Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive
(Hard Chrome Plating)
by Randy Taylor, Advanced Tooling Corporation.
Chrome plated aluminum wheels
Q. Are there any negatives that come with aluminum
automobile wheels that are chrome plated? Can they withstand the elements as
opposed to steel wheels that are also chrome plated?
A. No significant "negatives" other than the fact that aluminum is tougher to
electroplate than steel and equally as tough to withstand corrosion over the
long haul. Chrome plated steel wheels have historically outperformed
aluminum or magnesium wheels, but most brand name custom wheels as well as
factory chromed wheels are much better made today than in the past.
Chrome wheel life expectancy really depends on how much work one is willing
to do to clean & maintain the wheels. Regional climate has a great deal to
do with it as well and the proximity to salt water. In any case, seek out
the best warranty, and prepare to clean, polish and wax often. (and try to
stay off gravel roads!)