Updated Painted Aluminum Wheel Refinishing Guidelines

GM has announced an updated policy for refinishing aluminum wheels under warranty at U.S. dealerships on 2011-2021 passenger cars and trucks. (Fig. 1) Only cosmetic refinishing of wheels due to quality defects is allowed on fully color painted aluminum wheels.

Refinishing paint on chromed aluminum wheels and steel wheel refinishing are no longer supported by GM. GM also does not endorse any repairs that involve welding, bending, straightening or re-machining wheels.


Fig. 1


Wheel Repairs

The new RPO Wheel Refinishing Guide, available in the Warranty Administration Resource Center in the GlobalConnect App Center, specifically defines the wheels that are GM approved for refinishing under warranty by model year, brand, vehicle model, and wheel RPO.

If the wheels are determined to be able to be refinished based on warrantable conditions, repairs will be performed by Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists (AWRS). AWRS can provide one-day refinishing services on-site for most GM dealerships in the U.S. The company uses a self-contained trailer unit in order to perform the refinishing procedure. AWRS is the only company permitted by GM to perform wheel refinishing. For a list of the wheels that can be refinished, refer to Bulletin #18-NA-306.

Warranty claims for wheels that cannot be refinished will involve wheel replacement through the GM Pre-Repair Authorization (PRA) process using the Certified Service Mobile Toolbox (CSMT). Refer to Bulletin #18-NA-306 for more information.


Evaluating Damage

It is the dealership’s responsibility to inspect the wheel for peeling paint, paint runs, debris in paint, and other conditions that warrant refinishing. (Fig. 2) The wheel condition must not be deeper than what can be sanded or buffed-off (less than 2 mm deep) or a larger area than 3 x 1 inches. In addition, if there are up to three issue areas on the wheel, and the three areas in total do not exceed an area more than 3 x 1 inches, the wheel may be refinished.


Fig. 2


Wheels must be visually inspected for cracks. If cracks are found, the wheel cannot be refinished. Flange cracks caused by road hazard impact damage as well as bent rim flanges should not be refinished under warranty. Other road hazard damage, such as scratches or curb scrapes, also are not warrantable repairs. (Fig. 3)


Fig. 3


For the complete steps required to refinish aluminum wheels for damage under warranty, refer to Bulletin #17-NA-052. It outlines the procedures for wheel refinishing evaluation as well as the repair process.


Refinishing Wheels

To make a service request for wheel refinishing under warranty, contact AWRS at awrswheelrepair.com/generalmotors. Required vehicle information will include photos of the issue with labels noting wheel position and areas of concern. AWRS will follow up with the dealership to set up the on-site refinishing repairs.

The dealership is responsible for tire/wheel assembly removal from vehicle, tire deflation, tire beads broken down or tire dismount, and reinstallation of the tire/wheel assembly.

AWRS also can be contacted to perform onsite customer-pay wheel refinishing. For customer-pay repairs, contact AWRS at awrswheelrepair.com. Note that some repairs may not be done on-site at the dealership and may take longer than one day.

For additional information on wheel refinishing, refer to the latest version of Bulletin #17-NA- 052.


– Thanks to Scott Lewiston

Head-Up Display Image Not Level
Active Fuel Management Misfire Codes Setting on HFV6 Gen2 Engines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *