Damaged Tire Rims: Can they be repaired, or do they need to be replaced?

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Have you noticed vibrations in your steering wheel or seat? Do you hear a persistent and loud thumping sound while driving? If so, you may have a damaged tire rim. Tire rims bend and take damage upon heavy impact. This can be from driving over a pothole or bumping up against a curb.

Why Care About a Bent Rim?

Damaged or bent tire rims affect your car in a number of different ways. They can affect your ability to steer and decrease handling. At times they can cause tires to leak air, which means decreased fuel economy or even a tire blowout if not addressed. A blowout at high speeds can be a very dangerous situation. In order to save you money and prevent dangerous blowouts, let’s look at when rims can be repaired.

When Can Damaged Rims Be Repaired?

If your tire rim is simply bent, a mechanic should be able to straighten it out with no issue. This procedure should cost around $75 dollars or less, much cheaper than replacing a tire rim. Check with your mechanic to see if they can repair rims before simply buying a new set.

When Do Damaged Rims Need Replacement?

Wheels with damaged lug holes or cracks usually must be replaced. After you’ve received a quote from your mechanic on how much it will cost to repair your rims, compare that price to a set of new rims. If it’s going to cost more to repair them, go ahead and buy a new wheel.

Steel and Alloy Rims

If your wheels are made of steel and do not have cracks, you will most likely be able to repair the wheel for a relatively low cost. However, cracks in a steel rim will still serve as cause for replacement. Unfortunately, you may not be able to repair even a minor bend in alloy wheels, as bends can turn into cracks while repairing. Because of this, it is always a good idea to replace alloy rims.

How Much Can This Cost?

Repairing a rim can cost as little as $75, but sometimes cracks require welding and tire removal. These processes have added costs, and can end up costing you several hundred dollars per wheel. If rims need to be replaced, the price tag can run anywhere from $200 to $500 for each new wheel, depending on your car.

How to Save Money

If you’re looking to save a few dollars on replacement rims, search through craigslist or eBay for some take-off rims. When someone upgrades their rims for something aftermarket, local tire stores typically sell the old rims for cheaper than brand new rims. These used rims are sold as a complete set most of the time, but individual wheels can sometimes be found.

Protect Your Investment

If you choose to buy new wheels entirely, spend a few extra dollars and purchase some Rimblades to protect your wheels from further damage. They won’t protect wheels from severe damage caused during collisions, but they protect against curb scraping and pothole impacts.

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