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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    how much should a decent set of rims cost?

    how long should they last?

    we bought a second set of rims from the subaru-affiliated tire shop when we bought the forester at the end of 2010. there is apparently an oxidation problem with the rims that they have tried to resolve several times but always results in a slow leak. so they said we need new rims. same as the old ones, $400 installed no labor, normally $600.

    one issue with the rims has been the apparent coating that adds the color and i don't know what else, has been peeling for some for some time. the tech said he hadn't seen it before but it had to be some de-icer or something, which i thought was odd. i believe these are low end but is 8 years a typical lifetime? i'm not really hot on buying the same rims that have given me grief.

    i have to tell them in the next 30 minutes to get my car back today, which i desperately need.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    tirerack
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Boston
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    how much should a decent set of rims cost?

    Wheels should last much much longer. Not sure how an oxidation issue on the rims would cause a slow air leak. Sounds like a broken valve stem or a leaking tire. Did the shop show you where the problem was? Any pictures? Tons of Subaru factory wheels rolling around on salt/sand/mud terrain with more years on them than yours.

    Cost wise you can spend as little as 400 and sky is the limit. I had budget Rota wheels on my old Impreza, tirerack has some cheap options like suggested above. Usually when you're talking about wheel cost, the cheaper ones are cast, the more expensive ones are forged mainly for strength/weight ratio advantage. Nothing wrong with cast as long as they do appropriate quality control.


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  4. #4
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    IMHO absent rust, cracking, or impact damage, there is no lifespan for car wheels -- they should last indefinitely.

    Does the car in question have TPMS sensors? If not -- dump in a bunch of Slime, air up the tire, and drive around.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Chupacabra View Post
    IMHO absent rust, cracking, or impact damage, there is no lifespan for car wheels -- they should last indefinitely.
    Someone should lose their job over this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    panhandle locdog
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    I'm driving around on 25 year old rims, no leaks. I think the shop is full of shit, unless somehow these rims are completely rusted out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Tell them to fix it or fuck off . Here is a set for $100 on Craigslist https://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/...493718880.html

  8. #8
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnmtl11 View Post
    Not sure how an oxidation issue on the rims would cause a slow air leak.
    Corrosion of aluminum alloy rims (aka "pitting") where the tire bead seats is a common cause of slow leaks. They can sometimes be fixed via sanding and/or bead sealer.

    ETA:
    Quote Originally Posted by wyeaster View Post
    . . . the apparent coating that adds the color. . . .
    This is confusing. Why would they be coated at the bead seating area? Anodized for color maybe (if they are Al alloy), but not coated.
    Last edited by OldSteve; 02-12-2018 at 05:16 PM.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2015
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    the rust issue apparently happens on the inside of the rim, creating an uneven surface for the bead to seal on. they sanded them or something comparable at least twice. the other three have no leaks. they have new sensors. i was mistaken in that i had been told that the subaru shop admitted these rims have a rust problem but it was actually the costco tire shop that said these particular subaru rims have had a known problem. but subaru did $100 worth of cleaning on the rims for free because they'd been a problem -- for us.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNWbrit View Post
    Someone should lose their job over this.
    PM Bunny for tips on bitching about Subaru repair work.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    I never had had a leak on aluminum wheels, but it sound like they really tried to fix them. Did they clean the valve area and installed new valves? Dump some stan's in the rim?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeaster View Post
    the rust issue apparently happens on the inside of the rim, creating an uneven surface for the bead to seal on.
    So, they are steel rims? I've heard of lots of Al alloy rims leaking due to pitting at the bead seat, but don't recall that hearing of that with steel rims unless they are quite old.

  13. #13
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    how much should a decent set of rims cost?

    Probably past your deadline, but 15" steel rims at crappy tire are about $100CND here, installing a tire on a rim with balancing is about $25/tire, valve stems extra if needed. So $400 for install total isn't bad if you really need new rims.

