Rusting/fading on steel wheels?

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Kari
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Rusting/fading on steel wheels?

Postby Kari » Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:37 am

Is anyone else experiencing fading and rusting on their steel wheels? In the "holes" on the wheel cover, the part toward the center of the wheel that sticks out a little started fading a few months ago, and then all of a sudden a few weeks ago started rusting. It's continued to get worse and worse ever since, to the point where I'm going to have the dealer look into replacing them, but they couldn't make me any promises -- only that if they are "pitting" they will be covered. I'm not sure if this is pitting or not, or what pitting in this instance would look like. But I do know that it's making me very nervous because I don't want the rust to harm the structural integrity of the wheel. I want them replaced, whether under warranty or not, but is anyone else having this problem? Or am I the only one?

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Kari
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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (Kari)

Postby Kari » Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:46 am

Since no one else apparently shares this problem...could someone please at least show me or describe to me what it would look like if it was "rust pitting"? I'm having a hard time figuring out what the dealership is going to be looking for exactly.

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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (Kari)

Postby Kari » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:10 am

Photo #1: The wheel with the worst rust...



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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (Kari)

Postby Kari » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:12 am

Photo #2: One of two wheels with "medium" rusting...

The fourth has minimal rusting, but is still rusting and will probably develop more as time goes by. I find this very odd because they all did it at once, and they all did it so quickly. And apparently no one else has this problem, so I don't know what happened to mine...


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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (Kari)

Postby gargoyle » Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:43 am

Wow... I'd be concerned too... that's just not right. If it's still under warranty definitely persue it. That shouldn't happen unless you park in a foot of water every night. The least they could do is clean them up and paint them for you so they won't continue to deteriorate to the point of becoming dangerous. Keep us posted. Good luck.


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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (gargoyle)

Postby Kari » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:23 am

I would think just cleaning it up and painting over it wouldn't really fix it though...in my experience, rust just comes back when you do things like that. If they try to do that, I do plan to tell them that I would prefer replacement because I'm concerned for my safety and the probability that the problem will recur...I'm just hoping I can get them to replace them before my warranty runs out on Oct. 31.

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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (Kari)

Postby gargoyle » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:28 am

Since it's still under warranty, go ghetto on 'em... raise all kinds of hell, get loud and beliggerent, demand to speak to a supervisor, threaten to call the GM 800 #, and play the safety card to the max! That should get you some new steelies.


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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (Kari)

Postby RIT » Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:30 am

Wow - I have 15 year old steel wheels on my Buick that have seen tons of salt over their 187,000 miles, and they look brand new. Give 'em hell.
There is no reason for that, except a poor inital paint job.



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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (Kari)

Postby MrRich » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:29 am

Quote, originally posted by Kari »
Since no one else apparently shares this problem...could someone please at least show me or describe to me what it would look like if it was "rust pitting"? I'm having a hard time figuring out what the dealership is going to be looking for exactly.

Well here are mine:


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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (MrRich)

Postby MrRich » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:31 am

pic2

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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (MrRich)

Postby gargoyle » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:38 am

Hmmm... possible next mod for me... paint steel wheels before they corrode.


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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels? (gargoyle)

Postby Mase » Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:52 am

Are you sure the wheel has actually rusted through the paint? Or is that just brake dust that has settled into the surface of the paint and is currently rusting through the paint surface?

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Postby northvibe » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:33 am

i thought you'd be rollin on 20"s kari get some spinner hub caps to cover that up could you just sand it down a little primer/paint them up again?

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Re: (northvibe)

Postby Kari » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:37 am

Why would I be rolling on 20s? LOL

Anyway, I don't think sanding it down would really work if it's already bit down into the metal...then you'd have to weaken the metal to get all the rust, or else it will just come back...that's why I think replacement is probably the best option. Hopefully that will work out.

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Postby binary » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:44 am

sanding off the surface rust of a rim will not change it's strength.

