Upon impact against potholes, raised manholes or after hitting road curbs, new tire rims will often bend as opposed to traditional steel wheels that are more inclined to crack. The bending tires are primarily made of an aluminum-nickel alloy that makes them soft and less brittle.
However, regardless of the cause of the bend, you need to know how to fix a bent rim if you are to escape the cost implications that come with rim replacement. Armed with a source of heat, a wooden bar, car jack, and a hammer, here is the comprehensive guide on how to go about the process.
Whether you choose to do it yourself or consult a professional to fix your rim, these tips will always come in handy.
Jack up the car and remove the tire
It goes without saying that unlike other car wheel problems such as wheel alignment that can be done with the car intact, you can’t fix a bent rim with the wheel mounted on the vehicle. It has to be removed and the rim separated from the tire as the process involved heating that may destroy or wear out the rubber tires.
Heat and hammer the bent area
Using a propane blow torch, carefully heat the bent area with the full bore flame for two to three minutes. While hot, place a wooden bar on the rim and hammer it against the curved lip.
Avoid hitting directly into the hot rim as the pressure from such an impact might crack the rim. Rather use a wooden block as it helps spread the impact on the wheel thus reducing the level of impact by spreading it over a larger area on the wheel. Repeat this process until the damaged part straightens back to its original shape.
Check for a toned roundness using a dial indicator
You don’t just want to fix your rim because the bend is displeasing to look at. You also want to avoid the motoring challenges such a bent rims cause such as unnecessary vehicle vibrations while on the move.
Therefore, it is important that you check if the bend correction was successful using a wheel dial indicator. Just mount the wheel back on the vehicle and spin it. The dial checks for variations and sideway turns with the fixed rim. If such variations exist, jack up the car and repeat the hammering process until they straighten fully.
The best thing about learning how to fix bent rim using the hammering method is that it is inexpensive and also gives you full control of the correction process. It is nonetheless advisable that you engage the services of rim repair expert, especially if you have little to zero experience with the hammering process of fixing car rims.
Other methods used to fix your rim
Apart from the hammering process, you can also consider learning how to fix a bent rim using the cold rolling or the hydraulic assistance technologies. With the cold roller technique, powered rollers are pressed against the wheel as it spins on a lathe. The main different between hammering and cold rolling is that the latter doesn’t require heating in straightening bent lips.
Such forced straightening techniques often result in rim cracks. And even if the rim survives the crack, the process softens the wheel thereby predisposing it to more bends from slight impacts.
On the other hand, the hydraulic assistance technique involves placing the rim on a rack and identifying variations on the rim roundness using a dial gauge. The wheel is then heated and using the rams on the rack; a skilled operator can then straighten out the bent areas by pressing them inwards or outwards.
The process is a technological improvement of the hammering technique. However, it isn’t readily available to the customary wheel straightening market as it remains proprietary innovation of selected wheel dealers.
Lessons on how to fix a bent rim come in handy for every motor vehicle owner. Such knowledge helps you save loads of cash that you would ordinarily use to replace the wheel rim. Most importantly, you learn about the effects of the different straightening methods used to fix your rim. In this regard, you are better informed on which technique to use and which to disallow, such as the cold rolling process, even when suggested by a rim repair professional.
That’s why an accurate digital tire pressure gauge can be a life-save sometimes.
My name is Stlella Grant. I am atrained mechanic with years of experience. Thanks to years experience I have plenty to share on auto maintenance and am willing to help you make your automobile work smooth – from the inside out. Visit to Speedfinal.com to know more information about Automotive you may need.