Have you inadvertently damaged your precious wheel rims by hitting a curb or a pothole at high speeds? It can happen even to the most careful of drivers, and the jerk knee reaction is often
Have you inadvertently damaged your precious wheel rims by hitting a curb or a pothole at high speeds? It can happen even to the most careful of drivers, and the jerk knee reaction is often to have them replaced. If you’re reading this though, then you’re probably wondering if opting to have a damaged wheel rim is genuinely a good option.
Now you might not have thought about it, but a damaged wheel rim is something that you’ll have to deal with at some point in your vehicle’s service life. Run over a small pothole with just enough force and less than sufficient tire pressure and you can end up with a nasty crack on your wheel rim. As a result, you may have difficulty using your steering wheel and your tires will break down quicker (among other things).
Pros and cons of replacing a damaged wheel rim
Many auto experts are quick to recommend replacing a damaged wheel rim with an OEM unit. Such rims are specifically designed for your vehicle’s make and model so car owners will be able to preserve its original performance and not have to worry about compatibility issues. That said, going this route has its share of challenges.
While tires are relatively easy to replace and you can buy them from just about any auto shop store in the country, the same is not true for a wheel rim. The easiest way to replace a wheel rim is to go back to your car dealer to see if they have them available. OEM replacements tend to be very expensive and even if you have no qualms buying one, they may not have them in stock, especially if your car model is a few years old.
The average cost for an alloy rim replacement is around $400 per unit or $1600 per set. That applies to all vehicles and not just high-end luxury units. For most people, that’s a significant amount of money, given the current state of the economy. Even if you can afford these prices, it can take weeks and even months to secure a replacement.
Pros and Cons of Wheel Rim Repairs
Do you think that there’s no way you can afford the prices mentioned above for an alloy wheel replacement? Fortunately, there’s another option that you can take, which is to opt for a wheel rim repair. Thanks to the latter, even severely bent and damaged rims can be restored to excellent condition. Cracks can be welded back together and polished to leave no evidence of repairs for less money than you would otherwise have to pay securing replacements.
Now some might argue that rim repairs aren’t that reliable and that it’s impossible to restore a damaged rim to its original condition. While that may have been true decades ago, the industry has improved leaps and bounds over the years. Most service centres that offer Alloy wheel repairs employ cutting edge machinery that can restore a bent wheel rim to its original shape with utmost precision. They also use metal refinishing techniques to recondition the rims from the inside out. As a result, a repaired wheel rim can offer the same look and performance as that of a replacement unit for a fraction of the cost.
As an added step, some wheel rim repair centres will offer to install and balance the wheels on your vehicle to guarantee their work thoroughly. In most modern service centres, rim repairs can be completed within 24 hours. This means that you won’t have to struggle for days without access to a working vehicle or sit around waiting for a replacement. As you might imagine, quicker repairs can be incredibly helpful, primarily if you depend on your car daily.
Of course, there will be instances when the damage to the wheel rim is so extensive that it cannot be restored even by the most modern repair equipment available. That said, such cases are rare, which means that it is well worth bringing your rims in for a thorough check. If repairs are not viable, you can expect a reputable service centre to tell you, and at the very least, you’ve exhausted your options and confident that you have no other recourse but to seek a replacement.