How many miles are on your car? Mine are a bit faded, I've been thinking of enameling with some spray paint... but I don't think I care to deal with it chipping off latter.


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Re: (binary)

Postby Kari » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:48 am

26,000 miles...definitely not enough for there to be this much rust on my wheels, IMHO...

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Re: (Kari)

Postby binary » Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:51 am

Quote, originally posted by Kari »
26,000 miles...definitely not enough for there to be this much rust on my wheels, IMHO...

That's really bad... yeah - I'd raise a stink.

Do you drive a lot of gravel roads? I couldn't imagine any other reason why they'd rust so fast... unless you ride your brakes or they seized up and generated a ton of heat. OR, aluminum rim cleaning solution - that stuff will eat paint for lunch.

Uhg... keep us posted on your progress!


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Re: (binary)

Postby Kari » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:14 am

Virtually no gravel roads, actually....and I'm not a brake rider at all. In fact I've driven less in the amount of time that they've rusted in, than I was previously, because I'm now living in such a small town and I take the bus to campus. I'm putting basically about 30 miles a week on the car now, and they've just started this rusting business in the last month...really weird.

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Re: (Kari)

Postby WVRedneck » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:16 am

Quote, originally posted by Kari »
26,000 miles...definitely not enough for there to be this much rust on my wheels, IMHO...

I have 22K on my `03 and the wheels are rusted like yours. My Vibe is currently in the shop getting the updated plastic installed(been there since Monday) and they are supposed to 'check' the problem- again.

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Re: (WVRedneck)

Postby BOZACK » Wed Sep 28, 2005 12:31 pm

First off, it is a known fact that steelies will rust. Sanding and repainting will most likely be the way it gets fixed. If you make a big stink to have them replace they just might do it. If they do, try to have them relpace with alloy rims and have the problem go away forever.
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Postby ColonelPanic » Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:55 pm

No doubt that they would show rust over time, they're steel, and like anything else steel, they will rust... But I can't say I've seen anything weather so poorly over such a relatively short period of time. From what I could tell, it would appear that these wheels left the factory with a very shoddy paint job.

I hope they'll replace 'em. Alloys would be great, I know she's been wanting a set for a while. But I doubt that happens.

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Re: (ColonelPanic)

Postby Kari » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:27 pm

I've had several vehicles with steel wheels, and so have my parents, but I've never seen any with rust on them, much less like this, much less at 3 years/26,000 miles. That's why I'm unhappy. I don't think this is a point at which something like this should be happening or be this severe. And I've already said about 3 or 4 times why I don't think sanding and repainting is a viable option here...because it would probably just come back.

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Re: (Kari)

Postby ColonelPanic » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:59 pm

I know. If they were sitting around in a junkyard outside for years, I can see them rusting. But not on a car at this age/mileage. And it's not like the car has suffered through bad winters or anything.

If they don't resolve your concern to your satisfaction, I'm still willing to bump up the arrival of the new car so you can have my alloys. We can do the ol' switcharoo, you'll get a set of alloys with a really bad case of curb rash on each one, and someone else will get your rusted steel wheels.

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Postby Kari » Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:32 am

Just thought I'd post an update...I went to the dealer yesterday and when the service advisor first came out to look at the car, he looked at the left front wheel and said it was "normal," but agreed the left rear was not. However, he wasn't sure if they would be able to do anything about it. So I just stuck with expressing that 26,000 is awfully low mileage for my wheels to be looking like that, even if it is normal for steel wheels to rust. I could understand it if I lived at the beach, but I don't, and my car has never been to the beach even on a vacation.

I was also getting my warped moulding that comes out from the roof rack and goes toward the windshield looked at. Originally the owner of the dealership e-mailed me after I filled out the online service request form and told me they would have the part in stock when I got there, but then someone from the service dept called me back and said they thought they could fix it. I told them it was warped but he still said they could fix it so I said "oookay" and went on.

