BMW CAR: BMW split-rims can be tricky to refurbish so we went along to The Wheel Specialist in Fareham to see exactly what’s involved

If there’s one major manufacturer that has embraced the split-rim wheel more than any other, it’s BMW. Most often with the assistance of BBS, BMW has used multi piece wheels on cars ranging from the E39 to E89 Z4.

Vernon Kerr owner of the Fareham branch of The Wheel Specialist (TWS) is a genuine wheel lover and himself an owner of a set of BMW Style 5s. He’s an authority on the peculiarities of BMW split-rims, the options when it comes to refurbishing them and how to look after them once they’ve been done.

As for the paint versus powder argument, for centre or barrel, both have advantages but here at TWS we prefer the latter. ‘Powdercoating is a more durable finish and therefore ideal for wheels because they’re constantly swirling in dust and grit and meeting curbs.’ says Vernon ‘

Once refurbished correctly, a set of split rims will last forever if maintained well. The first thing to do is give the wheels a coat of protective wheel wax to seal the surface. Then simply wash them regularly – call it weekly – reapplying wax every so often. Acid-based wheel cleaners will strip wax over time, so lukewarm water and a mild detergent, such as the one you use to clean the car is best. If you do find you need to use acidic cleaner to remove break dust, it’s generally too late to save them because they have already become pitted, even if not visible. Prevention is far better than cure, as they say.

BMW Car Mag alloy wheel repair