Properly Handling Wheels During Collision Repair
Wheels are often some of the most attractive and defining features of a vehicle. But wheels aren’t just about looks, they play an important role in occupant safety. If damaged in a collision, wheels need to be restored properly during the repair process to help ensure that the vehicle is restored to pre-accident condition.
“Wheels should be treated as crucial to the integrity of a vehicle,” says James Meyer, Senior Collision Training Administrator, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “Safety should be the most significant consideration for wheel replacement, not cost.”
Refinish or Replace?
If a vehicle has been in a collision, wheels should be carefully inspected to ascertain any damage. During the evaluation process, check for visible damage such as nicks, dents, scrapes, cracks, and lateral and radial run out. If a wheel exhibits any of this type of damage, it should be replaced with a new Genuine OEM wheel and not refinished. In addition, salvage wheels are not recommended for use during Toyota, Lexus and Scion collision repairs. Salvage wheels are from unknown origin and the history and previous damage to these parts cannot be known with exact certainty.
Refinishing is acceptable only in the case that the damage to a wheel is superficial. Repairs to wheels should be limited to cosmetic sanding and replacing paint coatings.
To read Toyota’s complete recommendations on this subject, refer to CRIB #154 at: http://www.crrtraining.com.
Newly revised Collision Repair Information Bulletin (CRIB) #154 Wheel Reconditioning & Replacement gives recommendations about how to approach wheels during the repair process.