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Wheel corrosion less than 2 years old?


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Hi all. Have never owned a Lotus before so have been reading lots of threads for a while and it's helped me in making a decision on which model to buy.

I've had GT-R's for the last 9 years and have become bored driving them so needed a change.

Decided to go for an Exige 410.

Was due to collect on Weds but they've just hit me in the twelfth hour that collection needs to be postponed for another week, frustrating.

They have discovered that the front wheels have corrosion around the bolt holes and bubbling in the black paint.

Amazes me that dealers can have a car for sale and have plenty of time to do the necessary work, but only decide to do it 2 days before collection was due. 

Just wondered if this corrosion is considered normal and acceptable on less than a 2 year old car? It does kind of put me off that elements of a new car can rust and corrode that quick. Also some rusty looking patches on the wishbones looking at underneath photo's of the car, is that normal?

Any opinions much appreciated. I can either cancel the deal or wait another week and have repainted front wheels which isn't ideal, I would prefer non rusty new wheels not repaired ones.

Made me wonder, are there any other potential issues I should be checking?

Thanks, Trev.




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They may not rust, but aluminium can oxidise and lift the paint. Most likely somebody a bit cack handed taking the wheels off or on has scraped the wheel holes with a socket and then as water and air gets in it oxidises, lifting the paint.

The wheels will need a complete refurb as any localised repair will soon fail again. Aluminium oxidises in seconds.


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2 hours ago, Jcx said:

Where is the car? What is the mileage? What reg is it? I wonder if it is a press car that will have enjoyed an active life….

Not sure how much being a press car counts to be honest, but if it is has been left standing around outside in all weathers (where is the car), and driven a lot (mileage) then that will surely be the most telling things.

It's steel. Steel rusts. Look at any new car with steel underneath, around the suspension areas and you will see it rust. It's what it does.

My wife had a Qashqai from new, never been offroad, but when you looked behind the rear wheels the bottom of the chassis looked as rusty as a 20 year old Defender that had been well used.

Brake discs, left outside and the car not driven, look a bloody mess after a week in wet weather.

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The 68-reg red press car that was used in the Evo COTY article was used heavily in winter on salty roads in many articles.  The salt will take its toll in a way that many many high days and holidays cars may never see.  That's all.  As i understand it Lotus Press cars are stripped and fettled before being sold on so mechanically it should be a peach.

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It's only done 5k miles, one pensioner owner, just been bimbled about, discs and pads are like new still at 5k miles. Lovely condition, just very surprising that wheels can corrode so quickly. All being sorted now, dealer is fully stripping and refurbing them and promised they'll be good as new.



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