Part Two – How to choose a business to repair an alloy wheel

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.

  1. “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.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “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.

If you need home, car, life, or renters insurance, we can help! Just fill out our quote form and you’ll be on your way. We’ll get you a quote for free! 

Part One – How to choose a business to repair an alloy wheel

There may come a day when you need to get a wheel replaced or repaired.

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.”

Driving on a bent wheel can shred your tire.

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 the company you're considering offer a warranty for the wheel?

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.


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