So the service advisor gets outside and goes, "I don't know why they didn't order the part, it's warped, you can't fix that...I don't know why that person made that judgment without even seeing it anyway." Interesting. I have no idea who I talked to but I sure like this service advisor better than the one at the dealership I bought the car from.

After they had looked at the car, he came back in and talked to me and told me they'd ordered the moulding and four steel wheels and they'd be in next Wednesday, more than likely. So they took care of me, and I'm happy that I've finally found someplace I can take the car where they don't just blow me off or think I'm some kid who's abusing my car and trying to get it fixed under warranty.

My grandfather used to be the service manager at this dealership, so I figured they would be good, and I was right. And according to their service hangtag, they have "award winning service." Anyway, I'm happy, because this is definitely not normal for this mileage and age of the car, and I'm getting new wheels without even having to call GM.

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Re: (Kari)

Postby gargoyle » Sun Oct 02, 2005 9:30 am

That's great news... glad they're taking care of you. I hope everything works out. Keep us posted.


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Re: (ColonelPanic)

Postby binary » Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:28 am

Quote, originally posted by ColonelPanic »
From what I could tell, it would appear that these wheels left the factory with a very shoddy paint job.

That's just par for the course, isn't it CP?

I found 5 more paint chips in my hood and one big paint flake gone off my rear wheel well moulding. Rock on NUMMI, your paint sucks all over. 8900 miles and it looks like I spent 90% of the time following a gravel truck.

Sorry for ranting Kari - congrats on getting the steelies replaced. Give your dealer props, because dismount, remount, and balancing is going to me more expensive than the actual rims!


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Re: (binary)

Postby ColonelPanic » Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:54 pm

Quote, originally posted by binary »

That's just par for the course, isn't it CP?

Yep.

Quote »
I found 5 more paint chips in my hood and one big paint flake gone off my rear wheel well moulding. Rock on NUMMI, your paint sucks all over. 8900 miles and it looks like I spent 90% of the time following a gravel truck.

Ah, don't worry, keep your chin up - it will only get worse. Maybe next time we should pay attention to our option lists more carefully and order the hidden "Premimum Permanent Paint Package" that NUMMI doesn't want us to know about, as the standard paint that these cars leave the factory with is only temporary. Kinda like whitewashing a fence.


Quote »
Sorry for ranting Kari - congrats on getting the steelies replaced. Give your dealer props, because dismount, remount, and balancing is going to me more expensive than the actual rims!

I'm glad they did the right thing. That is going to cost them a couple bucks, but hey, if they care about customer satisfaction, they can eat the cost of something like this every so often. Sounds like they are a good bunch of folks.

>>CP now plots his next move, which is dropping his car off at that dealer and saying "I don't want to see it again until everything on this list has been repaired."

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Re: (ColonelPanic)

Postby BOZACK » Sun Oct 02, 2005 1:28 pm

I am glad they did right by you Kari. Maybe one day you'll get those alloy rims.
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Re:

Postby ColonelPanic » Sun Oct 02, 2005 1:36 pm

Yep, she'll get a set sooner or later, I'll make sure of that.

For the steelies though, should we throw a good coat of wax on those suckers at some point in time, I wonder?

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Re: (binary)

Postby Kari » Sun Oct 02, 2005 7:57 pm

Quote, originally posted by binary »
Give your dealer props, because dismount, remount, and balancing is going to me more expensive than the actual rims!

Doesn't GM reimburse the dealer for the total cost of the repair, including labor costs, though? I know it's not as much as they would get if I was paying for it, but I always thought they gave them something...

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Re: (Kari)

Postby joatmon » Wed Oct 05, 2005 3:27 am

I wonder if someone dragged the wheels face down when rotating them. I'd just wire brush the rust off and repaint them. That would slow the rust down anyway. But since you got four new ones for free then that's cool.

