Pontiac Trans Am: Wheel Retention

Q--Just recently I purchased four new rims for my Trans Am. They are clearcoated. My concern is with winter and salt. I was told as long as rinse them regularly they would be okay. Otherwise I figured I would use my old wheels for winter, but to have buy new winter tires then for them.

I also waxed the rims twice already. I am very anal about my car so rinsing them on a weekly or biweekly basis wouldn’t be an issue. Can I just stay with the new rims on there all year around?

A--You could stay with the alloy rims year ’round, but there is still a risk, even if you wash them every day. Stone chips or scratches from hitting curbs can remove the clearcoat, leaving the wheel unprotected. Chemicals can seep under the clearcoat and do their dirty work and rinsing may not wash them out.

Winter’s ravages and potholes damaged three sets of alloy wheels on one of our cars. In retrospect, I wish I had used steel wheels in the winter — even if I had to install some cheap plastic wheel covers to make them look acceptable.

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