Guest duckman66

2004 Corolla Wheels Rusting

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Guest duckman66

Hi all,

I have a 2004 Corolla LE with 57,000 miles here in Central Florida. I bought the car new in Tampa. I recently noticed that all 4 OEM steel wheels are rusting. I do have an extended warranty bumper-to-bumper for 60,000 miles from Southeast Toyota Distributors.

Is this a common occurrence on the 9th gen Corollas? I previously owned '78 and '90 Corollas with non-rusty wheels.

Extended warranty from SE Toyota should cover this, right?

Depends on how they are rusting and exactly how the extended warranty is worded. Many do not cover cosmetic issues - you'll have to double check the warranty agreement to be sure. Unless there is a safety issue - they might not do a thing. Couldn't hurt to ask.

As for rusting steel wheels - I get them all the time. Especially when I lived in the "salt-belt" here in NE. Being down close to a marine environment - rusting is always an issue. Could also be an issue of how newer wheels are treated - used to be slathered with Cosmoline (a rust proventing gel, used to go on metal before an item was shipped via ship). Most new wheels just get a simple powder coating or couple of layers of paint. Also current brake pad friction material composition as greatly changed over the past several years - newer materials are more environmentally friendly and yield longer use, low dusting, and low noise - with minimal impact on performance. Problem is that this same dust is highly corrosive to wheel finishes. I used to run raw aluminum or magnesium wheels on the older pad materials (past 20 or so years) - never had a problem with brake dust, but with these newer materials, can even pit clear-coated alloys wheels.

My '05 was manufactured in Cambridge Ont. about 15 minutes away and the original 4 rims have seen one harsh winter full of salt and other crap. I double checked them today in the garage and there is not one speck of damage on any of the five (including full size spare in trunk). I'm sure the local dealer would handle that under warranty as it's probably like a sale and they are guaranteed to get paid. Heck, I just asked about my sun visor not staying where I wanted it and during one of my services I was told it was changed..n/c.

It would be good to check you warranty and also ask the dealer - especially if it is bad enough for you to be displeased. It won't hurt to try and get them replaced.

Even in sunny NC, my 03 CE wheels lost the paint. I resprayed them with black paint from Walmart and it helps.

Paint on the wheels is crap.

Even in sunny NC, my 03 CE wheels lost the paint. I resprayed them with black paint from Walmart and it helps.

Paint on the wheels is crap.

Was that after the warranty was expired?

Yes. Only Toyota extended warranty's in effect and cosmetics are not covered.

No problem really. Wheels are black so I lightly sanded the affected areas and sprayed with rust resistant paint from Wally World.

Don't think paint deterioration would be covered, but always worth a try if on warranty.

Think of the abuse wheels get. Just 1 winter by me and the edges of SWs start rusting..I don't blame then for rusting. If rust on steel wheels bugs you, go with alloys.

I just hit it with a soft sanding pad, hit with black paint and clearcoat. $2.00 Problem fixed.

Obviously rims do go thru a rough time and rust pretty easily - especially in bad climates. Just do as others have suggested and sand and paint.