Whether it happens because of a pothole, beat-up railroad tracks or just an unexpected speed bump, a cracked car rim is a major inconvenience. Unlike a flat tire, though, it might not impact your driving immediately. You might even get all the way to your destination before you realize what’s happened to your wheel, and in a lot of cases, there’s no severe damage to be seen right away.
But give it enough time and a cracked rim can cause life-threatening consequences for you and anyone riding with you inside the car.
By denting inward or cracking completely, the rim is likely protruding into the tire itself and causing air to slowly seep out. It won’t be long before you’ve got a full flat on your hands, but before that, you might even run into more serious issues with your suspension. In other words, it’s extremely important to check your tires after every major bump you hit to ensure you’re not in need of any kind of rim straightening or other general autobody repair. Period.
Of course, money tends to throw a wrench into these kinds of best-laid plans. You’re likely hesitant to bring your car into a professional wheel repair shop because you fear an exorbitant fee for the service. But in most cases, you’re really only looking at between $100 and $150, depending on the damage and the service. The cost for rim refinishing tends to be comparable to the autobody repair, too.
There’s always a group of folks out there who thinks they can do it better themselves, and perhaps they’re right. But before you get to work stripping off all the wheels from your car and hosing them down, here’s a brief rundown of the kinds of materials you’re going to have to pick up in order to perform a proper cleaning on your rims:
- Terrycloth rags: $15
- Industrial scouring pad: $40
- Oven cleaner spray: $10
- 400 grit sandpaper: $20
- Aluminum brightening cleaner: $25
- Polishing agent: $25
That all adds up to a total of $135 — and remember, that’s cleaning polishing you did all yourself. That doesn’t include taking the time to remove your wheels beforehand or running around to different hardware and auto shops to gather up your materials. In the end, you’re paying about the same to do it yourself anyway, so ask yourself: Is it worth it?
For some folks, it absolutely is. But what’s listed above is really only good for cleaning refinishing. When it comes to serious autobody repair — especially when you’re dealing with your rims and tires — it’s always better to not take any chances. For more information or a proper quote on how much you can expect to pay for a professional service, get in contact with a rim repair business near you. Get more here.