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A little help on a picture

Hi guys I’m on the verge of buying a used car but I noticed something on the wheel and I have taken a picture of it can you guys let me know what it looks like?

This is a golf TDI.

Wheel locks. Strange ones at that. Usually you only get one keyed lug nut per wheel

Its because VW doesn’t want you to replace a flat.I just hope you have the tool to remove them.

I’m not looking at the wheel nuts I’m looking at the different tone of paint on the silver part

Part of the clearcoat is gone.Thats very common on alloy wheels


My dealer has an independent subcontractor (Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists) who specializes in fixing things like this. They’ve done good work for me at a reasonable price in the past. You could get a quote from a company like that.

looks like a Volkswagen to me. I’d stay away.


That’s a triple square headed fastener,


There is nothing really wrong with the silver tone… Nor your plastic lug nut covers (which you usually pop off using a pick)

Looks normal to me.

Nothing wrong? Looks like the clear finish is bad in that area.


OH I see it now, down toward the middle of the wheel…

Yeah I guess I should have said…nothing “abnormal”… because this is gonna happen whether you want it to or not.

I guess the unusual thing is the location. ‘Rim rash’ is usually around the edge, from rubbing on curbs. Wonder what happened here?

I must have been lucky, my '83 GTI rims stayed good for 12 years.

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Its just more “fun” with clear coats… nothing more. My guess is a lug bolt (not nut) removal gone awry with an overzealous guy with an impact gun and dreams of being on the Indy pit crew. All it takes is a tiny little scratch to the clear coat for whatever reason…and then… just leave it to its own devices and Viola…here you have it.

I’m not a big fan of clear coat…nor any polished/brushed aluminum surface for that matter…not where I live anyway.

As others have alluded to… I’d be at least as concerned about the locking wheel nuts as the “damage” on the wheel. Before I bought the car, I’d make darn sure I had whatever key or tool is required to unlock those locking nuts.

Because your tire will go flat at the worst possible time.

Pretty sure those are plastic caps.

I believe that these are the lug bolt caps in the picture;

VW lug bolt caps

And here’s a video on how they’re removed:

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Brake dust.

Might just be a little residue got on the wheel from road salt. Have you tried cleaning it off using soap and warm water and a soft cloth? The wheels are driven though lots of mud puddles and road salt and the oils they put on the road surface so it isn’t uncommon to see this sort of discoloration on a used car at all. But try the soap and water and see if it can be washed off w/a little elbow grease. Might be that simple.

This is an obvious clear coat issue… if you nick that clearcoat water and salt and corrosion begin…underneath the clear coat…until the coating simply flakes off. Extremely common issue on wheels…esp in the Northeast. But it doesn’t need to be in the NE…this will occur pretty much anywhere geographically simply due to the properties of the wheels aluminum…it corrodes and “fluffs up” which is what is happening here.

That’s the long n short of it…