For car owners in the Northeast, springtime brings plenty of relief. No more freak blizzards to contend with on your commute home. No more spinning tires stuck inside a snowy parking lot. From now until November, it’s all blue skies and blooming foliage, right? Wrong.
Springtime brings all those things, but there’s another aspect that’s dreaded even more than the awful storms and deplorable road conditions during the winter — potholes. They hide beneath shiny puddles and wait for your car to strike them. When that happens, you could be looking at serious damage to your rim or your entire wheel. Potholes are the leading cause of why drivers across the nation need to fix up their rides once the snow finally melts.
The damage doesn’t just end with an off tire, either. Rim refinishing, rim straightening and cracked wheel repair are all common when dealing with potholes in the road. Here’s what you need to know to make those repairs happen.
DIY will only get you so far.
Entire garages and autobody repair shops have made their livelihoods from performing rim refinishing jobs. These places are stocked with professional who have years of experience under their belts, and if that’s any indication, this is the kind of task that’s not going to turn out quite right if you try to handle it alone in your garage. When you’re dealing with alloy and aluminum wheels, it’s nearly impossible not to scratch them up in the process of buffing out the damage. That’s why it’s always a good idea to let the pros handle it in.
Cracked rims can lead to serious problems.
Accidents happen. You might not spot a pothole until it’s too late, and when that happens, what can you do? Checking the perimeter of your car after every potential bump isn’t a bad idea in the springtime because it will alert you to any number of things wrong with your wheels and, more specifically, your rims. A cracked rim, if left unattended, can easily cause a tire to slowly lose pressure, eventually culminating in a treacherous blowout. Traveling at high speeds, a blowout can be deadly, so check your car frequently for wheel damage.
Low tire pressure is a recipe for disaster.
It’s easy to spot a flat. A parked car with one sagging wheel is a clear indicator, as is a car in motion suffering from loud flapping sounds and unsteady motion. But when it comes to tire pressure, it’s a bit harder to deduce. One tire at 20 psi cold and another at 30 psi cold look the same, but the lower one is dangerously under-inflated. The best way to check? Keep a gauge handy. Low tire pressure can account for steering issues as well as freak tire pops while you’re rolling down the highway.
Again, the best way to go about your rim refinishing or general wheel repair needs is to bring the car into a shop and let the pros take a look at it. They always have more years of experience than you do, so trust their expertise. It might just save your life.