Wheel reconditioning in collision repair can lead to a whole host of problems.
If you are not familiar with wheel reconditioning, it is a process of using various tools and methods to try to repair a damaged wheel, instead of replacing it entirely. Some methods include welding, re-plating, or reshaping the wheel.
Nearly every car manufacturer releases Position Statements explaining what methods of auto body repair they do or do not recommend. While some shops disregard these statements, we take a fine-tooth comb to the information they provide so that we can provide the best possible repair for every vehicle that comes through our doors.
When it comes to wheel reconditioning, Subaru has issued a Position Statement explaining why they do not accept wheel reconditioning in any vehicle repairs. Here’s what they say:
“Subaru does not approve of wheel reconditioning. Collision-damaged wheels should be extensively examined to determine if the wheel should be replaced. Any wheel refinishing or wheel conditioning may not meet Subaru specifications and may cause unsafe vehicle performance, which could result in passenger injury or death.”
The problem with reconditioning methods, such as heating, welding, and reshaping, is that these techniques could compromise the structural integrity of your wheels. If a wheel is damaged enough to warrant reconditioning, then it should just be replaced outright.
Being the only parts of the car to actually make contact with the road, your wheels are essential to your safety and are worth investing the proper time and energy into. It is simply not worth the risk to your life to take chances with the condition of your vehicle’s wheels.
Reconditioned wheels will void your warranty.
Another major reason to avoiding wheel reconditioning is that it can void your warranty:
“Subaru will only warrant an undamaged original wheel or a new replacement wheel.”
The practice of wheel reconditioning is so problematic that Subaru won’t even warrant wheels that have been repaired with this method. Not only is wheel reconditioning dangerous to your vehicle and yourself—it’s dangerous to your wallet, as well.
Not all shops follow these recommendations, but we do.
It’s disappointing, but some shops throw caution out the window and continue to practice wheel reconditioning, despite Subaru’s adamant recommendation to avoid this practice at all costs. They can get away with this because no body shop is actually forced to adhere to a manufacturer’s Position Statement.
At our shop, we strongly believe that there’s no reason to take a chance with your Subaru’s repair by going against the advice of the manufacturer. Reconditioned wheels can lead to very dangerous problems down the road. We will always replace your Subaru’s wheels entirely if they’ve sustained significant damage.
You won’t have to worry about driving on unstable wheels when you bring your vehicle to us. We always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in order to deliver the safest possible repair to our customers.