Is anyone here familiar with an outfit called “Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists?” They are apparently a nationwide franchise that does work for insurance repair and body shops. I’m particularly interested in the ones operating here in Maryland. I’m wondering if they are a good idea, or if I should just bite the bullet and source/buy replacement wheels. Since I’ve decided to keep my old '96 Outback, I want to fix it up so it looks nicer. Thanks in advance.
I’ve used them to repair some chewed-up sections of my wheels. The results were better than I expected, as I couldn’t even tell where the repair was done. I actually used them through my dealer, where they come in regularly on a subcontract basis.
As others have said below, if this is more than a cosmetic repair, then replacements could be safer.
If it is cosmetic damage being repaired, go for it. If the wheels are bent in any way, replace them with oem or aftermarket.
Most people on this board (including myself) will recommend replacing them with steel if you go the replacement route. They do not look as good to some people but are far more durable.
I damaged an alloy rim hitting a concrete curb once. It ripped off a large chunk of the outer edge and exposed the tire bead. I considered ‘alloy repair’, but second thinking made me realize a ‘repair’ maybe couldn’t be trusted. I found a reconditioned salvaged rim for $180 with shipping. It looked brand new, including a fresh clear coat.
If it is cosmetic damage, ‘alloy repair’ is a good option. If one or two have cracks, out of roundness, or other structural damage, replacement is the way to go. For a '96, there may be plenty of matching alloys available just waiting for you. These are the guys I used. http://www.wheelsandcaps.com/