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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know about you all, but I for one am getting MIGHTY tired of having to replace not just tires, but entire sets of rims because Chrysler can't figure out how to make a proper chrome-clad rim.

Earlier this evening I got a flat while headed home from work. Side of the road inspection found no visible object strike, but the valve stem didn't look good. I managed to get the van into a CostCo tire shop before they closed and had the gentlemen there take a look given the tires are still under warranty. Sure enough, the valve stem failed. When the guy removed the tire from the rim he came back with some really bad news: my rims are starting to corrode from the inside out right along the edge where it's supposed to create a seal.

Sound familiar?

Those of you who may own a Limited Edition early year Chrysler PT Cruiser probably know what I'm referring to. My father's 2001 PT Cruiser Limited Edition, purchased brand-new and properly maintained, literally had the chrome rims rot off the car in no time. The problem began while the car was still under warranty. As to be expected Chrysler couldn't care less and refused to act. They stalled just long enough for the warranty to expire on the PT Cruiser and then claimed the vehicle was no longer under warranty, so "too bad." The rims rotted everywhere. On the face, from the back from the inside- it got to the point where the Cruiser sat idle for months because we were afraid it was a safety hazard. $1,000 on a new set of aftermarket rims and the PT was fine.

To make matters worse, the tech brought out a photo album he's put together showcasing the rims of over 20+ Chrysler vehicles that have come through his shop ALL with the same problem. The scary thing is many of them are from 2005 and newer. He went on to tell me that Chrysler is widely known for having this problem the worst out of all other vehicle manufacturers... something I am now beginning to whole-heartedly believe.

The damage is done. I now have to go decide whether or not I want steelies with hub caps, or plain aluminum alloys. Either way, I will have to purchase a set of rims in order to prevent myself from being plagued with flats in the future. Even if it is a "supplier problem" that doesn't explain why Chrysler still never resolved the problem by the time the later 2000's models came 'round.

Simply, absurd.
 

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I work at a Buick/GMC dealer and this is a problem with GM as well. Chrome clad aluminum wheels just aren't worth it.
 

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KOG
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AS long as you reported the problem under warranty it should be covered. It will take some fighting, but go for it.
 

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This is an industry-wide problem on older salt belt vehicles. Aluminum corrodes must faster than steel. You have to grind off the white powder and peeling chrome and reseal the bead and valve stem. The industry is now moving to 'plastic chrome wheel trim caps' to move away from this problem.
 

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I've simply accepted this as normal. Nearly every car I've owned here in the salt belt eventually develops rim leaks because of corrosion - aluminum and steel. Since I mount my own wheels, the fix is to remove the tire, grit blast the corrosion, repaint, and remount the tire. Problem solved... at least for a while. Corrosion is generally only at the tire/rim interface.

I'm not sure why the tech singled out Chrysler. Perhaps their wheel coatings are not as robust.
 

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I don't know if the problem is just road salt. We have has some rims when the tire is removed the whole inside is peeling away in big chunks. This area should be protected by being inside the tire! So who knows...
 

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Tires have moisture and condensation trapped in them. You have galvanic corrosion taking place at the steel-aluminum interface (lugs and rim), but also have aluminum oxidation going on from the moisture in the tire air. In addition, there is the slight effect of the sulfur that naturally occurs in rubber reacting with this moisture to cause corrosion inside the wheel. Some people run nitrogen to avoid this. It never seemed to be a big deal with steel rims, which happen to be susceptible to road salt damage, also. My last car's steel wheels developed several pinhole leaks caused by scaling from salt corrosion.
 

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Well, I think the tire sales person is trying to make a buck ---- Live in the salt belt and have had a 88 Grand C with fancy aluminum wheels 96 T & C with the fancy wheels also (bought both new). Over 200,000 on both and never had a blowout. Once swore that I would never buy another aluminum wheel again because of the corrosion but I like how the wheel looks. Found that my solution was to buy my tires where they gave me a lifetime flat repair guarantee and about once a year, I took the vehicles into the tire dealer. They would find a bead seal leak, take the tire apart, find corrosion, use a power steel buffer to clean the bead, put in a new valve, reassemble the tire, balance the tire and put it back in place, or rotate if I asked. I was good to go for another year and it was taken care of by the flat repair guarantee. A couple of times in the past 25 years, the tire dealer has used a rubber substance on the wheel where the bead of the tire rests, but usually they put it together "as is". I watch my tires fairly carefully and have a compressor handy in the garage, so generally know when one is starting to loose too much air. Seems to me that the aluminum wheels are less suceptible than steel to the pinhole leaks that Bob is talking about.
 

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My wheels are brand new looking, one pit I noticed from a rock or something that is in one rim, noticed it about seven years ago, and they shine and look new without any problem, December 2001 was the purchase date on my PT Cruiser, and my other PT Cruiser looks just as good, like they are brand new out of a box and installed yesterday, literally. Might it be the salt??????????????