I doubt NUMMI makes or paints the steel wheels. Probably a factory somewhere, just ships the parts to NUMMI to be installed on the cars.

My roof moulding came loose on a long drive and got bent all to hell, wouldn't stay down in the track. I just pulled it out, let it sit in the sun for a day, and it recoverd. The guy saying you can't fix them when they are warped probably had never run into the problem before. But I didn't see how bad yours was, so I can't say for sure


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Re: (joatmon)

Postby binary » Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:29 am

Quote, originally posted by joatmon »
I wonder if someone dragged the wheels face down when rotating them. I'd just wire brush the rust off and repaint them. That would slow the rust down anyway. But since you got four new ones for free then that's cool.

I doubt NUMMI makes or paints the steel wheels. Probably a factory somewhere, just ships the parts to NUMMI to be installed on the cars.

That's a hard way to move the wheels around... I roll mine

Probably would have scuffed the sidewalls too. I'd say it's just poor painting / thin coats of paint combined with brake dust/salt corrosiveness.

Either way - they should have painted them better - or powder coated them. I've had steelies on cars last >100k miles without rusting - it's not that hard.

if your rims are rusting on the face this soon - imagine what the bead surface is going to look like...


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Re: (binary)

Postby HighMileVibe » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:35 am

Same here on my steel wheels though mine are three years old and 125k miles. I concur - these wheels are just very under painted. I have 1995 Honda steel wheels laying out in the open that show less rust - like none.
My "cure" - with the car on my brothers two post car lift (lucky me), I used a brass wire brush on a drill to scrub down the wheel, then some light sanding. I then took black, Rust-Oleum Hammer Rite paint to them with many light coats and light sanding between coats. This paint has a rust enhibitor and rust proofer in it. It actually looks like a very dark grey. If you don't like the color, you can always final coat with a semi-gloss black for an OEM look. The lift worked great because I could spin the wheel as I was spraying for a nice, even coat.

When I change the tires, I will paint the inside too.

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Re: (HighMileVibe)

Postby Mr Magoo » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:26 am

My 2007 has this same issue. As a matter of fact, I don't believe I've seen a Vibe in my area without the rusted steelies. I'm hoping to be able to find a set of OEM alloys and use the steelies for winter. I will repaint them too.
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Re: (Kari)

Postby vibolista » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:36 am

When you get your new steel wheels... take them off, wash them and then wax the painted surfaces on both sides. Use one of the long lasting waxes and do a good job and cover all painted surfaces. That should help keep he paint from fading to rust so soon. For this I've always used a product called Nu Finish. A polymer product that seems to hang on OK.

I do this for my steelies at the end of each winter season, just part of my spring cleaning routine. So far, no rust, and mine get used on for snow tire duty in a very salty environment.

Vibe steelies do what your steelies did. They rust. Most steel wheels do that. Almost every Vibe I see in my area has the same problem. I'm sure that my steelies will eventually develop rust. That's when Rust-Oleum Hammer Rite paint gets applied.

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Re: (vibolista)

Postby Mr Magoo » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:44 pm

Little update on this issue. While at the dealership yesterday for an oil change, I pointed out the rust issue on the wheels. The service tech said that it wasn't a covered item since it was "wear and tear". I told him that was totally bogus. I then asked if it would be covered if it was on my fender and he said of course it would since that is part of the body. I then reminded him that these wheels came on the car from the factory same as my fender.

We then got the service manager over and low and behold he told me that GM would pay to repaint them, but not replace them. So today I'm dropping off the car to get my wheels repainted and they are also giving me a free rental for the day which GM also pays for in this instance.

I would encourage everyone who has this issue to get to the dealer and make them do what they should be doing with this problem. Squeaky wheel gets the grease!

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Re: Rusting/fading on steel wheels?

Postby rmyers » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:20 am

For my 2009,appears that sun/uv may be one of the sources of fading (see photo). Decided to try painting my rims before
rusting started.
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