June 21, 2022

What to do if your alloy wheels are damaged

Picture this: you’re about to park up when you hear that dreaded crunch noise. You’ve scraped the pavement and run out to see the damage – you’ve scuffed the wheel!

It can be frustrating to have invested in smart alloy wheels only to get scuffs and cracks further down the line, but it’s all part of driving – these will naturally happen over the course of time.

However, the sort of care your wheels need totally depends on the severity of the damage. In this guide, we’ve broken down some of the most frequently asked questions about damages.

Can alloy wheels be repaired?

Yes, they can. Typically, the repair process for alloy wheels starts by cleaning the damages of any dirt or grime that may have accumulated since the damage was done. This will allow the mechanic to see the severity of the issue. There is usually no need to remove the wheel from the car, but a specialist will mask off the tyre to protect it during the repairs process.

Can alloy wheel scratches/scuffs be repaired?

As above, yes, scuffed alloy wheels can be restored to their pristine condition. The wheel is usually sanded down to remove the scratch or scuff. After this, the engineer will usually apply a primer and colour coded paint to make them look shiny and new again. This process only usually takes a few hours.

Can a bent alloy wheel be repaired?

Yes, it can be. It’s worth looking at getting this fixed ASAP as you could be putting both yourself and the vehicle at risk. You’ll probably feel a bit of shakiness while driving as your tyre is making uneven contact with the road. You may also find issues with tyre pressure on the affected wheel. 

Repairs specialists will straighten the wheels out for you. Getting this sorted quickly can help to avoid any further issues, such as cracks and buckling as a result of the bend. 

Can alloy wheel cracks and dents be repaired?

Yes, fillers can be used to repair any cracks in the wheel. Cracks are most commonly caused by bumping a kerb, going over potholes or uneven roads, which in turn can affect how well your car functions. Not to worry, though – this is something that can be fixed easily without needing to replace the wheel.

Although more serious cracks and dents can be identified visibly, if you’re worried about minor damages getting worse, there are crack detection sprays out there that will cover the affected area in dye so that you can see if any damage has been caused, especially if you know you hit a kerb badly that day!

It’s worth spotting these cracks early on. If they get worse, they can start to leak air, which can be a much more serious problem. This may even escalate into a complete blowout, so it’s important to seek help early.

My alloy wheels are leaking air, what do I do?

There could be a few reasons why your wheels are leaking air. The most common reason is corrosion around the ‘bed’, which is the inner rim where the tyre sits. This means that air is constantly being released from the gap, meaning you will have to constantly pump up the tyre like you would with a slow puncture. 

Speaking of slow punctures, this could be the cause too. It’s worth ruling this out before deciding that there is an issue with the alloy work. Your wheels could also be porous if they are very old and have seen quite a bit of damage already. 

If the damage is due to bed corrosion, an expert will remove the tyre and expect the inside ‘lips’ – this will show signs of damage. They will then grind out the damage and apply a primer. The tyre is then refitted and reinflated. 

Shouldn’t I just get a full refurbishment?

It’s completely up to you, but if your alloy wheels are seriously damaged then it might be worth considering. This involves completely stripping off the paint, adding lacquer and primer and finishing it up to look as good as new.

How can I prevent further damage?

Simply put, look after your vehicle! We recommend washing your wheels regularly to avoid dirt and grime that could cause further damage, but remember to wait five days after getting your wheels refurbished, or you could actually damage the new work that has been done. 

Regular washing will avoid a buildup of brake dust, which can damage the surface of the rim. If left for too long, you may have to end up paying for another refurbishment. Make sure to use a soft-bristled wheel brush to avoid swirl and scratch marks. Microfiber towels can give a nice finish to the wheels too.

For more information, check out our Complete Guide to Alloy Wheels. If this guide didn’t answer your question, or if you want to enquire about alloy wheel repairs, get in touch with us today – we love a good chat!

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