If you mistakenly nicked a bump on the road and realised that there is a rattle or it drives differently then it’s possible that this could be a signal that one of your rims is damaged or bent. Alternatively, it can also be a sign of an alignment issue, flat tire or a damaged wheel.
But how do you know if you have a bent rim?
The primary sign is whenever you feel or see a warp in the edge of the wheel, and if you can see it with the untrained eye, its easy to tell if you’ve pumped up your tire and there is a bumping feel when you are driving.
In most cases, these types of damage can occur in the inner part of the wheel, making it very difficult to detect.
Other signs that might likely give you a lead is reduced efficiency of fuel, jerky driving, tire control loss, and much more. It will be difficult to trace this on your own if you dont know what to look for, because these signs are related to a tire balance issue that a tire specialist can tell you the problem.
At this point, it’s essential to engage the services of an automotive expert for a professional inspection to ascertain where the damage has occurred. With their advanced equipment and vast knowledge, they can quickly diagnose if it’s a rim, tire or wheel issues.
Understanding the type of rim is vital to be able to estimate the cost of repairing the damage.
- Steel wheel – One of the benefits of a steel wheel is their ability to prevent lots of damage. It remains a durable material for rims. If your steel wheel is bent in any way, it can be fixed.
- Chrome-plated wheel – This type of repair should only be performed by an experienced technician.
- Aluminium alloy wheel – These are made from an alloy of aluminium. Most of the current vehicles come with these rims, and they look so stylish. You’ll get to notice it because they’re usually painted—any damage whether minor or major can be easily fixed. For instance, scratches and scuffs can be easily restored through sanding and then repainting.
- Plastic clad rims – Plastic clad rims the same as chrome, the major difference between them is that they’re less expensive and much lighter
RIM TYPES AND THE COSTS TO FIX
Steel Rim Repair
Steel rim can hold out a lot of damage because of their durability. Hence, any bent or scuffed damage can be repaired without being worried about any replacement.
- Scuffed or Scratched – The cost ranges from $50 to $100, which is not compulsory. This is mainly done for cosmetic purposes only.
- Bent – Depending on the extent of welding that may be required, the cost is between $50 to $150. In a situation that involves no welding, the cost is below $50.
- Cracked – Steel rims typically don’t crack but can scratch. In this case, the cost to replace this is up to 100%.
Aluminium/Alloy Rim Repair
This comes from the alloy of aluminium. It’s always difficult to fix any bent damages, but with thorough sanding and repainting, scuff or scratch can be fixed.
- Scratched or Scuffed – When sand, putty or paint is used, it costs about $50 to $100. The only challenge here is matching the color, which is often challenging.
- Bent- When this type of wheel is bent, it’s advisable to consider a possible replacement because this type of damage cannot be bent back to its original shape.
- Cracked – Just like a bent rim, replacement is recommended for protection reasons.
Chrome Rim Repair
Majority of chrome-plated rims can be easily sandblasted and re-plated; though, what you’ll spend can be equated to purchasing a brand new rim. This is why most people proceed to purchase a new rim without considering any form of repair.
- Scratched or Scuffed – This can be easily replaced, but if you do not want to replace, they can often be re-plated, and the cost is between $200 to $500.
- Bent – Once the bend that occurred is not too extreme, it can be bent back, and the cost is between $50 to $125. You must remember that if you were to contemplate the bending option, it could damage the finishing of the rim.
- Cracked – For a cracked rim, a replacement is often recommended. But it will be cheaper than repairing.
Plastic Clad Repair
A plastic-clad rim is not that different from chrome. But because it’s often manufactured with plastic, any form of damage to this type of material is always impossible to repair. A replacement remains the best option.
- Scratched or Scuffed – Replacement is recommended because there is no great way to repair the damage.
- Bent – In most situation, a bent plastic-clad rim will lead to a rather large chip. A replacement is recommended in this case.
- Cracked – There is no repair option once a rim is cracked. Replacement is recommended yet again.
Know it that bent or damaged rim harms your vehicle, especially by affecting the ability to steer and reduce handling. Aside from this, they can cause your tire to leak air which in turn result in decreased fuel economy. In some cases, it can also cause blowout of your tire if it’s not repaired or replaced. To prevent any dangerous situation, you should get that rim fixed to save money, including your life.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much will it cost me to fix my damaged rim?
When the damage involves a bent alloy rim, it’s usually difficult to fix this rather replacement is recommended. This means that a gouged or cracked alloy wheel should be replaced immediately. This can cost upwards of $500 but not less than $200 because it will involve repairing and re-plating.
At what point can damaged rims be repaired?
Whenever you notice a bent in your rim, engage the services of a mechanic to get it to fix. This often cost $75 or less which is cheaper than replacing a rim. Always check with your mechanic to inquire if it’s something they can do before making any purchase.
When does any damaged rim need to be replaced?
When the damage on the rim involves a crack, it must be replaced. You can compare the cost of repairing it with purchasing a new one to know the difference. If you’ll spend more to repair, go ahead and purchase a new wheel.