You might have noticed the rims of your tires are slightly bent. This is a common occurrence that happens every once in a while, often the result of potholes so you need not worry.
Bent rims occur as a result of several things that happen on the road. But how do you know your rim is bent?
If while driving you notice that your vehicle is shaky or the steering wheel is vibrating, there is a chance that your you have a bent rim. This is due to the tire not making even contact with the road thus resulting in a shaky vehicle.
If you tend to use a little more fuel than necessary, you might want to check if your rims are bent. With the current inflation, consuming more fuel than necessary is something you might want to avoid. Therefore, ensure that the rims are straight by scheduling a monthly check-up at your mechanic.
Bent rims can cause extensive damage to your vehicle if left unrepaired. For instance, your car’s axles can start shifting due to the instability of the car. The tires can also be damaged as the rim will most likely poke into them damaging perfectly good rims.
Rims are bent most primarily due to heavy impact caused on the road. Continuous impact over time makes the rims bent and may even cause some to break. Driving over potholes and uneven roads may cause immense damage to the rims, therefore, slotting you in for a rim straightening appointment.
Depending on the extent of the bend, there are several ways you can employ to straighten out a bent rim. However, some rims may be too bent to repair. In such cases, a rim replacement is considered the best option to take.
Having a small background in rim straightening can help you straighten out even the most stubborn bends. However, the rim bend should not have blown off the tires and should be most probably a minor dent.
In such a case, you can heat the alloy area with a blow torch and pound it out with a dead blow hammer while protecting the rim with some hardwood pieces that are the shape of the rim. This should help in restoring the rim to its original state. This should however only be considered in minor rim bends. This method will however leave some marks on your rim due to the pounding. This method is only feasible for alloy rims.
It is advisable to get rim straightening specialists for aluminum rims as this lessens the chances of destruction. Aluminum rims are sensitive and require professional effective methods to straighten them that cannot be done at home.
This is the surest way of straightening out bent rims. Not only is the risk of breaking greatly minimized, but professional services also ensure that all aspects are taken into consideration.
Professional rim straightening services have many forms of ensuring that your rim is well straightened and your tires are fine. The specialists will first inspect to analyze the extent of the bend. This will help them in determining the method to use for straightening and the one that will leave the least scratches on your rims.
Front and side-bends can prove to be a challenge when straightening, and a careful and tactical approach needs to be done to ensure the rim is properly straightened. As most rim straightening techniques require the application of pressure, the position of the rim is vital in ensuring the right amount of pressure is applied.
The specialist will thereafter use a straightening system that aims in applying pressure to the affected part of the rim. With the use of specialized machinery and tactical operation, the rim is slowly and carefully manipulated to ensure that it is fully circular and able to fit the tires perfectly once again.
The tires are then mounted and fastened on the rims, and the vehicle is tested to ensure that it balances well on the ground. This entire process does not take long and hugely depends on the extent of the rim bend.
What to consider when choosing a rim straightening specialist
It is important to go to professional rim specialists, as they are well versed and equipped with handling this specialized machinery. It is important to check certification and permits to ensure that you do not get a raw deal and end up paying money that would otherwise go to waste after a botched job.
It is also important to ensure to visit a local specialist to avoid paying more than is required. Out-of-town rim straightening specialists may cost considerably more as they are not stationed around. Therefore, the cost of driving out to meet you at your residence might cost you considerably more than a local specialist.
The specialist should also have excellent customer service. You wouldn’t want to have a problem with your rim and have to wait endlessly with no communication or feedback. Specialists who are accommodating and able to offer round-the-clock services are lifesavers who can save you from the inconvenience of having to tow your car to another location as you wait. It is best to check for reviews and ratings before settling on a specialist.
Importance of rim straightening
Apart from avoiding more damage to your car, rim straightening ensures that there is no excessive wear and tear on the vehicle. Driving with bent rims can cause irreparable damage to your car, making you budget for new tires and a new axle, among other things.
The vehicle can also have permanent suspension and balancing issues that make a constant visit to the mechanic your daily routine. The tires can be prone to losing pressure and even blowing out with a faulty and bent rim.
It is therefore advisable to conduct a bimonthly or monthly checkup of your rim especially if you are prone to drive on uneven and corrugated roads.
With different variations and technologies in rim straightening, there are endless possibilities that can ensure your car remains in tiptop condition. You can also adopt rim refinishing if you want unique and special additives on your rim after a straightening appointment.