March/April 2007 - Spring forward with straight wheels and new tires! Remember: The life of your car depends on its engine. Your life depends on its wheels and tires.
Rim And Wheel Works March/April Newsletter:
In this month's newsletter:
 

You heat wheels? Doesn't that damage the alloy?
Heating wheels is a precise and targeted practice.

We do in fact use heat precisely to save the alloy from the damage caused by the impact that bent the rim in the first place. The various aluminum alloys used for automotive rims are generally heat-treated or �tempered� alloys, a process which strengthens the alloy by causing a kind of crystalline structure to form within the alloy. The links of this structure function much like reinforced concrete used in building construction, in which a grid of steel bars is encased in a concrete wall, making the concrete much stronger than it would be otherwise. (Click here for a more technical explanation of heat-treatment)

When an alloy wheel is bent by an impact, the links of this crystalline structure become weakened or broken, thus the �temper� of the wheel is damaged, and will remain so unless properly repaired. By heating the wheel to a lower temperature than that used originally, our straightening process softens this crystalline structure without causing the entire structure to dissolve, as would occur at higher temperatures. As the wheel cools, the crystalline links reform, and the temper of the alloy is reestablished, a process called annealing. Although some wheels can be straightened without the use of heat, the temper will remain damaged in the spot where the bend occurred, leaving the wheel significantly weaker than it was.

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Spring has Sprung!

Spring is slowly creeping up on us, the weather is finally warming up, and here at Rim & Wheel Works our thoughts turn to the environment. While that may seem surprising, the environment is an important part of our mission at Rim & Wheel. By straightening rims that would otherwise have to be replaced, we have kept literally thousands of pounds of aluminum out of junkyards and landfills. Even rims that we cannot repair and worn-out tires get recycled rather than discarded. We know we won't save the world, but we are proud to do our part in a small way. That's why we're so pleased to announce a new type of "chrome paint", a process that looks just like chrome but without the serious environmental impact that chromeplating involves. See the article below for details, or come in and see our Helios demonstrator wheels sometime!

Spring may be here, but just because those fantastic Nokian snow tires are about ready to come off until next winter doesn�t mean the weather will always cooperate. Good summer or all-season tires are important too. I�d like you to consider two brands I happen to know are good ones � not for every car nor for every size, but definitely worth investigating for reasonably priced, good quality tires.

The first is the Fuzion by Bridgestone. These were the tires I put on my Saab every summer until the lease ended just recently. The �Z�s are summer only; high performance tires that really handle on the highway. The Fuzion HRI is an all-season version.

The second is the Nokian I3, which I�m putting on my new Prius this spring. These are a reasonably priced all-season tire, with the genuine quality of the Finnish Nokian brand. Nokian�s all-season tires, both the WR and I3, are nearly noiseless, stick like glue in all conditions and they handle like a dream.

Please feel free to call us with any questions about these or any other tires. Until next month; Happy Motoring!

-Ina Ames


Chrome look without the chrome...or the cost...or the environmental impact.
Helios Silver Chrome

We love wheels. We love beautiful wheels. We even love chrome wheels. What we hate is how fragile chrome is, how it gets eaten away by road salt, how it flakes off when it gets damaged, how it can start to get yellow if the bronze undercoat bleeds through. Most of all, we hate the high cost, trouble and environmental impact involved in real chromeplating.

That�s why we�re glad to announce a new process that�s environmentally safe, cheaper, longer lasting, and just plain beautiful � Helios.

Rather than dipping the wheel into liquid chromium, Helios is a metallic paint process, followed by a clear powdercoat. The powdercoat seals the wheel and the finish away from the elements � dirt, water, or salt � that destroy regular chrome rims, so that these wheels can stay on the car year-round even in high salt and slush environments like New England.

You can have your wheels painted in your choice of silver or black chrome in about four weeks (including shipping time) for $200.00 a wheel plus a shipping cost of $20.00 per wheel round trip. The picture above is of the silver chrome, and it speaks for itself - the black chrome doesn't photograph all that well, but we'd be happy to show you our demonstrator wheels.



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