What’s Cheaper? Rim Repair Vs Rim Replacement

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Buckled alloy wheel repair, Rim mounting and balancing

Buckled alloy wheel repair

Vehicle rims are some of the most durable parts on a car, but when those rims break, they have the potential to cause serious road accidents.

However, your first shop when your rims break down shouldn’t be a parts shop, especially if you have high-end custom rims. Visiting a wheel repair specialist for rim repair instead of buying new wheels can actually save you money.

Alloy wheel repair or is one of the quickest repair jobs for rims, so don’t toss them if you’re having problems with creased barrels, scratches or cracks. Aluminum is especially malleable so it’s easy to reshape rims using heat in only a few hours, and it can cost as little as $125.

Bent wheel repairs can be done at home if you have the right tools, but if not, drop it off with a wheel repair specialist. The mechanic will heat the wheel to soften it, then use a hydraulic press to straighten the center out and remove any bends on the lip. They can also weld additional material onto the rim if any of it has been lost, then the rim is polished and coated.

Tire refinishing can be a little more expensive if you take your rims to a wheel repair specialist, especially if you want your wheels re-plated. Unlike bent and alloy wheel repair, you can actually do this repair at home and get fairly good results, at least from far away. Look up what abrasive material will work best with the types of rims you have and polish them often.

With any wheel repair, it’s a good idea to compare the cost of doing something at home versus visiting a professional. If you have the supplies and the know-how, or you’re willing to learn, save some money by repairing your rims at home. If you’re unsure, visit your local wheel repair specialist. Either way, you’ll probably be saving more money than you would if you just bought new rims, so it’s well worth the extra effort.

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