How to check a used alloy disk before buying so as not to overpay for it at a triple price

Not every driver can afford new alloy disks. Therefore, many car owners have to look for the right option on the secondary market. In the majority of cases it is a peculiar lottery: it is very difficult to find discs in really good condition. Most often, they have flaws, about which the seller prefers to keep silent. It is only possible to detect flaws with a personal inspection. And this means that you should be at least a little bit familiar with the subject. And, accordingly, know how to check the cast used disc before buying. How to do this, let’s sort it out.

Why buying used wheels is profitable

The main reason for the popularity of buying parts on the aftermarket is the relative low cost. As a rule, used discs are 2-3 times cheaper than new ones. Which will provide a decent savings.

In addition to the price, there is another significant advantage. The fact is that not all manufacturers carefully observe the technological process. As a result, cast discs of insufficiently high quality end up on sale. First of all, the defect is evident in the state of the crystal lattice.

It is impossible to visually detect defects even in new products. It is detected already during exploitation – on the average, after 12 months. That is, cast discs, which have been used for more than a year, most likely will not have this manufacturing defect.

Experienced drivers will have no difficulty checking the condition of the product they like. They know all the details, they have a trained eye. But since the majority of people do not have such knowledge, it is better to be guided by the experts’ recommendations on how to choose alloy used discs.


Quality alloy wheels, even if they are used, cannot cost a penny. Therefore, if they ask for them at the secondary market a ridiculous price, it should be alert. Most likely, they are trying to stick you with a defective product or in bad condition.

The cost of cast discs after a year of use decreases on average from 30 to 50 percent. Therefore if they ask for them at the market for a third of their cost, you should be wary. If you rush to buy without checking, then do not be surprised that there will be hidden defects. You will have to spend a lot of money for expensive repairs or to buy other disks.

If you decide to buy such a product, then try to check the condition as thoroughly as possible.


Before you go to the car market or buy by advertisement, study the markings of the alloy wheels you need. Trust only the data that is listed on the products. Even if the seller assures that his product is perfect for your car, it does not guarantee a successful choice.

Firstly, he may not know anything about the topic, and secondly, his goal is to sell at any price. Most likely, the purchase by eye will be unsuccessful. Even if the selected alloy wheels visually fit the parameters of your car, in fact it may not be so. There will be problems with installation, rubber, etc.

In order to avoid such an occurrence, select the discs exactly according to your characteristics. The parameters to follow: radius of central axis, width of disk, dimension, offset.

Visual inspection

Carefully, take your time to study the discs you like from all sides. If you buy in an on-line store, ask the seller to provide you with as many pictures as possible, in various angles and with good resolution. Even better, if you manage to persuade him to shoot and show a short video review.

Checking on the balancer

If you choose discs at the car market, and you are satisfied with the visual inspection, try to get permission to check their balancing. To do this, suggest that the seller drive to the tire fitting shop of your choice. An adequate person, confident in the quality of their product, is likely to agree. If he starts saying that there is no time and no need in the check-up, it is better to refuse purchasing. There is a good chance that the alloy wheels are not as good as they seem.

If you choose the product on the Internet, then it will be much harder to agree to the inspection. But even here you can try. Offer favorable terms, negotiate a deal. Perhaps the seller will agree.

If you check the castings do not work, then at least ask your familiar auto mechanic or a knowledgeable person to inspect the selected item.

Disks with tyres

If the alloy wheels are sold with tires installed, ask to remove them in order to normally inspect the goods. The thing is that unscrupulous sellers are trying to hide defects and damage in this way. If you received a categorical refusal – that is your case. There is no point in further bargaining. Look for another option. The seller agreed and removed the rubber – examine the disks and arrange for the inspection at the tire fitting.

Discs After Repair

If upon examination you find signs of restoration or soldering, and the seller assures you that you are mistaken, it is better to refuse to buy. This is a sure sign that they are trying to deceive you.

In case you were honestly shown the problematic places, warned about the restoration, go ahead and look around. It is possible that the condition of the disks is normal. Then you will not have to give them for painting or repairing. And all the same it is a considerable saving.

Damaged discs

It is not uncommon that the owner puts up for sale the cast discs in the “as is” condition: without repairing, painting, etc. And that is why he asks for them very little. Such variant seems quite attractive, if it were not for one “but”. The cost of restoration can cost a pretty penny. So you need to estimate how much it will cost to repair. And then think hard about whether you need such a hassle.

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