome wheel cleaner and the stuff is awesome!  Comes in a hand sprayer and it foams as you spray it on.  No brushing and a hose off 1 minute later and they look like new.  Done it a few times since end of Nov.
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zman
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008, 10:32:02 AM »

No issues here in Minnesota but I suspect I will not see an issue for a few years yet if it were to happen.  Hopefully chrome wheels would not show an issue the first winter.

And we use plenty of salt/chemicals here in MN in the winter.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 12:56:48 PM by zman » Logged

2011 Enclave CXL-2 AWD Gray Green Metallic/Ebony, 20" Chrome Wheels, Sunroof, Trailering Package, Splash Guards, Engine Block Heater

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nickyd
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 11:21:52 AM »

what kind of issues are you worried about?
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robmack
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 12:53:09 PM »

salt corrodes and pits chrome, so the wheels don't look that good after awhile

some people say hose them down after driving on freshly salted roads, but that doesn't sound too practical

some people say coat the chrome in vaseline to avoid the corrosion and some say that doesnt' work
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xrayman
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 01:08:51 PM »

I guess I'm old enough to remember when all cars had chrome bumpers.  Yes, eventually all chrome products, if not taken care of properly, will pit and corrode.  Thinking back, I remember that some cars had rusted bumpers, but they also had rusted paint, dents in the fenders, etc.  Other cars had nice shiny chrome bumpers and nice clean paint, even though they were of the same generation as the the rust buckets.  Difference?  How the owner took care of the vehicle.  Regular washing and waxing would seem to be the answer.  Not that you have to wash/hose off after every trip, but on a "regular" basis.  Waxing chrome is just as good for the chrome as it is for the paint.  I would contend that the chrome wheels probably suffer no more, and potentially less, than the bumpers of old suffered the ravages of winter and salt!

Bottom line, I will care for the chrome wheels like I care for the paint and let the chips fall where they may.

Good Luck  thumbs up
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 06:46:48 PM by xrayman » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2008, 01:31:22 PM »

the rims are chrome plated aluminum.   The rusted bumpers of the old days weren't aluminum.  Sure the chrome could pit, but I have had aluminum rims that have pitted also.  Like you said, take care of them the best that you can.
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xrayman
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2008, 06:46:12 PM »

the rims are chrome plated aluminum.   The rusted bumpers of the old days weren't aluminum.  Sure the chrome could pit, but I have had aluminum rims that have pitted also.  Like you said, take care of them the best that you can.

The rust example was just a way of illustrating a break down in the chrome.  As you said, aluminum wheels can and do corrode as well when their coating breaks down.
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rick418cars
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2008, 08:04:56 PM »

If your worried about keeping the chromes in good shape, I have an extra set of 19" non-chrome wheels and tires
I will sell you for 750.00 plus shipping they come with lug nuts and the sensors. You would be set for quite awhile as far as tires are concerned if you rotated them by the seasons.
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KCorey
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2008, 04:05:16 PM »

I had a 2002 Olds "Intrigue" that had chrome wheels. I sold it to my best friend in 2005. It now has 90,000 miles on it...all New York City driving...and the wheels look like new...with no better care than being cleaned at a car wash. Hey, this is a made-in-America car, not an import!
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Clave Man
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 07:37:46 PM »

This discussion is freaking me out.  I have my Enclave parked in the garage afraid to drive it because St. Louis is a cloud of salt this week.  Waving his Bud Light bottle at my car, the first thing my GM-loving brother in-law said when he saw my 20" Chrome wheels was "those will last about three years.  Enjoy it while you can..".

When I suspect salt is on my wheels, I get my weed sprayer and load it with hot water.  I then walk around the car and spray down all the chrome.  If I have time I wipe it off.  I can't wait for Spring.
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[sold in 2010] 2008 Enclave CXL FWD with Ent Pkg #4, Towing, Confidence, Luxury, 7 Psgr. Red Jewel/Cashmere, 20 inch RV025 chrome wheels
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 11:50:22 PM »

This discussion is freaking me out.  I have my Enclave parked in the garage afraid to drive it because St. Louis is a cloud of salt this week.  Waving his Bud Light bottle at my car, the first thing my GM-loving brother in-law said when he saw my 20" Chrome wheels was "those will last about three years.  Enjoy it while you can..".

When I suspect salt is on my wheels, I get my weed sprayer and load it with hot water.  I then walk around the car and spray down all the chrome.  If I have time I wipe it off.  I can't wait for Spring.

Valium
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robmack
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2008, 12:50:40 AM »

ha

sorry to freak anyone out

just a genuine concern
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asgard
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2008, 01:08:44 PM »

I live in Ontario and was concerned about the winter and chrome especially as we cannot get steel winter wheels yet. I have looked at the dealers and they all seem to have chrome wheels fitted. I have the painted 19s . My concern is not only the wheel but the center cap on the chromes. If this gets filled with salt mix it could cause major problems when you want to remove the wheels.

