Chrome Wheel Pitting/Corrosion

Hi Everyone!

I have an 06 corolla with roughly 96k miles that I bought used about 2 years ago. At the time, I noticed it had shiny (oooo) chrome wheels that the previous owner installed.

Unfortunately since then, I’ve had nothing but issues with leaks in my tires, usually around the valve stem. My dad had the wheels resurfaced/grinded by some mechanics that seemed to slow down the issue.

However, I recently took it to a tire shop in my area and the mechanic called me in and showed me the chrome wheel saying that the hole where the valve stem sits is now pitted and can’t be repaired and that I’d need to replace the wheel completely. Is he correct in this assumption that nothing can be done now and the wheel must be replaced? If so, how much should I be looking into as an acceptable rate to have it swapped out?


Possibly…if the pitting is bad enough. If the pitting is not too bad then you can wire brush the hole and apply a little sealant before you pop in the valve. I’ve never had any luck with chrome wheels after they age a little. They usually always leak around the bead.

I’d get a replacement set, you might get a set of ‘take-offs’ from a Toyota dealer or wheel store. They’re the stock wheels that were replaced by folks like your car’s former owner.

Would there be an issue if say I replaced one wheel with steel rims and left the others chrome? Would the weight throw the car off balance etc? Is it better to replace them in sets of 2 or 4?

Thanks for all the help!

As long as the rim and offset dimensions are the same the tiny difference in weight won’t make a difference.

But, honestly, I think you’re trying to correct a problem that’ll continue haunting you until you replace all four wheels. Once awakened, corrosion never sleeps. Lots of sites like Tirerack have countless wheels to choose from, and you can use their database to ensure that whatever you choose will fit your car properly.

Have you checked area junkyards for a set of wheels?

Yea I checked local junkyards found OEM alloy used for like $75, but I found steel non-oem new for $52, so kinda leaning towards steel not OEM alloy.I think I might just replace all four then.

Keep an eye on craigslist and other local classified ads for people selling stuff like that. The guy who bought those chromes probably dumped the OEM wheel that way. People also part cars out there.

I would try this stuff first before giving up on your wheels:

It’s a cheap fix and may buy you another year or two.

Would that seal breaker work for issues with pitting in the valve? I dont see the issue with the seal between the side wall of the tires.

I don’t know but I would try it by popping out the valve stem, removing any surface corrosion, applying the bead sealer to the hole, and inserting a new valve stem. The sealer bonds between rubber and metal, so it should work if the pitting isn’t too bad.

Try it on one wheel first, and if it works do the others. If not you’re only out $12 and an hour if you do it yourself.

Put in inner tubes