Come to think of it, the chrome wheels (I have seven of them between two trucks, same style) on my 1995 Dakota Sport, one was a March truck, one an April truck, and by golly, they all shine up just fine, like they are almost brand new, not even old crazing of the chrome. I confess, I believe it is not Chrysler themselves, not the chrome manufacturer, but the salt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I think the tire sales person is trying to make a buck ---- Live in the salt belt and have had a 88 Grand C with fancy aluminum wheels 96 T & C with the fancy wheels also (bought both new).
True, but just as a point of reference- I was referring to *chrome-plated* aluminum wheels, which (unless you changed them) did not come on your '96. Chrome rims were not available until 1999. I also have a 1996 Town & Country with the same aluminum rims that probably came stock on yours, and have yet to have a problem.

It's the chrome part that makes a difference.
 

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Chris is right -- the TrueDelta guy reported the same thing. 2005's the dividing line. Our 2000 300M has been trouble free save from some impact damage to two of the wheels (one of them isn't bad, 10 psi/month or so, but the other required weekly fillings and was replaced by a junkyard wheel for $100 or so.) Our 2006 PT Cruiser had severe problems on two wheels that went through the repair process twice at two different shops (four times all told) without luck. All four have issues. The chrome flakes off in large chunks and even though the contact area has no chrome plating any more, they still lose air quickly.

I would guess in 2005 they switched wheel vendors to save a few bucks. Perhaps they went to China, perhaps to a supplier Deutsche Bank owned part of... who knows? but yes, they later switched to the chromed plastic covers.
 

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Me too:
I just got done talking with a case manager at Chrysler. My PT Cruiser is a 2007 that I bought in late December 2007. It has 31000 miles on it. It has been maintained well. Washed regularly. I have the GT 17" wheels that came with the Pacific Coast Highway edition. That's my model. The entire outer edge of the rims on all 4 wheels are totally corroded, and they refuse to do anything about it. 31000 miles! It really mars the look of an otherwise great car. They refused the claim, because it is only cosmetic, but I know these wheels will leak later. The wierd thing it is just the outer ring, The entire rest of the wheels are great. My brother also has a 2001 Sebring Limited convertible with the deluxe wheels that went bad at about 50000 miles. They leaked, and it wasn't just one of them. Had to replace the whole set.

I guess owning 13 Mopars over the years (7 new) counts for nothing. First time I ever complained to Chrysler about anything, although I have paid for multiple head gaskets, air conditioning systems, and entire front suspension rebuilds before their time. Silly me...

Mopar Gord
 

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My moms 03 Sebring Limited Convert had the problem with the chrome rims peeling on the back which then worked its way around. Never had any problem with the tires losing pressure but had to fight with Chrysler to get all 4 of the rims replaced in the 3 yr 36K bumper to bumper warranty. After them finally conceding defeat and them saying it was because of the brake dust cleaner that car washes used (load of BS) they replaced them. Well.... guess what.... the replacement set is also doing the same thing. This car is also kept inside a garage as well so it is most likely not weather related. Just crappy process of manufacturing.
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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I wonder if there was some process that they're no longer allowed to use, and like paint in the nineties, they haven't figured out how to make a different process work correctly yet.

Newest car we have is an '01, and it has no problem with its aluminum wheels. The '98 model year wheels that I used on my '97 Stratus also had no problems, and none of the steelies that I have show any of this either.
 

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gtx4spd, a new member here at Allpar, sent in this comment:

gtx4spd said:
Just saw this post & had to respond. I spent 4 yours working in a tire shop & I can tell you that ALL the manufacturers have this issue. One of the major causes of flats, any make, any model, was corrosion of the alloy rims. When we did an install on any alloy rim we automatically cleaned the bead are & applied bead sealer. This isn't just a Chrysler problem. And we saw it on rims with as little as 15,000 miles on 'em.
 

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I wonder if there was some process that they're no longer allowed to use, and like paint in the nineties, they haven't figured out how to make a different process work correctly yet.
The big problem was the chromed aluminum wheels like on the 1999-2000 Town and Country Limited among others. The Sparkle Silver (painted) aluminum wheels were never a problem, but the same wheel design in chrome was.
Once they went to the aluminum wheels with a chrome plastic face, I think the issue was pretty much solved.
 

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I never understood chroming an aluminum wheel anyway. I figured chrome was for steel wheels, and a nice brushed or polished aluminum finish was for aluminum wheels.
 

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The big problem was the chromed aluminum wheels like on the 1999-2000 Town and Country Limited among others. The Sparkle Silver (painted) aluminum wheels were never a problem, but the same wheel design in chrome was.
Once they went to the aluminum wheels with a chrome plastic face, I think the issue was pretty much solved.
I had a 2000 T&C Ltd AWD with spoked chrome wheels (16"). Never had a problem with corrosion.
 

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I just don't get why people would want a chromed aluminum wheel, when one can get a polished aluminum wheel that looks almost the same...
 

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For me aluminum rims and winter do not mix - if I drive the car in the winter I get a set of steel rims with snows - learned this a long time ago after the Al rims on my Daytona started to corrode where the clear coat was scratched by the balance weights after only 2 winters. Have never driven an aluminum rim in the winter since - even the beater intrepid still has separate winter steel wheels
 
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