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Everything You Should Know About a Bent Rim: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions

Everything You Should Know About a Bent Rim: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions

Many drivers may think that a bent rim is simply a very little inconvenience that doesn't require attention. But they should think again! A bent or broken wheel can be incredibly dangerous and costly. Blowouts can occur as a result of bent rims pinching and popping your tires. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


A bent rim can also cause mechanical issues and problems with your vehicle's handling and control. When you bend your tire rim, whether from slamming into a pothole or striking a curb, it may have a significant influence on how your vehicle operates as a whole. And when that happens you may find yourself in very dangerous circumstances. In this article we will talk about everything that you must know about a bent rim.

What Causes a Bent Rim

  • Driving into or across a curb


Although modern self-parking technology has reduced the dangers of parallel parking, obstacles can still appear in unexpected locations. Speed bumps and parking blocks in shopping mall lots wreak havoc on rims, especially for inattentive or rushing drivers who fail to see the bumps and blocks. It is not uncommon for a car to drive over a parking block, mistaking it for a paint stopper rather than a concrete stopper.

  • Driving on tires that are underinflated or have a low profile


Proper tire inflation is a fundamental aspect of automobile safety. Many drivers are unaware that underinflated tires can result in bent rims. Driving on tough roads with underinflated or low-profile tires exposes your rims to impact from bumps, pebbles, and ruts.

  • Corrosion


Metal corrosion can also be caused by winter road salt. While most vehicle owners consider rust to be largely an aesthetic concern, drivers should pay closer attention to this slow-moving wheel deterioration to better understand what causes bent rims. Even if some alloys are more resistant to corrosion or rust, all metals are susceptible.


Corroded rims are weakened rims and are more vulnerable to damage from a bad impact. Corroded rims can become uneven, and an uneven rim can eventually fail to make a good seal with the tire. Tires that deflate inexplicably are an indication of a faulty rim.

  • Potholes


Some cities are well-known for their pothole season in the spring. As the number of damaged axles and bent rims increases, massive potholes frequently earn a measure of local notoriety. Even if you don't drive in all four seasons, roads deteriorate and potholes appear


Potholes are formed by temperature variations, expansion and contraction, and water penetration. Potholes can appear to be innocuous tiny depressions in the road, and drivers don't realize how deep they are until the damage is done to their previously undamaged 2015 Toyota Camry rims, or until their beautiful hubcap is rolling down a hill.


Some establishments can fix minor rim damage. A severely damaged rim is a safety issue that can result in a flat tire or a blowout. When in doubt, replace your rim with a high-quality OEM component to ensure the safety of your vehicle's wheels.


Overall what causes a bent rim is a significant impact or blow on the wheel. Even whether your rims are composed of aluminum alloy, chrome, or steel, they are still prone to curbs, potholes, speed bumps, and other road hazards.


Common Symptoms That You Have a Bent Rim

  • There Is Invisible and Visible Damage To Your Wheel


Wheel damage is normally visible, but if you have big metal or plastic hubcaps, you may be unable to notice wheel damage. It should be rather simple to remove your hubcaps and inspect your tire and wheel for damage.


Inspect each tire after removing the hubcap to determine if there is any evident damage or deformation to your wheel. If there is, it must be repaired and straightened, or replaced if the damage is severe. Most of the time, you can spot a bent tire rim with your eyes, especially if it's constructed of aluminum (aluminum rims bend easier than steel rims). 


It is generally the first and only indication that your tire needs to be repaired. You may, however, bend the inside of your tire rim without leaving any evidence for the human eye to see. In these cases, the rim damage is frequently discovered during normal maintenance and wheel alignment.

  •  Shakiness and Vibration When Steering


When the rims of the front tires are broken, you will often notice it first in the steering wheel. Bent rear tires generate the symptoms of a wobbly automobile or vibrating seats. When a rim is deformed or broken, it causes your tire to make inconsistent contact with the road surface.


Although many different automobile problems might cause your vehicle to shake, a vibrating automobile, especially at high speeds, is a serious issue that requires an immediate visit to your mechanic or auto body repair shop.


Shakiness at the front, such as the steering column, indicates that your front rim has been damaged and bent, whereas vibration in your seat or farther behind your car indicates that the rim at the rear has been bent and damaged.

  • Your vehicle isn't driving as well as it used to.


A bent rim can cause issues with your tire pressure and other difficulties, as well as have a substantial influence on your vehicle's handling and performance. You may have a bent rim if your automobile feels “slushy” or if you can't manage it correctly. Perform a brief visual examination, or bring your vehicle to the Ride Time service center as soon as possible.


Bent rims typically have a difficult time establishing a proper seal with the tire, resulting in a loss of air pressure. As a result, your car's MPG will drop and steering will become more difficult. A bent rim can cause your automobile to wobble at high speeds and potentially result in a tire explosion in more severe circumstances.

