You’re driving down the road, just cruising along on your way home from work, when BAM! What was that noise? Turns out you hit a nasty pothole, and when you get to your house you realize that your tire has lost air pressure.
In Part One of this series, we talked to Manny Heredia of Rims Like New about your options for having a scratched or bent alloy rim repaired. In Part Two, we’ll talk with Manny about what you can do if your rim is cracked. Today we will answer the following questions:
- If my wheel is cracked, can I go to any welder to repair it?
- Is it safe to drive on a cracked rim that was welded?
- How can a rim repair business guarantee that a weld won’t cracking again?
- How can I choose a good rim repair company?
What options do you have if the tire shop tells you that you have a cracked rim?
Don’t jump to the conclusion that you have to scrap your old alloy rim and buy a buy a new one. The truth is that cracked wheels can be welded.
But can you go to any welder to repair it? “Sure, you could have someone weld it,” Manny said – but there’s a catch. “However, every time a wheel is cracked, the impact causes the rim to be out of round. In other words, it’s now also bent. That means your tire will be out of round also. Your tires perform best when they’re truly round. If you don’t [have it fixed], it will cause problems like we have discussed. The part that’s bent will cause the tire to wear flat in that spot. This will cause premature tire wear. You’ll have to replace your tire sooner and you’ll still be left with the same problem … A bent rim. Once you have new tires the problem cycle begins all over again. The sooner you repair it the better.”
So, what does Manny do differently? He said, “Prior to fixing the crack, we straighten the rim. We have an expensive machine that measures the wheel’s roundness to thousandths of an inch to determine its trueness. It also tells us where to push or pull to make it round again. Our goal is to make the rim round again to 15 thousandths of an inch. Which is a total run out of 30,000 thousandths of an inch. Our goal is 30 or better. This will allow the rim to function normally. Then we will weld the crack afterward.”
Is it safe to drive on a cracked rim that was welded?
“Many people view the weld as a weakness,” Manny said. “In fact, most weld shops won’t guarantee a weld on a car rim for that reason. In the beginning, we had to outsource all our welding work. The welders didn’t like talking about a warranty for their work. They assumed that the person driving would hit a pothole and it might crack again. But I stand behind my workmanship and quality. In fact, I guarantee the welds to fix cracked rims for as long as the person owns the car.”
How can a weld be guaranteed to not crack again?
“It’s funny. I’ve had wheels come back after they’ve cracked, but they cracked in another location,” Manny said. “My welds survived the pot hole. The same goes for pulling out the bends. The tremendous force used to straighten out the aluminum rim has not broken my welds either. Remember, this is up to 12 tons of hydraulic force and my welds hold up. Will another company guarantee this? I don’t know. All I know is that I do, and that says a lot about the quality of work that we do. This should satisfy the concerns of anyone that is concerned about driving on a cracked rim that is welded.”
However, the best way for any driver to avoid cracking their rims in the first place is to be a cautious driver. Watch the road in front of you at all times. Avoid potholes and road debris to begin with and save yourself some headaches and money later on.
Why not buy a new rim?
“Generally, on a low-end car like a Honda Fit, Subaru Imprezza, or a Nissan Sentra, a simple aluminum alloy wheel starts at $300 each. When you look at a Cadillac, Lincoln, or a Corvette you are looking at up to $1,000 or more per rim. Sure, you can try a junkyard. But remember, those cars were in an accident. The odds are that those rims are bent also!”
Manny told us, “Our cosmetic repairs start at $99. Fixing bent wheels also starts at $99.” That’s a heck of a deal compared to buying a $1,200 wheel! It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
How can you choose a good rim repair company?
Manny shared the following tips to choose the best wheel repair company to work on your car.
- “First go to Google and social media. Check to see if the company has reviews. I am sure every once in a while you’ll find a disgruntled customer that can never be satisfied. But overall there should be plenty of satisfied customers.”
- “Make sure they have proper liability insurance to work on your car. Ask to see a copy of their insurance to see if it’s up to date.”
- “One of the most important things, however, is if they stand behind their work. The right rim company is the one that is willing to stand by its work and compensate their customers if they are not 100% happy.”
We hope that you found this two-part article on how to choose a business to repair your wheels helpful! To learn more, you can visit the Rims Like New website here.
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