Rim Repair Vs Rim Replacement: A Cost-Effective Solution to an Expansive Problem
Did you hit a pothole and bent a rim on your car as a result? Get it fixed! Don’t replace it.
Everyone hits potholes. You can’t avoid it. But if you hit one with enough force, the tire may be ruined or even worse, your rim may be bent or even cracked. As a result you may feel vibrations in your steering wheel while driving (especially at faster speeds), your wheel may not be holding air well and your tire will wear out much faster, just to name a few.
Replacing the tire is one thing; there are lots of tire stores everywhere plus purchasing a new tire won’t break you bank account. It’s a different story when if comes to rims. When you go back to the dealer to buy a rim to match the ones on your car, you may be surprised by the high cost. Fortunately, rim repair and wheel straightening is a cost-efficient alternative available to car owners.
The average aluminum alloy rim costs $400+ regardless of the make and model of the vehicle. For example, a Nissan Altima with 17″ alloy rims can cost over $500 per rim. Most people assume this cost will only apply to higher end luxury automobiles, but this is not the case.
Fortunately, there is an alternative to replacing bent and damaged rims. Rims that are hopelessly bent can actually be returned to a “like-new” condition and others that have cracked can even be welded back together for a fraction of the cost. Rim repair centers employ modern wheelrights who use specialized machinery to straighten the rims so that they run true. They also use refinishing techniques to re-condition wheels to look new. Some places will also dismount, mount and balance your wheels to make them run extra smooth! Reputable, specialty shops sometimes provide a 24 hour turn around! A local rim repair center can easily be found on the internet.
Rarely, there are instances when bent rims are so severely damaged that they cannot be brought back to spec by highly specialized technicians. In such cases a good shop won’t charge the customer for the time spent on the rim if the damage cannot be fixed.
On top of repairing damaged wheels, some well equipped rim repair centers have access to huge databases of used OEM rims. In that case they will often be able to find an exact replacement, often for a fraction of the cost.