Chrome Cancer?

dcozzi

Veteran Member
May 1, 2002
4,496
Phoenix, AZ
OK. I go to Big O to get my loose valve stem fixed. When I pick up the tire, the guy says he has bad news. Your wheel has "chrome cancer". He says it happens to chrome plating where it starts to separate from the base metal and corrode and the bead cannot seal. He used some rubber cement and mounted it and it did not leak.
I guess I need to tell him my wheels have no chrome plating. The barrels are polished aluminum.
But still, anyone ever hear of "chrome cancer"? He claimed it happens to brand new cars too.
I'm not convinced.
 

Gary S

Administrator
Lifetime Gold Member
Apr 14, 1999
24,465
Bismarck, North Dakota
I didn't know it was called chrome cancer, but I have seen chrome separate from the metal it was attached to. When that happens, it really can't be repaired. I suppose it could be completely stripped from the base metal and new chrome applied.
 

dcozzi

Veteran Member
May 1, 2002
4,496
Phoenix, AZ
He said moisture gets in at the bead and corrodes between the 2 metals. He said he has seen it on brand new cars before.
 

Jimmac

Veteran Member
Dec 24, 2013
774
tucson az
not chrome, but I've got a centerline auto drag that's got the bead area pitted probably oxidation? Lots of bead sealer to get them to seal. jim
 

dcozzi

Veteran Member
May 1, 2002
4,496
Phoenix, AZ
I believe chrome separation occurs but it was funny he did not know my wheels are not chromed. Just polished aluminum.
 

cali cruzer

Veteran Member
Mar 24, 2002
3,117
Henderson/Las Vegas, NV
Could be corrosion on the aluminum causing a bead lead. I've seen it and a wire brush can take off most of it.
I've had pitted beads on used aluminum wheels. An old trick is to rub some brake fluid on the tire bead. Usually seals after that.
 

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,253
atlanta, ga
Fix for aluminum would be to sand out pits (ie blend them smooth) then alodine the area.


or the poor boys method of home ANODIZING! ??? = BOILING WATER. This will seal the surface to HELP prevent any more oxidation..
 




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