You just ran your car through the local car wash. Ah, now your car is nice and shiny! You’re drying your car, and…wait a minute. Are those scratch marks on your beautiful alloy wheel? Then you remember – yesterday you lent your car to your teenage daughter, who just got her driver’s license. Yikes!
What will you do?
Buy a new wheel? Well, expect to pay anywhere from $300 – $1,200 a pop.
Your other choice? Have your alloy rim cosmetically repaired so it looks like new again. For today’s article, we interviewed Manny Heredia of Rims Like New. He’s been repairing wheel rims for almost 13 years now, and he’s got some tips to share with us today! We’ll cover the following topics:
- How you can get the scratches on your wheels fixed
- If it’s possible to change the color of your rims
- Why you need to have your bent wheel repaired
- Why it’s important to make sure that the business you use offers a warranty
How can I fix my wheel scratches, bubbles, and peeling paint?
We asked Manny what options a person has for repairing or refinishing their rims. He shared, “Well, that depends on the issue your wheel is having. For example, are your rims’ finishes peeling or bubbling? We can refinish these and even powder coat them. Of course, this depends on how much of a budget a customer has and how finicky they are about how it looks. So, are you looking for a facelift or do you want a perfect showroom finish? We have the ability to make it look new or to simply make it look better than it did before. The choice is up to you.”
What about the scenario we talked about – a teenaged driver scratches the rims on the curb when parking the car? “We have different options for this as well depending on how perfect they want the rim to look afterward,” Manny said. “We can make it look good to the eye so no one can tell there was a problem before. We provide different levels of service depending on your budget. Overall it’s still worth it compared to buying a new one.”
Can I have the rims of my car custom painted?
What if someone wants different-colored rims? Do they have to buy new ones? “We can change the color,” Manny said. “For example, we have done red rims, pink rims, and black matte rims. We can also machine them.”
What if someone has pitted chrome rims? Can you change the color on these too? “Yes. We can sandblast them to remove the chrome finish,” he explained. “Then we can powder coat them to any color that you want.”
Why are potholes the nemesis of low profile tires and rims?
Manny shared, “Sometimes I have people tell me, ‘My tire went flat. I filled it with air and it was fine for a few weeks. Now all of a sudden it is flat again. What happened?’ Where the rim is bent, it sometimes pulls the tire enough so that it holds the air. However, when the wheel is in a certain position, the weight of the car pushes the air out of the tire, causing it to go flat quickly. That can happen easily.”
“Other times you get a flat tire immediately, like when you hit a curb hard enough or a big pothole. By the way, if this happens I encourage you to get your rim fixed immediately. If you ride on the tire with no air in it the rim will literally cut the inside of the tire. Eventually, the cords, which hold the tire together, will fail,” Manny said.
Can the driver tell that something’s wrong right away? “The funny thing is that on the outside the tire will look perfectly fine,” Manny said. “However, on the inside, it will be shredded to pieces. You will now have to buy a new tire. So, I recommend that you fix it quickly and save yourself the cost of a tire. Unfortunately, this happens often. Especially with low profile tires. People are surprised how quickly the bend will start cutting into the tire on the inside. Sometimes they don’t believe us, so we have to show them the shredded threads for them to take this risk seriously.”
What if the tire place told me that the wheel is bent?
Sometimes you might hear this if you have your car’s wheels balanced or you get new tires. So, that raises the question: is fixing a bent rim a need or a luxury?
“The consequence of driving on a bent rim with low air or no air is having to buy a new tire plus having to pay for the rim to be fixed afterward,” Manny explained. “How much would it cost you to replace your tire? Every car is different. Many good tires are $150 – $200 each. Bent wheels also have additional hidden costs. If you let it go, it eventually affects your steering, your suspension, and your alignment, so over time the cost of fixing these things increases.”
Do you offer a warranty for repairing bent rims?
“I guarantee the rim will hold air and balance out on the tire machine,” Manny said. “If the wheel can’t be balanced and it’s a little off, I will tell you so. Then you have 2 options: you can live with it, or you can buy a new one. If you decide to live with it, I’ll give you a discount because it isn’t within the “rounded” specifications we shoot for. On the other hand, if you want to buy a new rim…Then I’ll eat the labor. I want you to take that money and put it towards buying your new rim. So, it’s a risk-free offer. I assume all of the risks. There is nothing to lose by trying.”
Does my car insurance cover this?
Here are a few things to consider:
- First, talk to your car insurance agent.
- Next, what’s your deductible? Most repairs are under $200 a wheel.
- You might want to pay for cosmetic repairs out of pocket, instead of risking your premiums going up.
We want to thank Manny for talking with us today. You can learn more at Manny’s website. This ends Part 1 of our article on repairing your alloy wheels. In Part 2, we’ll discuss how to fix a cracked rim.
Need car insurance? We can help you find a great rate for your car insurance! Just give us a call or fill out our quote form today.