When I was working abroad a few years ago, I was in a place where I had to travel all the time on poor roads with several potholes. After staying there for a while, I saw that the automobile I was driving wasn’t as stable as it once was, and so I decided to visit a tire repair business in the region on a regular basis.
They told me what I already knew: that the rims were bent, and that their business was doing extremely well because of it; one even acknowledged that the terrible road had helped their business.
It’s safe to say that those folks were pros; they had all the necessary tools, as any road-used rim, whether alloy or steel, can be seen no longer being perfectly round when placed on a particular apparatus.
Do wheels need to be perfectly round?
While many rims can last for years on a terrible road, this isn’t always the case. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a ditch in the middle of the road that made us clench our teeth in our jaws or a pit that we didn’t see and hit the wheel with. Our wheels are put to the test.
It is possible to have a bent wheel in two ways:
- that let air escape from the tire
- those that are only visible but do not influence the wheel seal on the tire.
When a tire has a more severe bend, it should be repaired right away so that we may drive with it and maintain it filled. We don’t have to be concerned about some bents, such as the ones shown above.
Bends of steel rims vs bends of alloy wheels
These two materials have their own advantages as well as downsides. To be more accurate, steel is softer, bends more easily, and is less appealing due to corrosion. Steel wheels, on the other hand, are less expensive, heavier, and easier to repair than alloy wheels.
Aside from the fact that alloy wheels are stronger and can be bent more easily, they also look better and weigh less than steel ones. These wheels are also resistant to corrosion and can be seen on a wide range of vehicles. However, their repair costs are higher if they are broken or bent.
There’s nothing more rudimentary than fixing a steel rim that has been bent. This is done with a hammer or by hitting in less well-equipped tire repair businesses. No cracking is possible as the metal returns to its natural form. However, a hydraulic press, which applies a substantial, steadily increasing force rather than a brief shock, is the preferred method of restoration.
For alloy wheels, the repair must be done while the wheels are still hot. There must be an open flame or a specific burner in the area that needs to be repaired. As a result, the alloy is more pliable and less likely to shatter when put through its paces with a straightener.
It’s a basic idea.
Alloy wheels are repaired using a hydraulic press and a preheating straightening process, while steel wheels are repaired using a hammer or a press.
Should I repair the bent rims?
It’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of having your rims repaired if a tire repair company tells you that they’re bent, but you can’t see anything with your own eyes. A simple fix if your tires aren’t blowing air in the right direction and your wheels are just slightly bent, but not beyond what is considered normal, would be to have them straightened if you could afford it. You should be able to get them back after about two months of driving as usual. Corrections should be made if there are more major issues or you do not like the square rim.
Does something happen if I drive with a superficially bent rim?
There is nothing. The tire, as long as it doesn’t have a hillock, doesn’t suffer, therefore the direction is unaffected because the wheel doesn’t unbalance. However, the bends shown in the images above must be considered superficial. Even if the air does not escape, a weak shock in the same place will cause the tire to deform because it is not protected, making the problem even worse.
How much does it cost to repair a bent rim?
One way that tire repair shops charge for bent rim repair is based on the diameter of the wheel. There are five places where a 13-inch rim would need to work, while an 18-inch rim has just one. There is a big difference between working on an 18-inch rim and working on a 13-inch rim. The wheel’s current state should be assessed and divided into two groups. Regardless of the wheel’s diameter, there can be superficial or significant bends.
For a 16-inch steel rim, repairing a bent rim currently costs between $ 10 and $ 15; for 17-inch rims, the cost rises or falls depending on the diameter (from $ 20 to $ 25). For a 16-inch alloy rim, the price is $ 35. Obviously, prices vary from one tire repair business to the next, but this is a reasonable estimate of what a tire repair should cost.
It’s up to you whether or not you want to spend money on rim repairs, even if the damage is insubstantial. However, it is helpful to know when we need to take our vehicle to a tire repair shop and when we should keep our money in our wallets.