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  #1  
Old 07-07-2015, 09:57 AM
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Scratch or crack?

Hey folks! Still loving my first GC (2012 Laredo X) but I just noticed when I went to put on chrome Jeep valve caps that my driver side back rim seems to be slightly scratched/cracked. I bought it used a month ago and I honestly didn't think to inspect the wheels (I admit I was more focused on learning about all the interior bells and whistles) until now.

I've been babying this thing since I got it, no hard driving, nothing off road and I haven't hit any major pot holes - just normal driving. I'm suspecting this happened before I got it as if a rim cracked from how I'm driving then I'll be really worried.

I'm suspecting I won't have much luck with the dealer even though I'm still under the factory 3 yr, 30,000 mile warranty so my question is, a.) how bad does this look (i.e. is it safe to drive until I can scrounge up money for a new wheel) and b.) anyone have any luck finding replacement rims cheaper than the dealer?

Pic of the wheel:



-D.

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Old 07-07-2015, 10:16 AM
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Re: Scratch or crack?

Looks like a light surface scratch from maybe a car wash?
It has no affect on the structure of the wheel and wear and tear is not covered under warranty.
Search your local Craigslist or even eBay for an OEM replacement if it really bothers you.
You'd be surprised how cheap OEM wheels go for locally.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:39 PM
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Re: Scratch or crack?

Thanks for the advice! I did find one on Ebay I might pick up. It's hard to take a pic of the scratch but it's deep enough I can run my fingernail along the entire length. I could kick myself for not going over it with a fine tooth comb before I drove it off the lot though I did find a windshield chip (fixed), missing antenna (fixed), broken windshield sprayer (fixed) and two paint chips (fixed), but didn't get the wheels.

-D.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:31 AM
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Re: Scratch or crack?

Man, that hub cap is really scratched up! The wheel looks like it's just scratched to me too. If so, nothing structurally to worry about.

Dan
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:51 AM
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Re: Scratch or crack?

Oh, trick of the camera there! Those scratches are actually reflections of the cracks in the road where I parked - it's actually not scratched at all.

You know, I probably shouldn't have opened the "What have you done to your WK2 today" thread when I first joined the forum - my bank and wife are probably going to kill me - there's so many nice looking GC's out there and you all have done some amazing things with them. I'm already fighting down the "oh well, since I have to replace one rim, I might as well......"

-D.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:58 AM
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Re: Scratch or crack?

It definitely looks like a surface scratch - one big one and a tiny one near the hub.

As long as there's no bubbling or blooming of the scratch (where it appears to be opening up like a flower or boiling), then there's unlikely to be any wheel fatigue.

The key is, that it doesn't appear the damage opened up from underneath the surface, which would create more of a scar, like a seam opening up in a road surface. That would indicate metal fatigue or some kind of stress fracture.

In addition, it doesn't appear there was any significant impact damage that could cause stress damage. It appears something with some sort of grit or barb rubbed against the wheel and caused the scratch.

I doubt it's car wash related, though. With the speed the washing surfaces spin, any grit in the cloth that could cause a scratch would cause an abrasion in one general direction around the surface as it spins by the wheel that rotates by it - more like a skinned knee than a squiggly scratch.

What this looks like is someone bumped it with the front bar of a shopping cart or leaned something like a bag with a metal buckle or similar object against it.

Another possibility is a dog collar that scraped when he was peeing on your tire.
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Old 07-08-2015, 10:31 AM
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Re: Scratch or crack?

Oh, it's definitely deeper than what a dog collar can do I think. The cleaner parts of the scratch are where I put my fingernail in to clean out the black dirt inside it. I was wondering if someone slipped with the tire iron while changing a flat or while trying to pry out the center cap? Oh well, as long as it's not dangerous it gives me time to make up my mind on what type of wheels to get....

-D.
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