Car owners everywhere are aware of the heavy expense that comes with purchasing and replacing auto rims. Whether you have driven your car against a curb or into a similarly hard object, the rim would likely at least be scratched or, depending on the rim type and your speed at the time of impact, may have bent. Because replacing can be so expensive, many often decide to forgo repairing a bent rim in favor of just leaving it there. However, it is possible to repair a bent auto rim without breaking the bank. To get a better idea, check out our brief guidelines on auto rim repair.
How Can Auto Rims Be Repaired?
While it does vary based on the circumstances, it’s possible to repair bent auto rims without having to fully replace the metal. It’s true most mechanics and specialty shops are qualified to repair rims, providing more higher quality, professional service than a DIY job. These services could cost a great deal, usually around $75 or more. To repair bent auto rims at home, individuals need jack stands and a hydraulic jack, a floor mat or blanket, a mallet, a propane torch, and a wood plank.
Before you can begin your repairs, you need to first get the rim off the wheel—a difficult aspect of repairing an auto rim. Since an auto rim is intended to fit securely onto a wheel, it may be tough to remove. To do this, plan to use either a prybar for removing the rim (after jacking the car up and removing the actual wheel) or take that tire to an expert and have him or her remove the auto rim. Admittedly, having a professional’s skills at hand for your peace of mind is typically worth the added cost, given it is easy to cause further damage to the auto rim or the tire should you pry off the rim incorrectly.
Repairing the Auto Rim
To repair your bent rim, use your blow torch to heat up a minor segment of the rim and hammer the bent part out against your wood plank. It could take some repetition before you can do this efficiently, so you might try practicing on another piece of similarly dense metal before attempting the auto rim. Heat your blowtorch up to its highest setting, and then direct it onto a small part of the auto rim for roughly two minutes. With the rim hot, clamp it against the wooden plank before using the mallet to even out any visible bent parts.
While you do this, you need protective gloves as well as other protective gear. If done wrongly, this process can quickly become dangerous, and it isn’t worth hurting yourself just to repair an auto rim. Be ready to reheat the rim and hammer it out a few times to mold it back into its original form.
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