All the car enthusiasts out there love it when their cars are nice and shiny. It is simply a joy to look at the reflective surfaces while admiring your vehicle. Unfortunately, unless you own cars to display them on a pedestal, there is bound to be some deterioration as you subject your car to years of extensive driving. Your wheels are often the biggest problem on your vehicle, with bent or cracked times being a common issue. Here we look at the benefits of rim repair and the best techniques to solve your issues. Let’s get started!
Benefits of Rim Repair
These issues might seem like the end of the road for your wheels. If you want your car to be in a pristine condition again, you might think you have to replace your rims. This is a frustrating situation to be in, especially considering how pricey replacing your rims can be.
Not only do you have to purchase a new wheel, but you also have to pay for the service fee of a repair shop to install them on your car. The good news is that not all hope is lost if you have an issue with your rims. There is still the option of repair.
In most cases, the damage to the rims is not significant enough to warrant a full replacement. Instead, they can be repaired far cheaper than getting new ones.
On top of that, the rims look as good as new at the end. Not only is this good for your wallet, but you also spare the environment from another chunk of metal from being tossed onto the scrap heap.
The best part is that if you have a few tools lying around together with a little bit of know-how and time, you can do these repairs yourself at your home.
Below are some of the easy ways that you can fix common rim problems. Keep in mind that it’s best to try this yourself only if you have experience in fixing cars, and contact a professional if you don’t.
It is also good to figure out what your rims are made of. It will almost certainly either be steel or aluminum alloy. You can simply check with a magnet. If it sticks, it’s made of steel, otherwise, it is an aluminum alloy.
In some cases, it can be harder to repair an aluminum alloy than steel, in which case you should contact a repair shop.
Fixing Scratches and Curb Rash
In general, scratches and curb rashes are mostly cosmetic issues. Nevertheless, it doesn’t look good. Here are the general steps you can take to repair these issues yourself at home and restore your rim to a pristine condition.
The first step is to take the wheel with the damaged rims off the car and put it flat on the floor where you can work on it. Firstly, give the rim a proper wash to clean it from any dirt that might get in the way.
The best way to eliminate any imperfections on the wheel is by using a rotary tool with a 200-grit flat disc and good-quality sandpaper. You also want to take some basic safety precautions, like wearing safety glasses and avoiding breathing in any dust.
Using the rotary tool or sandpaper, you want to slowly sand away the areas on your rim that have any scratches. Eventually, the scratches will fade out, and your rims will look as if nothing ever happened to them.
After this, you can also add some finishing paint to remove any marks that may have been left.
Fixing Rim Bends
Fixing bent rims can be a challenging task. Unfortunately, even after putting them back into shape, they will never be as good as new. In addition, you have to be careful with fixing bent rims because there is a big risk of damaging the wheel even more.
First of all, you want to take the wheel of your car and deflate the tire. Afterward, you want to use a pry bar to get the tire off the wheel, as it will be in the way when you try to repair a bend.
Sometimes it can be hard to spot exactly where the bend is. However, you can easily figure that out by rolling the wheel and observing at what point it stops rolling straight.
Next up, you will need to use a blowtorch to heat up the rim where it is bent. Heating it softens the metal making it more malleable. After sufficiently heating the rim, you want to hammer it back into shape using a mallet.
To not leave any marks on the rim itself, you want to grab a piece of wood and set it against the part you plan on hitting. After this, you want to put the tire back onto the rim and check if it fits and doesn’t have any air leaks.
While this is possible, the reality is that it’s very hard to do without the know-how and the required tools. If you have bent rims, it’s almost always the best idea to get them fixed by a professional who uses specialist equipment.
Cracks are some of the nastier problems that you can encounter. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be advisable to replace the rim. That is not to say that it is impossible to repair it yourself, but you have to know what you are doing.
To fix a crack, you must remove the tire and attempt to weld the rim together using filler material. This is a challenging task, and should only be done on hairline cracks. The rim has to be properly aligned as well to ensure no issues down the road.
Ultimately, even if the crack is fixed, the rim’s strength will still be weaker than before, and it is a matter of time before you will have to replace it.
If your rims have curb rash or scratches, you can easily fix this at home using repair kits which are usually quite affordable. However, while you can repair a bent or cracked rim at home, the wise choice is to get it looked at by a professional.