Is Altering an Alcoa® Wheel a Good Idea?

Is Altering an Alcoa® Wheel a Good Idea?

WARNING Welding, brazing, or otherwise heating any area of an Alcoa aluminum wheel will weaken the wheel. Weakened or damaged wheels can lead to an explosive separation of tires and wheels or wheel failure on the vehicle. Explosive separations of tires and wheels or wheel failure on the vehicle could cause serious injuries or death. Never attempt to weld, braze, or heat any surface of an Alcoa aluminum wheel.

Quality Control – Dimensional Test

Alcoa® wheels are specially engineered and tested to meet Howmet Wheel Systems and OEM requirements. In addition, the wheels must align with requirements indicated in J267 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Alcoa® wheels are designedmanufactured, and rigorously evaluated in a tightly controlled environment to ensure they pass performance criteria only for approved applications.

Alterations to a wheel may change stress points, strength, and corrosion properties in such a way that the wheel cannot meet design criteria, resulting in non-compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and vehicle certification requirements.


Wheel with welding on the mounting face

Howmet Wheel Systems does not approve of any type of alteration to Alcoa® wheels, including:

  • Machining of any type
  • Redesigning the hand holes
  • Reconfiguring the bolt holes in any way
  • Welding on any part of the wheel
  • Chrome plating or painting the wheel

Where wheels have been altered, Howmet Wheel Systems may not be able to certify the accuracy or validity of the Department of Transportation (DOT) markings that are stamped on the wheel at the time of manufacture. Alterations can also lead to cracks, bending, shrinkage, breakage, out of roundness, balancing issues, and other problems that can lead to catastrophic wheel failure, wheel separation, tire failure and/or tire separation, all which can cause  serious injury or death.

Therefore, Howmet Wheel Systems does not approve of any alterations to its wheels and any such action will void the limited warranty.

For all Alcoa® wheel reference materials, maintenance, technical and warranty resources, visit our Knowledge Center on the Alcoa® Wheels website. In addition, Section 3-2 in our wheel service manual addresses wheel alteration in more detail.

To hear more from Alcoa® Wheels experts on all things wheel axle ends, including maintenance practices, check out our Behind The Wheels podcast episode, “Wheels of Shame.”

This content requires certain cookies to function. Please accept cookies in order to continue. You may need to refresh your browser window afterwards.