Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Aluminum wheels - any value?

My husband had aluminum alloy wheels on his 1996 Cadillac Seville. In the past two years, after continuous leaking problems due to corrosion, the dealer "ground" them and attempted to seal them, it helped for a while, then leaking resumed. So he removed them and bought steel wheels.

So now the aluminum wheels are sitting in the garage. Do the aluminum wheels have any value? Should we just take them in for scrap?


  • edited November 2008
    If they leak they are scrap.
  • edited November 2008
    I took a broken Buick aluminum wheel in with my cans at one point and I think I got something like three bucks for it.
  • edited November 2008
    There VALUE depends on the condition. They usually leak around the valve stem holes. Remove the stems (just cut them off from the inside) and inspect the machined holes for corrosion. If they are badly or even moderately corroded, they are indeed scrap. If the stem holes look good, put them on and maybe you can get a few bucks for them. They will fit other GM cars. List them by their size, 16 X 7 or whatever they are..You can e-Bay them too, but shipping will cost more than they are worth..
  • edited November 2008
    I took in a trunk load of old intake manifolds off Hondas and Acuras to the recycler and I got $35. It was a LOT better than taking them to the landfill, both financially and environmentally. It takes a lot of electricity to refine aluminum. We should recycle as much of our aluminum as we can.

    If you wonder why I had so many intake manifolds, the manifolds were replaced in order to fit the cars with aftermarket superchargers.
  • edited November 2008
    Someone might want them to mount snow tires. Or, someone might want to replace a dented rim (but then you'd have to sell each one individually which is a poor idea).

    For most leaky aluminum rims, some "bead sealer" (most tire stores have this) along with a wire brush can eliminate leaks, so someone might want to buy the rims.
  • edited November 2008
    Soon, there will be lots more scrap aluminum...:)
  • edited November 2008
    You are right about that, be we were once young and foolish as well.
  • edited November 2008
    I think the recycler here has been paying about 50 cents a pound for aluminum; or so I heard. Some parts of the country are probably paying more than that.
    You could try listing them on Craigslist (it's free) with a "Make an Offer" notation and see if someone's interested in them. Just notate they're problematic, sold AS IS, and someone may want them at higher than scrap prices even with warts and all.

    Personally, I prefer steel wheels any day of the week. Less prone to leaks, damage, and they maintain their balance better IMHO.
  • edited November 2008
    I might add a different point. Aluminum/Alloy wheels are not all created the same. Most OEM types are for show only. They are weaker and heavier than standard steel wheels. The best consumer wheels are good and are a little lighter and are about as strong. The wheels used on real race cars are far more expensive than anything you would want to put on your car.
  • edited November 2008
    Depending on the style, they could make a neat table in the garage.
This discussion has been closed.