There is often nothing worse than hitting your car, is there? The sound and that feeling in your stomach, please don’t be expensive damage. It’s a feeling many of us can relate to.
I dread to think how many times I have bumped my car. Especially its rim. I swear I am a good driver! When our vehicles are damaged, our first thoughts are often cost and can be fixed aside from safety.
Today we will look at one of the most common injuries to a vehicle, a bent rim. Can a bent rim be fixed I hear you ask? Well, today we are going to find out!
Keep reading to find out if a bent rim can be fixed or not!
What is a bent rim?
Before we get into whether a bent rim can be fixed, let’s have a quick look at what a bent rim is for those novices in the room.
The rim is the link between your axles and tires. They are an integral part of your vehicle and generally very durable and robust. However, they can bend over time.
Heavy impact on the wheel is usually the leading cause for a bent rim. Speedbumps, potholes, and uneven roads can cause the rim to lose its strength.
A bent rim causes the tire’s contact with the road to be uneven. Your vehicle might feel shaky in the front of your front rim, or a vibration in your seat or further back can indicate damage to the rear rim. You may notice a wobble at high speeds, resulting in an unstable ride, and the driver may find it challenging to steer the vehicle.
If left undetected or treated, a bent rim can cause air to leak from the tire. It can also cause flat tires or blowouts, which can be incredibly dangerous when traveling at high speeds.
You must know what a bent rim is and what to look out for when driving your vehicle. Be sure to check your tires before setting off on any journeys to ensure a smooth and safe drive.
What are the signs of a bent rim?
Those who are unsure whether they have a bent rim or not, keep an eye out for some of the most common symptoms! As we mentioned earlier, you might feel a vibration when driving your vehicle.
The vibration can be felt in the steering wheel or the driver’s seat most commonly, but any unusual vibration can indicate an issue.
There may also be a thumping sound during driving. Be sure to turn your music down and have a little listen to your vehicle if you are concerned! Your car can also feel less responsive.
It is most commonly in the steering; you will feel this if you have a bent rim. Be sure not to complete any long journeys and consult a mechanic as soon as possible if you are concerned about how responsive your vehicle is.
Tire scallops and lower fuel economy are also common signs of a bent rim on your vehicle. If you have any of these issues, it may be a bent rim on one of your tires!
Can a bent rim be fixed?
A bent rim can indeed be fixed! These often need to be taken to a mechanic to be fixed depending on the bend’s severity. Generally, bent rims are reasonably straightforward to fix and can be relatively inexpensive to repair.
If the wheels are steel and your only issue is the bent rim, these can be easily repaired. Alloy wheels can be challenging to treat at home, and it is best to consult a mechanic who can do the repair work for yourself.
For those DIY experts or budding mechanics, you can fix your bent rim yourself. Be sure only to attempt this if you are confident, and remember to consult a mechanic if you are unsure at any point!
The following advice on repairing a bent rim is for damage from hitting potholes when driving and usually when the tire is flat.
More severely bent rims or those on alloy wheels should consult a mechanic who can repair the bent rim or replace it.
How to Fix a Bent Rim
To repair your bent rim, you will first need to remove the tire. To do this, position a jack underneath your car on the side of the bent rim. Use the jack to lift the vehicle, checking that it will rest underneath the vehicle’s frame as it gets higher.
Once the tire is no longer touching the ground, ensure the car is stable, and you can begin your work.
Remove the lug nuts from the wheel to pull the rim and tire off the car. Depending on the damage, your tire may be flat and easy to remove. If your tire is not flat from the bent rim, it is worth consulting a professional for advice about whether to continue with the repair yourself.
If you decide to continue, use a pry bar to separate the tire from the bent rim. Do this by moving the bar around the seal of the tire. Repeat this on the other side of the tire seal to remove the tire from the rim.
Next, you will want to fix your tire. Make sure that you are wearing protective gloves and eyewear. Apply heat to the bent area of the rim with a blow torch. Ensure that you heat the portion of the bent for two minutes. Depending on the bend’s severity, you may need to do this to more than one spot.
Once heated, use a mallet to hit the bend back to its original shape. If the mallet is leaving marks, set a piece of wood against the bend. This will deflect the hits from your mallet. Repeat this and the heating process until your rim is back in its original shape.
Wait until the rim is entirely cooled before using a pry bar to connect the tire and rim. Move the pry bar around the seal to pull the tire back onto the rim. You will need to do this on both sides of the tire. If your tire was flat, use an air compressor to inflate the tire.
Next, mix water and soap so that it is slightly sudsy. Use a sponge to soap the space the tire and the rim meet. If bubbles are forming, you have an air leak in your tire. If there is a leak, be sure to take your tire and its rim to a mechanic for further advice. Test both seals for leaks.
Once you are satisfied, there are no leaks; you can replace your tire. Lift the tire and align the holes in the rim with the studs for the lug nuts. Once aligned, slide the tire onto the vehicle.
Next, screw your lug nuts back onto the wheel studs. It is a good idea to start with the lug nut on the bottom and then work on lug nuts across from each other. This will pull the rim against the studs evenly.
Once all lug nuts are tightly screwed, you can lower the jack and remove it once the car is on the ground. Tighten all of the lug nuts again before setting off!
As you can see, a bent rim can indeed be fixed! You can do this yourself at home or consult a mechanic to make the repairs.
Remember, if the bend is severe or extensive damage to the tire, it is often best left to the professionals to conduct the repairs for you!