Wheel Talk

Absolutely, both stock rim finishes are shiny, but a different process for each factory wheel finish is what the difference is. Both final products give a nice reflection but the factory original rims get this way in a different fashion.

Chrome OEM wheels, usually steel wheels to begin, go through a process of plating, often with various metals, with the final layer being chrome. This gives the OEM wheel a very bright and almost mirror like finish. Due to the plating process if damage is done to the chromed used wheel the process to fix it must include re-chroming the used rim, which can be costly. This process also leads to heavier wheels which can have an effect on the performance of your vehicle

Polished original wheels are actually just the aluminum of the rim sanded down and then polished to create the shiny, more colorful finish of the factory rim. Because there is no protective coat over the aluminum the wheel itself can be damaged more easily but repaired with less cost to you. Also since there is no addition of materials to the wheel, it stays lighter and performance is maintained. The choice between the two breaks down to your preference.

Maintenance is required for both finishes to maintain the OEM wheel’s durability as well as the luster of the finish. Polished wheels may need to be cared for more frequently considering there is often not a protective coat over the wheel’s finish. Chrome may begin to fall apart if not cared for and can lead to corrosion of your used rim even though its original function was to protect the metal beneath.