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Chip to alloys, unlucky or bad quality finish?

Discussion in 'Leon Mk3 (2012-2020)' started by Azbo, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Azbo

    Azbo Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I've had my leon fr around 4 months (2000 miles on the clock) now from new and today after giving it a wash have noticed two of my alloys have chips.

    I have the 18" 30/3 alloys.

    [​IMG]

    Have I just been unlucky with stone chips or are the finish on these alloys a little soft. Alternatively is it possible to cause this kind of damage with a pressure washer and cleaning products?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. SRGTD

    SRGTD Active Member

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    Looks like stone chip damage. I’d say you’ve just been unlucky; damage such as that wouldn’t have been caused by pressure washing or cleaning products but almost certainly a stone that’s been flicked up and made contact with the wheel while you’ve been driving.

    Powder coated finishes like you’ve got on your wheels tend to be the most durable finish used on alloy wheels - much more so than the lacquer that’s applied to diamond cut / machined alloy wheels. Even so, it’s inevitable that you’ll get some small stone chips on your wheels over time (I have).

    I’d get some touch up paint and carefully touch them in with a small amount of paint on the end of something like a cocktail stick. Don’t be surprised if the Seat dealership doesn’t know what the colour/paint code is for your wheels though! If they don’t know, it might be worth taking a trip to you local Halfords and ask one of the assistants to bring a selection of different shades of silver touch up pencils outside to your car so you can pick the one that’s the best match for your wheels.
     
  3. Azbo

    Azbo Active Member

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    Thank you for your detailed reply, much appreciated. Yes I go down the touch up route.
     
  4. GrayT

    GrayT I'm Old

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    Yeah I think you've been unlucky. Mine are two years old and still mint - not the slightest mark. I agree this wasn't caused by pressure washer but it's never good to use a pressure washer on full strength on alloys or accidentally on tyres. I find citrus wheel cleaners pretty good and wax sprays that you then wipe around the alloy do resist a lot of grime.
     
  5. GrayT

    GrayT I'm Old

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    In fact looking at that first chip again I would use a little alloy wheel filler before the touch up.
     
  6. IrnBru

    IrnBru Active Member

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    I have those exact same wheels mate, FR ST diesel, also just 2000 miles on the clock and had it 6 weeks, it gets washed once a week by me and I haven't had any of those chips, in fact, I've never had or seen stone damage on wheels before? Although it is very very very minute damage, I think you've just been unlucky.
     
  7. Joe1110

    Joe1110 Active Member

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    Interestingly I have the exact same kind of chip on my alloys of the same type. Only got 700 miles on the clock and noticed it this weekend! Was quite gutted actually, was going to post something when I noticed your thread!

    Wonder if the metal is just softer? Anyway, I was going to nip into my local dealer and see what they say about it, don’t want it to cause any problems or get worse!
     

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  8. Wings988

    Wings988 Active Member

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    My previous Cupra 280 had lots of stone chips on the alloys after 30 months and 27K miles. I now have a 300 and after less than 3 months noticed a couple of chips in the painted wheels last time I cleaned it. I reckon it's just poor quality paint, I've not had this problem on others cars in the past.
     
  9. Lmbarrett83

    Lmbarrett83 Active Member

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    Currently have a 280 and I too have had it for around 30 months.

    Normally I have it cleaned by the main dealer with Gardx and occasionally blast it with water with the pressure washer.

    Recently noticed some marks on one of my Alloys. I've taken to the dealership and they've agreed that the alloy was defective and have offered to replace it under warranty.

    Hard to tell in the pic but it's the white marks on the spokes if you can make them out.
     

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  10. SRGTD

    SRGTD Active Member

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    That’s the onset of the dreaded white worm corrosion! All too common on diamond cut / machine polished alloy wheels - usually when the wheels have been on the car 2-3 years as yours have. It happened on my mk6 Golf at 30 months, in spite of my wheels being meticulously maintained - always well protected with sealant and wax, and any stone chips to the lacquered surface being touched in with clear lacquer as soon as they happened.

    It looks as if it’s started along the edge of the machine polished spokes and is probably due to poor (or thin) lacquer coverage on the edge of the spokes during manufacture, which has allowed water ingress to ‘creep’ under the lacquered surface.

    Lacquer doesn’t adhere very well on diamond cut / machine polished metal surfaces, so this type of milky white ‘spidering’ across the surface is all too common. Unless you replace the wheel, getting rid of it requires complete refurbishment of the wheel (cost circa £90+ VAT per wheel for a good quality refurb) which involves re-cutting the face of the wheel and removing a layer of metal. Because you’re removing metal with each refurb, diamond cut wheels can usually only be refurbished a maximum of two times; beyond that, the structural integrity of the wheel can be compromised. Additionally, even if diamond cut wheels are refurbished, theyre likely to suffer from the same corrosion again in another couple of years time.

    Diamond cut alloys have great showroom appeal on new cars, but they have poor durability and just aren’t designed to withstand the type of weather conditions we get in the UK. Thats why I changed my wheels to a set of powder coated alloys - much more durable, and no risk of white worm corrosion.

    Given the choice, I would never have diamond cut / machine polished wheels; I dislike them with a passion! Just my opinion though...........
     
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  11. Lmbarrett83

    Lmbarrett83 Active Member

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    I agree with the above. If I wasn't leasing I'd be looking a powder coated/coating too.

    Luckily on this occasion the wheel is being replaced free under warranty as there are no signs of damage or previous repairs to the wheel. So sometimes it's worth checking with the dealership.
     
  12. kevster184

    kevster184 Active Member

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    Yep these are stone chips, nor ally worse on the rear wheels because the get thrown from the front tyres.

    Vary with wheel design too.

    Wish I could find what colour alloys are. Just keep trying different silvers!

    Yep I hate diamond cuts wheels with a passion for the reasons @SRGTD says (no offence meant)
     

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