Rims are an important part of any car. Not only do they add style, but they also help the car function properly. When alloy rims get damaged, it’s important to know how to repair them as they won’t just look bad but driving on damaged rims is dangerous.
Here we’ll show you how to fix some common alloy rim problems. We’ll also look at when is the best time to call for a professional. Let’s get started!
Repairing Alloy Rims Yourself
There are barely any vehicles that don’t show signs of having contact with curbs on their alloy rims. But don’t worry, this type of damage is easy to fix and restoration kits are available. These are also the perfect solution to get the job done.
Usually, these over-the-counter alloy wheel repair kits consist of fillers, sandpapers, primers, and paint. You can even apply lacquer over the top, depending on your wheel’s finish.
With these kits, you’ll need a mix of patience and luck. Patience is necessary when preparing your alloy wheel and then painting it without letting the paint run. As for luck, it’s in hopes that the paint color you get matches your rim.
With that, here’s how to repair alloy rims with the proper steps to follow for a successful fix:
- First, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your wheels to remove any dirt and grease on them. Our tip is to utilize washing up liquid since it does the job well.
- Take the sandpaper and use it to remove damaged paint and flatten chips. After, wipe any dust off the wheel.
- Now, you can mix the putty and then fill in all the damaged areas. Also, make sure the rim’s surface is as level as possible. Once you’re done with this, leave it to set.
- When everything is completely dry, use your sandpaper to sand the filler until it’s flush. Remember, this particular step takes time and again, patience is necessary.
- After sanding, wipe all the dust away using a damp cloth.
- Now, you can apply masking tape around the damaged spots before applying your primer. Again, wait until it dries.
- Start applying light coats of paint but make sure to wait for it to dry in between coats. Continue applying until you’re satisfied with the finish.
- If your kit has lacquer, this is the perfect time to apply a light coating to it. Then, wait for it to dry. When lacquer isn’t available in your kit, you can simply purchase it separately.
Alloy Rims Crack and Dents
Cracks are usually caused by bumping curbs or driving over uneven roads or potholes. If you have a crack in your rim, it can affect how your vehicle functions.
If these are just light cracks and dents, you can usually get your alloys fixed without replacing them. This is where it’s best to call a professional. You most likely don’t have the equipment required to repair this damage and even if you did, you won’t have the expertise.
A cracked rim will need to be welded to ensure that the rim can keep its structural integrity. This is best left to a professional. If it’s only a small weld then this will most likely work out to be much cheaper than replacing the rim.
The same can be said for a bent rim. You may be tempted to grab a hammer and try and fix this yourself but this isn’t a great idea, as you’ll most likely do even more damage. Alloy wheels need to be straightened on a specialist machine to prevent them from cracking.
If you have superficial damage on your alloy wheels then follow the steps above to get it fixed. If there is any structural damage, then leave it to the professionals.
Alloy Rim Repair Price and Duration
If you’re repairing the alloy rims yourself, you’ll need the alloy wheel repair kit which costs around $10 to $50 depending on the quality of the kit and what you get inside.
If you’re going to a professional, it would cost a lot more but the exact cost will vary depending on quite a few different factors such as the extent of the damage. It’s best to contact your local repair center to get a quote.
In terms of how long it’ll take to repair the alloy rims, it depends on who’s doing it. If you’re doing it yourself, set aside the whole morning or afternoon to complete the task.
If professionals are taking on the job, it’ll depend on the company you’ve contacted. The condition of your alloy rims will also affect the repair’s duration. Some companies can finish within one to four hours whereas others can take a whole working day or longer.
What are the Dangers of Driving on Damaged Rims?
By now, you may be wondering whether or not you can get away with driving on damaged rims, especially if you’re struggling for money. The reality is that you need to find a way to get them fixed.
There are several dangers of driving on damaged rims. First, the wheel itself can become unstable and come off the vehicle. Second, if the damage is severe enough, it can cause a blowout which can lead to loss of control of the vehicle. Both instances can lead to a serious incident.
Even if the worst doesn’t happen, a broken rim can cause vibrations in the steering wheel and make it difficult to steer correctly. Finally, damaged rims can reduce your fuel efficiency and increase wear on your tires.
Therefore, it is important to have your rims inspected regularly and repaired or replaced as needed to avoid these dangers.
If there is any damage to your rims, hopefully, it’s just cosmetic. If so, then you’ll be able to buy a rim repair kit and do it yourself. If you find your rim is bent or cracked, then any repair you try at home won’t be good enough.
Damaged rims aren’t one of those things you can put off until next week or next month. They are a safety hazard and it’s best to get them fixed or replaced as soon as possible.