  • Braking is affected.


Although pothole damage is unlikely to destroy your brake rotors, it will alter the way your car stops. When coming to a standstill, a significantly bent rim may cause your vehicle to pull to the side. This indication of a broken automobile rim is most visible when you have to stop suddenly, such as avoiding a fender-bender or stopping at a yellow light.

  • It's as though you're driving on a flat tire.


Your automobile’s performance will be affected once you have a severely damaged and bent rim. Damaged rims can mimic the symptoms of flat tires in a variety of ways. I will vibrate nonstop, produce rhythmic “thumping” noise when the vehicle is in motion. You can also experience pulling to the side where there is a bent rim, poor fuel efficiency and popping TPMS notifications during mid-drive. 


You may notice your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) going off on a frequent basis after striking a pothole. This is a classic indication that your bent rim has caused damage to the tire wall. Sometimes the PSI loss is gradual, requiring a visit to the air pump once or twice a month. If the damage to the wheel rim is substantial, you may wake up one morning to find the tire entirely flat.


Tire rims help to seal the air between the tire and the wheel, however this seal can be destroyed if the rim is twisted. In severe situations of auto rim damage, the tire itself may be jeopardized. If this is the case, you may require a new tire or, at the least, a tire patch in addition to bent rim repairs.


If left unrepaired for too long, the bent rims might potentially lead to a true flat tire or a total blowout at high speeds.

  • A tire that keeps deflating.


Your wheel is intended to be flush with your tire. When a wheel bends and pulls away from the tire, it can create air leaks or even push on the rubber, resulting in a flat tire. If your tire is rapidly degrading and you have to fill it every few days or weeks, you may have tire deterioration that is producing a slow leak. If you continue to drive on this tire, you may suffer a blowout.

Is It Possible To Repair A Bent Rim?


Whether or not a bent rim can be repaired depends on how damaged the rims are and the type of wheel you own. First and foremost there are three types of rims, steel, alloy and chrome.


Steel is not as appealing as alloy or steel. What it lacks in power, it more than makes up for in longevity and dependability on the road. Remember: they're extremely durable, making them very resistant to the continual wear and tear that many everyday commuters face on the road.


However, if you reside in a particularly humid area, steel wheels are not a good choice. This is also true if you live near a body of water, especially the sea. Steel rusts easily, especially when exposed to these kinds of conditions. You'll do better if you reside in drier areas with more manageable humidity.


Alloy tires, on the other hand, are lighter. Also they are actually highly buoyant when made using aluminum alloy. If that's the case, these are the ideal tires to use if you want to make every drop of fuel last as long as possible without hurting your car's speed and performance.


Alloy wheels are more malleable than steel wheels, allowing them to be molded and moulded into a wider range of sizes and forms. Heat is transferred more efficiently by alloys, which are made up of one or more metals and non-metallic components. This implies that it can withstand a greater braking force without warping or harming your vehicle's brakes.


Finally, chrome wheels are often inexpensive, and some are even less expensive than alloy tires. However, it is dependent on where you purchase it. You'd better brush up on your research skills for this one.


If you value appearance over all else, these wheels have a certain ‘pizazz' about them, and it's difficult not to notice their mirror-like gloss. It's an excellent choice if you want to make your car appear hotter and hipper, similar to the bling-blings' seen hanging (and practically suffocating) ‘gangsta' rappers.


Now that we have discussed the different types of rims let’s discuss whether or not they can be repaired. If you have steel wheels and the only problem is a bent rim, you may typically get the wheel fixed. Steel rims can be bent back into workable shape on some occasions, but the wheel will always be slightly off of balance. Fortunately, second hand steel wheels are inexpensive, and you may locate a suitable replacement at any junkyard.


But with alloy wheels it might be impossible to repair it.  The act of bending an alloy rim back into form weakens it. It's difficult to get one back precisely round, and it'll act as if it's constantly out of balance (and can't be properly balanced because the problem isn't weight distribution, but the form of the rim).


Even tiny bends can break if repaired, so it's typically best to just get a replacement wheel. There are shops that will attempt to fix these, but the wheel will never be the same, and the fixes may cause the wheel to become more brittle and prone to future damage. 


Chrome rims are often painted, and it is frequently simple to properly restore them if they become deformed. Minor scuffs and scratches can be readily repaired by sanding and repainting. So if you have a bent rim, examine your vehicle's wheel studs for bends or other indicators of damage anytime you repair or replace a rim.


With bent rims, alignment difficulties are prevalent, and if left unchecked, they can destroy your tires. When you collide with a curb, the power of the contact forces the wheel to travel in an opposite direction. 


The wheel is therefore out of line with the other three wheels on your car, causing steering problems. If left unchecked, the alignment will deteriorate over time, making it impossible to drive straight. So be sure to have your rim checked before it’s too late. Don’t wait until you cause further damage to your vehicle or worst get into an accident.