Wheel Refurbishing


A clean, corrosion-free refurbished wheel lasts longer and looks better.

By Eli Greenbaum

Whether you own or manage a single working truck or a fleet, making sure that a truck is maintained and operating properly can have a noticeable impact on the bottom line. If a truck is sidelined for any reason, it’s a financial blow to the business.

One of the most common maintenance issues facing hardworking fleet businesses are wheels that have become corroded or rusty. Corroded wheels are often equated with safety issues. OSHA has mandated wheel and rim refurbishing for commercial vehicles since the early 1990s. To ensure that their structural integrity isn’t compromised, wheels need to be maintained and refurbished before corrosion moves in. How to properly restore wheels without exploding the budget is the tricky question.

Outsourcing wheels for refurbishing is one way to address the problem. But this can be an expensive undertaking, and most often the results are acceptable but not exceptional—maybe not worth the expense. The procedure usually involves scraping off rust and dirt, powder coating the wheel, then baking it in a paint booth. This can take a few days, frequently a week or so, occasionally even longer. The cost and time involved in outsourcing could end up being significant.


Don’t fret. There are efficient and affordable alternatives to outsourcing the refurbishing of corroded wheels. Thanks to ever-advancing technology, there are now aerosol products that allow a DIY approach to wheel refurbishment at a company’s own maintenance facility or garage. These products are affordable, quickly deliver consistent quality, and don’t require a paint booth or sophisticated mechanical skill to use. One such solution is available from PPG’s commercial coatings offerings.

“Our wheel refurbishing system is designed to help keep truck maintenance costs down and make the entire process easy,” says Scott Colvin, PPG brand manager, commercial coatings. “These days everyone needs to be careful about costs, but that doesn’t mean cutting corners on maintenance or settling for less than the right way of doing things. This aerosol-applied method gives truck owners the opportunity to do the job on their own, in house to speed the process, save money, and reduce downtime.”


The PPG aerosol wheel refurbish process, for example, involves four simple steps:

  1. Abrade the wheel surface to remove corrosion using a drill with a wire or flap abrasive wheel.

  2. Clean the wheel with PPG ONECHOICE® SXA330 Wax and Grease Remover.
  3. Apply three double wet coats of PPG CPC-SP8150 gray aerosol primer, allowing it to flash for 15 minutes between coats.
  4. Apply two wet coats of PPG CPCSP8047 (white) or CPC-SP8050 (black) topcoat, allowing it to flash for 15 minutes between coats.

The PPG process offers a white or black topcoat option. Custom colors can be worked up to match a truck’s look.

Colvin also points out that corroded wheels can have an effect beyond maintenance and safety. “Trucks are rolling advertisements; your company’s name is all over the truck, and if the truck doesn’t look good, what does that say about the company? Rusty, dirty wheels are not a plus.”

With time-saving, affordable refurbishing now available, trucks can quickly get back on the road and keep racking up the profits.


Find out more about PPG’s do-it-yourself wheel refurbishment system, visit Eli Greenbaum is an automotive writer based in Metro Detroit. Reach him at

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