I also recommend removing all wheels and applying come copper slip to the mating surfaces. you will be glad you did if you have a flat.

In Europe the breakdown companies are saying they will not be liable for wheel damage if ceased on due to corrosion and they have to use a mallet to get the wheel off.
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KBacon
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2008, 10:30:17 PM »

Years ago I worked at Discount Tire here in Indy.  We saw this all the time esp on GMs/Cadillacs w/ the factory chrome wheels.

It's not really the wheels face that is affected by the salt.. it's the center where the hub centers the wheel.. and where the bead of the tire seals against the rim.  Salt/chemicals will find their way to these to spots and after time will bubble the chrome and cause corrosion issues.  We'd see many people that would have issues keeping air in their tires w/ no leaks in the tire... was almost always corrosion around the edge of the rim... which we would buff off w/ a die grinder affixed w/ a wire wheel. Since the corrosion occurs between the chrome and the aluminum... this would remove the chrome around the affected area... down to bare aluminum... but the tire bead would seal again. 

Also remember one instance of a gentleman that came in w/ a flat tire... he'd insisted on running his chrome 20"s through the winter (this was back when 20s were the "new" thing).. and his rims had corroded around the hub and the rim was seized to the hub.  We tried everything we could to get it off... but it wasn't cooperating.  After explaining the situation to the customer.. he told us to do whatever we had to... so he could drive his vehicle.  We finally had to get out the sledge.. and his rim came off in several "chunks".  Then we had to get the hammer and chisel out to get the rest of the rim off of the hub.

Needless to say... I will never run chrome rims in the winter where salt is involved!!!  I always have a set of aluminum wheels for winter.. preferrably w/ snow tires mounted on them.
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Clave Man
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« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2008, 11:52:02 PM »

... I will never run chrome rims in the winter where salt is involved!!! 
I wanted to use my factory OEM aluminum wheels for my "winter wheels", but the wife put the kabash on it.  Thanks for your interesting reply.  I used to live in Indy.  Go Colts!!  Also.. if you run into Tony George see if he can make a deal to have the Enclave as the Pace Car this year.  Tiger Woods can drive.  It would be perfect!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2008, 09:50:08 PM by Clave Man » Logged

[sold in 2010] 2008 Enclave CXL FWD with Ent Pkg #4, Towing, Confidence, Luxury, 7 Psgr. Red Jewel/Cashmere, 20 inch RV025 chrome wheels
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jrb6907
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2008, 02:35:29 PM »

Well maybe I'm the first but our dealership (Denver area) is set to replace the chrome on the entire vehicle (wheels, grill, handles, etc.).  I don't know if it's defective or what.  We keep it washed regularly and otherwise take good care of the vehicle.  The dealership said they'd only replace it once which makes me a bit irritated, we've owned the car for less than six months, this should not be happening.  It doesn't appear that anyone else has had this issue though.  Hopefully this problem won't recur with the new replacement chrome.  Thoughts?
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2008, 06:18:46 PM »

The dealership I bought from is in the process of ordering all new chrome trim and hubs for my enclave.  Their line is that the mag chloride we use here in Colorado has caused pock marks, for lack of a better term, on all of my chrome.  They are willing to replace all of it one time (over $8000).  I'm shocked that the chrome damaged so easily and that they are replacing it all!  Chrome is definitely a higher maintenance item and will need your attention.  The dealership warned me not to leave mag chloride dirt and debris on the car for more than 2 or 3 days.  That's a lot of car washes in a Colorado winter.  As I look at other cars (our Audi and Jeep included) I don't see nearly as much chrome.  Harleys have it, and they are wiped down after every ride...
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Smokin SRX
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2008, 09:57:29 AM »

My former sled (Caddy ) had aftermarket chrome wheels; EMC2 brand) and pitted after 3 winters of salt/snow) Dealer replaced.

I strongly recommend a car wash after a good ice/salt day. We seldom let a week pass in winter, if Enclave has seen duty. Hey, it's a few car washes more, but you'll look great more often and the chrome will last longer.  Also.....a good chrome polish/wax on those big chrome beauties is a must, every few weeks and will help preserve! Only takes 1-2 minutes per wheel!

Never had the center cap/hub freeze-up as we do rotate tires often. At $219 each......you'd better believe Grin
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Clave Man
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2008, 10:58:51 AM »

Smoking SRX,

I do the washing thing whenever possible right after a "salt day" (mids call it "snow day", I call it "salt day").

How do you polish wheels?  How do you do it in 2 minutes?  I tried some spray on foam stuff on the pipe covers but it only got the 80% clean.

Thank
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[sold in 2010] 2008 Enclave CXL FWD with Ent Pkg #4, Towing, Confidence, Luxury, 7 Psgr. Red Jewel/Cashmere, 20 inch RV025 chrome wheels
2010 Honda Insight
2011 Mazda CX-9
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