Understanding the Differences Between Aluminum and Chrome Wheels

If your car has recently been in an accident where your tires and/or wheels have been damaged, you are likely looking around to getting the best deal on a new set. If saving money is your main priority, you should consider looking for used tires in the scrap yard.

Used tires are always sold in a set of four, and can still be in excellent to good condition, depending on what happened to the car they were previously installed on. When a car is de-commissioned or totaled, a number of different parts are saved from getting scrapped, including the wheels and tires. Visit your junk car removal in Perth to see how much you can save on a new (as in not old) set of wheels.

Up until now, you likely have not been curious about what kind of wheels are there for automobiles. The wheels are made in one of two finishes: Polished aluminum and chrome. There are key differences to both finishes, and they have their share of advantages over one another. Here are brief descriptions about both polished aluminum and chrome wheels.

Polished Aluminum

Aluminum is polished onto the wheels, making them look more natural than chrome. This process involves becoming sanded for a wheel that looks and feels smooth to the sight and tough. A polishing compound concludes the process, giving the wheels a cosmetic shine, albeit not as shiny as chrome, but still beautiful. Polished aluminum wheels are great for used, classic, and older cars. When browsing the selection in junk car removal in Perth, you will tend to see more polished aluminum wheels than chrome wheels.

The hand-polished look of aluminum wheels makes them look more appealing to some people than wheels finished with chrome. Polished aluminum wheels are also lighter than chrome, making acceleration slightly faster when used for your tires. If polished aluminum wheels lose their luster they can be polished again to renew and restore how they look.

Because polished aluminum wheels are not plated, they can be more difficult to care for. Aluminum finishes require ongoing maintenance because they are lighter and more-flimsier than chrome plating. Furthermore, they are not as resistant to impact, compared to chrome.


Chrome is a plating of the wheel, rather than it being polished like aluminum. How chrome is applied is that multiple layers of metals are installed, such as copper and nickel, with the chrome plating being the outermost layer. Chrome is best known for its mirror-like look, which compliments modern looking cars the best.

For some car owners, chrome is the wheel of choice, as it looks cleaner and shinier than polished aluminum. Because chrome finish leaves behind a harder surface, the chrome makes the wheel easier to clean, as well. Chrome can stay lustrous for long period of time, so long as you maintain then periodically. All you need is soap and water, followed by a specialty chrome polish.

If not properly cared for, the chrome finish can easily flake off like rust. When this happens, you will need to have a professional re-chrome your wheels for you. Chrome can also be too shiny to the point that they can reflect light into your eyes.


Both chrome and polished aluminum finish have their share of ups and downs. Chrome finish is more-tougher and easier to maintain, while polished aluminum looks more natural and is lighter overall. No matter which side of the argument you are on, you can be sure to find a set of wheels you’re looking for at a qualified scrap yard.