How Long Does Alloy Wheel Refurbishment Take?
Alloy wheel refurbishment is a relatively quick process. If you’re offering alloy wheel repair at your workshop or car dealership, you’ll be able to advertise a single-day turnaround; your customers can drop off their car in the morning and pick it up at the end of the day with the wheels looking as good as new. As a mobile operator, you can offer the service at your customers’ home or work and complete a full set before lunch.
What is the process of alloy wheel refurbishment?
Many alloy wheel refurb companies offer mobile alloy refurbishment, travelling wherever they’re needed in a van that’s fitted out with mobile alloy repair equipment. Others have a dedicated alloy wheel repair system station on their premises.
The steps for repairing an alloy wheel are very similar to repairing a scratch on a car panel. Here’s an outline of the process:
1) Cleaning - All dirt and grime is removed from the wheel. This involves using a combination of professional degreasers and compounds.
2) Tyre preparation – The tyre will be fully deflated and the bead broken (where the tyre seals against the alloy). This is to ensure the entire face of the wheel can be refurbished. In some circumstances the tyre may be fully removed.
3) Repair – The surface of the wheel is ‘keyed’ to ensure a strong bond is formed with the new paint. The damaged is then removed using specialist tooling and, when damage is severe, fast-curing resins can be used to rebuild the surface.
4) Paint, lacquer and polish - When the area has been fully prepared and a primer applied, carefully colour-matched paint is applied. Finally, it’s lacquered with the appropriate gloss, matt or satin finish.
5) Curing - The curing process creates a hard finish for ultimate protection.
Typical refurbishment times
Alloy wheel repair can be as quick as 1-2 hours. The time a job will take may depend on the extent of alloy wheel damage, the size of the wheel and the exact process you use. Some wheels can require a full refurbishment, which involves completely stripping the paint from the wheel in a dipping tank, and this will mean a longer turnaround time. Examples of wheels requiring a full refurbishment would include those with heavy corrosion.
When assessing what type of service you want to offer, it is important to consider the market opportunity in your area and the speed of any return on your investment. Customers willing to pay for heavily corroded wheels to be repaired are uncommon so demand is generally low for this service that requires the larger, more expensive machinery. By contrast, a simple to use, modular system offering a same-day alloy wheel repair service will target the largest segment of the market offering the greatest opportunity and return on investment.
How SMART equipment can help
At Smartfix UK, our SMART alloy wheel repair equipment is everything you need to provide SMART repairs in super-quick time. Our business packages offer you the full range of equipment in a ‘production line’ system, so you can offer same-day alloy wheel repair both at your premises and in a specially equipped mobile van.
Our SMART products allow you to carry out alloy wheel repairs with maximum efficiency. We have a great range of products to meet your different needs:
SMARTvan a complete workshop in a van. Setting new industry standards in quality, productivity and Health & Safety compliance.
SMARTvan Diamond The first mobile workshop incorporating a full CNC lathe for OEM repairs to diamond cut alloy wheels
Workshop Systems a range of modular, easy to use ‘plug & go’ equipment to suit that can be tailored to suit any space or budget.