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Chrome Wheels? Problems?


John2
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Hi,

Just recently about getting other wheels for my 92. The shop in town has chromed lexus wheels for the car.

My question is if anyone has had problems with these wheels? corroding? bending, etc... anything? advice?

thanks.

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I personally don't like chrome. It's too much work to keep it clean and polished. If you don't then the chrome will dull, fade past recovery, pit, peel and fleck off over time. If you live within 1500' of the ocean like I do or somewhere where they salt the roads heavily in the winter then chrome is even more of a PITA. Do you really want to clean and wax your wheels in Feb when it's 20 degrees outside? (Although you could have a "winter set" of rims.)

I prefer a nice alloy any day. Just my $0.02.

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I agree that chrome wheels are a hassle. I bought my current LS when it was three years old (38,000 miles) and the chrome wheels were very badly pitted. They were replaced by the Lexus dealer under warranty. Personally I like my non-chrome aftermarket winter wheels better.

As long as you do not use them during the winter, chrome wheels should last fairly well - you can always have them replated when the chrome fails.

Here is a pic of my LS with chrome wheels from the gallery: http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...&cmd=si&img=815

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I'm on the fence about chrome wheels personally. I've often thought about replacing mine with chrome OEM of the same pattern figuring it would tie in with the chrome door handles and window trim well, but I've always kind of held back. On one hand they add a touch of glint to the car, but on the other hand they can be overpowering. Some cars look great with chrome wheels and odd with out them (a lot of Chryslers, the 300 etc) and some cars you can just never imagine with chrome wheels (Mercedes, BMWs, Audis).

Anyways the question was about bending, as long as the wheel is OEM then you can be assured of the quality. Some aftermarket chromed OEM style wheels are actually reproductions and sometimes have flaws in their roundness etc. If you keep them clean and protected then the chrome finish should easily last 5+ years, providing they were properly chromed in the first place.

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  • 10 months later...

I agree that chrome wheels are a hassle. I bought my current LS when it was three years old (38,000 miles) and the chrome wheels were very badly pitted. They were replaced by the Lexus dealer under warranty. Personally I like my non-chrome aftermarket winter wheels better.

As long as you do not use them during the winter, chrome wheels should last fairly well - you can always have them replated when the chrome fails.

Here is a pic of my LS with chrome wheels from the gallery: http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/index...=si&img=815

Hello - I wanted to ask about your experience with having Lexus replace the wheels. I have the chrome wheels on my 05 rx330. I bought the car used (still under full warranty, only 23k miles) and the chrome wheels are flaking and pitted. My local lexus dealer says someone must have put a bad chemical wash on them in the past and they won't replace them. I feel strongly it's a warranty issue. What was your experience? Did you have to have Lexus inc intervene?

Thanks a lot.

Patesrwe - richmond, virginia

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Hello - I wanted to ask about your experience with having Lexus replace the wheels. I have the chrome wheels on my 05 rx330. I bought the car used (still under full warranty, only 23k miles) and the chrome wheels are flaking and pitted. My local lexus dealer says someone must have put a bad chemical wash on them in the past and they won't replace them. I feel strongly it's a warranty issue. What was your experience? Did you have to have Lexus inc intervene?

Thanks a lot.

Patesrwe - richmond, virginia

The broker from whom I bought my 00 LS in 2003 had already started the process of having the chrome wheels replaced although they were not delivered until about 6 weeks after I bought the car.

But my situation may have been different. Although the wheels are OEM 00 LS Platinum edition wheels, the chrome itself is aftermarket and was separately warrantied by the dealer instead of by Lexus. The dealer warranty on my wheels was for the same 4 years/50K miles as the manufacturer's warranty on the rest of the car.

But I am VERY surprised that the dealer is not falling all over himself to replace your wheels under warranty. I had lots of warranty work done on my first LS that I bought in 1990 and several fairly expensive warranty repairs on the 00 LS I bought used in 03. Just what kind of chemical wash does the dealer think caused the wheels to pit? Sulphuric acid? And why would the dealer care?

Even OEM chrome Lexus wheels will become badly pitted in a short time, well within the warranty period, if driven in winter on salted roads and not washed frequently. Based on what I have seen on a coworkers 99 LS with OEM chrome wheels, the clear coat on OEM chrome wheels does not appear to help much in preventing pitting if the wheels are used in winter.

I would recommend another Lexus dealer and/or contacting Lexus customer service. Good luck!

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Hello - I wanted to ask about your experience with having Lexus replace the wheels. I have the chrome wheels on my 05 rx330. I bought the car used (still under full warranty, only 23k miles) and the chrome wheels are flaking and pitted. My local lexus dealer says someone must have put a bad chemical wash on them in the past and they won't replace them. I feel strongly it's a warranty issue. What was your experience? Did you have to have Lexus inc intervene?

Thanks a lot.

Patesrwe - richmond, virginia

Jim is right on the money when it comes to figuring out whether the chome is OEM or they were chromed aftermarket. If they're flaking and pitted on an 05, I bet they're not OEM. The question will be as he said, what the warranty is on the chroming itself.

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I have chrome wheels on my 90 LS400 and they look like new in spite of pretty lazy care on my part. They came from my Lexus dealer who I assume had them chromed by an aftermarket company. There is a huge difference in chrome quality, depending on who does the work.

Tom

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I have chrome wheels on my 90 LS400 and they look like new in spite of pretty lazy care on my part. They came from my Lexus dealer who I assume had them chromed by an aftermarket company. There is a huge difference in chrome quality, depending on who does the work.

Tom

Can anything rust in Scottsdale? My older relatives play golf there every day during the winter so there can't be much (any?) snow on the roads in the winter or salt used to de-ice the roads. LOL

Scottsdale has to be the "chrome wheel capital" of the world. I have never seen as high a percentage of cars with chrome wheels as I have seen in Scottsdale.

It would be interesting to know where the prior owner of patesrwe's RX drove his car. Was the RX on the coast during much of its early life? (Virgina Beach is a fairly quick drive from Richmond.) Or did his RX live in a northern climate where lots of salt was used on the roads?

My suspicion is that the chrome on patesrwe's wheels is not OEM and that is why the dealer is arguing. If the wheels were OEM chrome, Lexus would pay the dealer to replace them - a win/win situation. But if the wheels are aftermarket chrome, the replacement cost would come out of the dealer's pocket if the aftermarket chrome company does not warranty the wheels.

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Jim, funny stuff. LOL

Yea, Scottsdale is probably not the rust capital of the world, but likely is the chrome wheel capital. Oddly thought, I don't know a single quality chrome shop in Arizona, although I do know several who have screwed up motorcycle parts for me.

Tom

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  • 2 weeks later...

the 18" chromes on my 2005 still look like new after 20K miles,, car color is pearl white and the chrome wheels do look good,, can't imagine replacing the wheels with anything else,,

they get cleaned good every time I wash the car and polished the same time the car does,, nothing out of the way for mntc,,

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