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Sunday, October 11, 2015

The steel wheels on some old Chevy Astro Vans and GMC Safari Vans may be hiding dangerous rust-through damage

At a distance (with one of the abandoned lakefront OMC buildings as a backdrop) the wheels on this 16-year-old >178,000 miles (AKA "Clunker") GMC Safari Van look acceptable.



Close up, for the most part, they still look okay.



Now lets remove that durable, non-removable, chrome facia (it is mounted to the steel wheel with an industrial-grade adhesive) and see what is hidden from view.



 Yep, on all but one wheel, the steel is rusted clean through in some very critical structural areas.





Not all of the wheels on all of the Chevy Astro Vans and the GMC Safari Vans were made the same way and not all of them have had 16-winters of exposure to road salt, but these wheels certainly do look to be a high-speed-pothole away from causing a serious situation.

The tires on this van are 5-years-old but have less than 15,000-miles on them; there is plenty of tread left.  Because of some slow leaks, earlier this year I had the beads on all tires cleaned and sealed; I also had the valve stems replaced.  The point being is that a well known, highly respected tire outfit missed the fact that all of the wheels on this particular vehicle were unsafe at any speed.

Although the old tires were salvageable, I decided to order 4 new tires to go with the requisite 4 new wheels.




2 comments:

Ruth said...

Oh thats lovely. Makes me want to go look at my own wheels closer.....

Anonymous said...

Expected on a van that old. I had an old import through many Michigan winters suddenly "snap" a control arm while driving down the road. That was eye-opening for sure.... .