Bumping up against a concrete curb can easily scratch the aluminum rims on your car. The nice shiny appearance of the rims can quickly turn gray and dull after you hit a curb once or twice. Here is how you can restore the luster of the rims after you've scraped them up against the sides of hard concrete curbs.

You Will Need:

  • Breathing Mask
  • Eye Protection
  • Flapper Wheel
  • Grinding Wheel
  • Metal Polish
  • Wheel Protectant

Step One: Protective Gear

The aluminum dust caused by grinding down aluminum can be dangerous to your health. Always make sure you are wearing a breathing mask to protect yourself while grinding down an aluminum rim. You should also wear eye protection to protect against little tiny pieces of aluminum getting into your eyes. The eye protection will also help protect your eyes from any of the polishing wax that may fling off the polishing wheel.

Step Two: Remove Tire

Remove the tire with the damaged rim and put it on a table or flat surface so it is easy to work on.

Step Three: Grind the Rim Down With a Flapper Wheel

You will need to grind down the raised scratches on the aluminum caused by the rim hitting the concrete curb. The best device to use is a flapper wheel you put onto the end of your drill. A flapper wheel is made up of abrasive flaps that wear down as you work. As the flaps wear down, new abrasive material is exposed to keep on removing the scratches. Run the flapper around the entire rim to remove all the scratches.

Step Four: Remove Deep Gouges

After you have removed the surface scratches, you need to remove the deep gouges in the rim. The tool to use for this is a small grinding wheel made of silicon carbide. Attach the grinding wheel to the end of the drill and run it over the deep gouges until they are gone. Fold up a piece of medium-grade silicon carbide sandpaper and use it to hand sand areas you can't reach with the grinding wheel. Be careful not to press down too hard on the grinding wheel. Pressing down too hard could cause unsightly depressions in the aluminum.

Step Five: Polish Rim

Put a cylindrical polishing brush on your drill. Take some metal polish and put it on the brush. Apply the polish using the polishing brush. You should polish the entire rim and not just the damaged area to give it a uniform look.

Step Six: Apply Wheel Protectant

Wheel protectant helps to maintain the shiny appearance of the aluminum rim and repels dirt and grime like brake dust.

Step Seven: Put Wheel back on Car

Remount the wheel back onto the car to finish.

For help with bigger scrapes or cosmetic problems, contact a company like Exoticar Paintworks Inc.