Reconditioning could compromise the structural integrity of your Mercedes’ wheels.
If you are not familiar with wheel reconditioning, it is a process of using various tools and methods to try to repair a damaged wheel, instead of replacing it entirely. Some methods include welding, re-plating, or reshaping the wheel.
Nearly every car manufacturer releases Position Statements explaining what methods of auto body repair they do or do not recommend. While some shops disregard these statements, we take a fine-tooth comb to the information they provide so that we can provide the best possible repair for every vehicle that comes through our doors.
When it comes to wheel reconditioning, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has issued a Position Statement explaining why they do not accept wheel reconditioning in any vehicle repairs. Here’s what they say:
“Reconditioning of damaged wheels typically involves a process that may include heating, straightening, welding, material removal, reshaping, or replating. This process can cause deficiencies in the strength of the wheel material. A reconditioned wheel and rims do not meet the production specifications for Mercedes-Benz vehicles and are not an acceptable method of repair.”
The problem with reconditioning methods, such as heating, welding, and reshaping, is that these techniques could compromise the structural integrity of your wheels. If a wheel is damaged enough to warrant reconditioning, then it should just be replaced outright.
Being the only parts of the car to actually make contact with the road, your wheels are essential to your safety and are worth investing the proper time and energy into. It is simply not worth the risk to your life to take chances with the condition of your vehicle’s wheels.
What wheel repairs are approved for your Mercedes-Benz?
Even though wheel reconditioning is not approved of by MBUSA, certain cosmetic wheel repairs are permitted:
“MBUSA approves only wheel repairs that are limited to surface sanding and cosmetic refinishing processes that remove and replace paint coatings only. Any wheel located near any area of collision damage should be thoroughly examined to ensure that the wheel meets the original safety specifications.”
Basically, only superficial cosmetic adjustments are allowed, since they won’t jeopardize the integrity of the wheel structure. If the wheel is damaged beyond minor cosmetic issues, then it should be replaced entirely.
Not all shops follow these recommendations, but we do.
It’s disappointing, but some shops throw caution out the window and continue to practice wheel reconditioning, despite MBUSA’s adamant recommendation to avoid this practice at all costs. They can get away with this because no body shop is actually forced to adhere to a manufacturer’s Position Statement.
At our shop, we strongly believe that there’s no reason to take a chance with your Mercedes-Benz’s repair by going against the advice of the manufacturer. Reconditioned wheels can lead to very dangerous problems down the road. We will always replace your Mercedes-Benz’s wheels entirely if they’ve sustained significant damage or we will follow proper refinishing methods if the damage is cosmetic.
You won’t have to worry about driving on unstable wheels when you bring your vehicle to us. We always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in order to deliver the safest possible repair to our customers.