Everything You need to Know about Tire Rim Repairs

January 27, 2012

Tire rim repairs might be necessary if an unforeseen occurrence takes place while driving like hitting a pothole, curb or some other type of accident. It is a fact of the road that will eventually take its toll on auto parts and accessories, and rims are no exception. Whether you have a bent wheel, are in need of alloy rim repair or need tire refinishing, the basic information that you need you will find here.

Bent Wheel

A bent wheel can be repaired. You may have to drop it off at a machine shop if you don't have the tools, but if you are willing, they will get you straightened out. A bent wheel can be heated to soften up the metal for repair. A hydraulic press is used to straighten the center and to remove any bends in rim's lip. Additional material can be welded onto the rim if too much has been lost due to an accident. Metal workers use a lathe to further straighten out the rim and to remove any additional material. Lastly, the rim is polished and coated with either paint or a clear finish.

Alloy Rim Repair

The repair of aluminum alloy is one of the quickest repair jobs for rims. Because aluminum is so malleable, it can be heated up and reshaped in a matter of hours without losing any of its strength. Many things can go wrong with aluminum alloy wheels, from corroded bead seats, a checked outer rim, creased barrel, cracked wheel flange, scratched or broken wheel rim. These problems can reduce gas mileage, put greater wear on the tire and increase the chance of a blowout. It is far less expensive to take your damaged aluminum alloy rim to an experienced metal repair shop than to purchase a new wheel. A quality repair job can usually be done in a matter of hours for sometimes as little as $125. Don't assume that your damaged rim is beyond repair. There are ways to fix just about every type of damage to an alloy rim.

Tire Refinishing

To refinish wheels, you have a number of options. Re-plating wheels in chrome is an expensive fix, but it can be done. A less expensive option is to refinish the wheels--whether chrome or aluminum alloy--yourself. The fix might be noticeable from up close but not from afar. If you are okay with that, this job is for you.

Never use steel wool on chrome rims as it will cause more scratches. Chrome rims can be touched up with hard epoxy filler and chrome rim paint. You can also use rubbing alcohol to scrub out light rust and clean them up nicely. If your rims are in really bad shape, you might not have a problem using a low grit sandpaper to work out the scratches, followed up by a finer grit and standard metal polisher. This latter method works better for alloy wheels. Chrome should be cared for as much as possible.

Basically, with rims you can do a lot of the work yourself. Cleaning, touching up and polishing is within your power. If the job requires the rims be reshaped, taking them to a metal shop is the best bet. If you have the money and want your chrome rims to be new, you can have them re-plated in chrome. Whichever method you choose, your rims will look closer to new than they do scratched up and dinged.


Related Questions and Answers

What are the Lightest Wheel Rims for Cars?

When it comes to buying wheel rims for cars, some people like to personalize their wheels by buying special or custom made car rims. Some of the lightest car rims you can buy are made of aluminum alloy. These are usually the type that people are quick to buy because of their superior quality and their shiny, hard finish on the rims. These wheel rims are surprisingly sturdy even when you compare them to rims made of other types of metals. Another choice for a light car wheel rim is those made of magnesium. They are so light that some people have at first accused the dealers of giving them an empty box.

Are there any Laws Pertaining to Car Rim Accessories?

Yes, in some states there are definitely laws pertaining to car rim accessories. You have to check in the state you are in, but some states have laws against having things like super big rims, lighted rims, and other similar items you can put on your car rims. For example, in California, you can only have certain colors of lights on car rims, and any such lights have to be accepted by the Department of Transportation. That is one way to determine if your accessory is legal. If the Department of Transportation approves of the accessory, then it is possible that the item is street legal in your state.

Are Spinning Car Rims Illegal in any States?

When it comes to buying spinning car rims, they are legal in most states. You should check the state that you are living in or plan to drive the car in. While they are legal in some areas, they may not be in other areas. Spinning rims are considered customizing your car wheels, so if that sort of thing is allowed in your state, then obviously spinning wheel rims are probably allowed. There are lots of places to get spinning wheel rims for your car. Both online and in stores. The reason why some people think they should be illegal is that it makes people think the car is still in motion, which can confuse other drivers and possibly cause accidents to occur.

How do I find out the Size of the Replacement Hubcaps that I Need?

When you need to get replacement hubcaps for your car, you have to know what size to buy.  One way to determine the size you need is to measure the sidewalls of the tire. If you get lucky, you might find the size of the hubcap inside the label of the old one. Hubcaps can be purchased to fit by buying them from the car dealership, but it is much cheaper to buy them from a local junkyard, or maybe something like craigslist or eBay. If possible, to prevent any measurement problems, see if you can be allowed to try it on your car first and make sure it actually fits. If the hubcap is too tight, it could crack the plastic and damage your rim.

Will Car Wheel Refurbishment Increase My Car's Value?

Car wheel refurbishment, or for that matter, any type of car refurbishment can do wonders to increase the value of your car or truck dramatically. Getting new wheels or accessories for your wheels is something that people are attracted to and therefore it gives the car a higher value. Just be sure not to buy a type of wheel that doesn't help the car look better. These are called aftermarket wheels, because they could actually decrease the car value instead of making it go higher. If you are selling a car that has had its wheels refurbished, it shows the customer that you are maintaining and taking care of your car. They will see this and believe that you have used the same logic in other aspects, such as the condition of the car itself.

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