Caring For Your Wheels
Wheels themselves do not require much maintenance. However, they do suffer their share of problems. Wheel problems include tire service-induced damage, cracking, bending, and corrosion. To keep wheels in service scrutinize them for wear every time they come off the truck.
Steel and aluminum wheels are equally susceptible to faster torque related damage such as elongated or distorted stud holes. Damage can be the result of fasteners that were under torqued at installation and have become loose over time. Loose fasteners are often the result of improper wheel service procedures. Loose paint, rust, dirt, and other debris prevents a flush mount and may dislodge, leaving a gap between the hub and the wheel.
To care for your wheels follow these tips:
Torque Wheels Properly
Technicians should always clean the mounting faces of the hubs and the wheels with a wire brush or an abrasive disc on an air tool. Once the surfaces are clean and free of foreign material, properly torque the fasteners. While torquing the fasteners, apply a drop of oil between the nut and the flange. Re-torque at 50-100 miles.
Prevent and Treat Corrosion
Corrosion is the most common problem in truck wheels. Look for corrosion around the valve stem. Once salt and road chemicals settle under the O-ring, it starts eating away at the metal. Corrosion is more evident on coated steel wheels, then other kinds of wheels. The smallest break in the coating allows road chemicals to enter. Corrosion eats away at the metal structure of the wheel, and if the metal becomes too thin, it will no longer be usable. If the DOT stamp marks are illegible or the wheel is damaged, stop using it.
Avoid Rim Flange Wear
Rim flange wear is a result of the movement of the tire bead against the inside of the rim flange. Shifting cargo weight causes the walls of your tires to rub back and forth against the wheel flange. The abrasion erodes the flange surface which in turn causes sharp edges that damage the tires. Eventually, it starts to wear away at the metal. If wear occurs affected, make repairs quickly.