Misjudged your space to parallel park or bumped a curb to avoid hitting something else, your wheel may have suffered curb rash. Once you’ve given the damage a quick visual inspection, you’ll want to plan your next moves. If one of your wheels has scraped a curb and suffered damage.
More often than not, the rims take the brunt of curb-car encounters. The type of rims you have and the extent of the damage are the two factors that will determine the cost of repair or replacement. The more exotic or upscale the rim, the more a repair is going to cost.
The Four Main Types Of Rims:
Understanding the type of rim you have is important if you’re going to estimate the cost of repairing any curb damage.
- Steel wheel rim. Steel is durable and can withstand a lot of damage. If you have steel rims that are bent, try taking them to a professional for repair. Usually, they can be fixed.
- Chrome plated wheel rim. Curb damaged chrome wheels may require sandblasting and re-plating, which is generally quite expensive. Often times, it’s more cost effective to buy a replacement chrome rim.
- Aluminum alloy wheel rim. Produced from an alloy of aluminum, these rims are commonly offered on new vehicles. They are usually painted, and often have clear coat as well. If they’re bent, it is often difficult to fix them safely. If they’ve been scratched or scuffed up, they can be sanded and repainted.
- Plastic clad wheel rims. Plastic cladding often looks like chrome, but it’s much lighter (and cheaper) for the manufacturer. Unfortunately, it’s typically not possible to repair plastic that’s been damaged. Instead, you can either replace the entire wheel, or try to remove and replace the plastic cladding (which isn’t always possible).
Summing up: If you’ve got an alloy wheel, you’re looking at sanding and repainting. If you’ve got a chrome wheel, you’re looking at re-plating or replacing. If you’ve got a plastic clad wheel, you’re probably doing replacement only. And if you’ve got steel? You can just bend it back, paint it, and be on your way.
Aside from unrealistic preventative measures, like never parallel parking or controlling all outside forces of traffic, there are other options to save your rims and prevent the high cost of curb rash repairs.
RimBlades and RimSavers were created to improve the appearance of your vehicle and save you money. RimBlades stick to your alloy wheels and conform to protect easily. RimSavers provide an even higher level of durable protection and are also easy to install.