    Definitely steel rims should last longer even if the powdercoat is chipping/rusting off.
    Alloy rims are more sensitive to conditions so they might have gotten bad enough in the timeframe. Kinda like the light, durable, stylish option - pick any two is what you get.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Boston
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    how much should a decent set of rims cost?

    Quote Originally Posted by wyeaster View Post
    the rust issue apparently happens on the inside of the rim, creating an uneven surface for the bead to seal on. they sanded them or something comparable at least twice.
    The pitting at the bead doesn't make sense to me unless there have been multiple tire dismounts and remounts without cleaning. If the wheel is clean and tire was mounted with a lubricant, I don't think you can get that much corrosion that quickly at the overlapping mating surface.

    If they're using an aggressive tool to clean up the wheels, that could also be causing the uneven surface. Or maybe they're only cleaning the wheel and not cleaning the tire bead. I still don't understand what they've done to identify the wheel as the root cause. What I got is they tried sanding or cleaning the wheel more than once and couldn't get it to seal.



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  15. #15
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    IME, most 10+ year old cars with Al alloy wheels have at least one wheel with a slow leak at the bead due to pitting, so I'm not shocked that it happens on an 8 y.o. car on the wet side of the Cascades.

    At first I was surprised that most of those responding haven't run into this problem before. Then I recalled all those posts about mags rationalizing buying a new vehicle on credit every few years

  16. #16
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    Happened to my 2004 CRV. Happened to my 2000 Outback. It's a 2nd world problem.
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  17. #17
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    I had a set of alloy aluminum rims that after more than 10 years had a slow leak. Salt and winter can take a toll. The inside bead where the tire mounts was a bit corroded and needed regular cleaning and probably had a bit of pitting too. However, I never did replace the rim before I quit driving the car and sold it.

  18. #18
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    My old car was an 02 WRX, 10 yrs in CT/NY/BOS area no issues, but drove below average mileage only 90k during that time. But still a Subaru wheel and I don't recall seeing many reports of wheel issues on nasioc, but I wasn't looking for them either. Also guess tons of people were ditching stock wheels since they wouldn't fit over 4 piston brakes or everyone felt the need to put 17s or larger


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  19. #19
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    i currently have the same issue on my wifeís summer setup. the car did do one winter all over the NE area. costco mech showed me and they donít even sell that shit.

  20. #20
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    Is this more of a regional thing then? Places with heavy use of road salt vs places that use sand, or spray down a salt brine?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  21. #21
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    Our 2003 4Runner that spent the first half of it's 160,000 miles on the east coast (with original owner) before coming west developed a slow leak. Tire shop pulled the tire, saw some corrosion, wire brushed it all smooth, leak fixed. I don't see how this would require a wheel replacement in such a new vehicle.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtskibum16 View Post
    I don't see how this would require a wheel replacement in such a new vehicle.
    In your case it didn't but that's anecdotal n=1 sample size. Al pitting is a case by case thing. It can happen early, late or never. Sometimes it can be sanded out, sometimes not. I've never tried the bead sealant, although I've run into people who say it sometimes works when sanding or brushing is not enough, so long as sealant is given time to cure a few hours in a warm dry place before mounting tire.

    Another fix is to put a tube in the tire. I drove a car for a few years with tubes in two of the tires.

  23. #23
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    May 2007
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    See if REI can help?
    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  24. #24
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    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skidog View Post
    See if REI can help?
    i used the same letter to start from!

  25. #25
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    Mar 2010
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    some of the deicers can be hell on Al, combine that with a poor finish (usually clear coated, not anodized) and you can get a leak. I've heard of tires actually bonding with the Al to where you destroy it trying to take it off. As for life span, it all depends on what conditions the wheels see and how well they were finished. The ones on my dodge are 15 years old (160,000 miles), the Subaru we sold this summer were 13 years old (150,000 miles), no corrosion or leaks in either. Unless you had your first problem with them within the initial warranty period you are probably SOL.

    Oh, and sanding them removes the clear coat with will result in more corrosion right there where it isn't protected anymore. Doing so without refinishing the wheels is a total hoser move. But $400 for new rims with remount is a pretty good deal.

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