Using Crowbars To Mount Tires

on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 at 4:24 am

Every week we repair chrome plated wheels that are corroded. This corrosion causes the tire to leak air. Driving on an underinflated tire is dangerous, and if you continue to drive on an underinflated tire, it will fail causing a blowout, a very dangerous situation.

In order to chrome plate a wheel, it is first plated in copper. Nickel is then plated over the copper, and finally the chrome is plated over the nickel. Corrosion is a result of moisture getting between the aluminum wheel and copper plating layer. This moisture causes the metals to react and the resultant corrosion causes the plating layers to separate from the wheel creating a pathway for the air to escape. This corrosion is similar to what you often see on the terminals of a car battery.

Most of the time, we also see crowbar marks where the wheel is corroded. Some tire installers who don’t have a modern tire changer with dual assist arms use a crowbar to install the tire. These crowbar marks perforate the plating layers, thus creating a path for the moisture to migrate between them causing corrosion.

Make sure that the shop where you get your tires installed has a modern dual assist arm tire changer, and that they don’t use crowbars to install tires.