How to Spot the Warning Signs of a Bent Rim

A bent rim is not only a cosmetic issue. Most bends on the front face of the rim are irreparable. That means…if you notice damage to your rim, you most likely need a replacement.

Rim damage can also lead to a tire blowout or other mechanical issues – putting you at great risk on the road. Therefore, you must ALWAYS be on the lookout for warning signs of a damaged rim.

But sometimes, bends on the inner lip of your wheel are more difficult to see without removing the entire rim from your vehicle. Such inner lip bends CAN – and should – be repaired.

Need help diagnosing a bent rim? Keep an eye out for the following signs that your rim is bent and needs replaced.
 

1) NOTICEABLE VIBRATION

When your rim is bent, the damage will cause your tires to make uneven contact with the road’s surface. This will, in turn, create noticeable vibrations and shakiness you’ll be able to feel while you drive. 

If one of your front wheels is bent, you’ll be able to detect the vibration through your steering wheel. Meanwhile, if a rear wheel is bent, you’ll be more likely to feel the vibration through your seat or throughout your entire vehicle.
 

2) POOR HANDLING

The shakiness of your vehicle and steering wheel (as well as the decrease in tire pressure) can have a significant impact on your ability to control your vehicle. While there are various other mechanical problems that can lead to poor handling, a bent rim is one of the most common culprits. 

If you sense a total lack of control, a bent rim may very well be the cause. Alternatively, if your steering wheel naturally favors one direction and requires extra force to turn the other way, you may be dealing with an alignment issue.
 

3) UNEVEN WEAR ON TIRE TREAD

As your affected tires continue to make uneven contact with the road, your tire tread will wear rapidly and inconsistently. Flat spots and abnormal patches of wear on your tires are clear indications that your rim might be damaged.
 

4) CONTINUED TIRE DEFLATION

Your rims are designed to fit snugly inside your tire and must always be in pristine condition to keep your tires from leaking air. A bent rim can either pull away from or push against the rubber of your tire, increasing the likelihood of air leaks and flat tires. If you have to fill your tires with air every few days or weeks, check your rims.
 

5) VISIBLE RIM DAMAGE

The most obvious way to tell whether your rim is bent is to inspect your wheels for dents or abnormal protrusions regularly. While some rim damage is easy to see without removing your rim, some damage hidden in the inner lip of your wheel can be more challenging to notice. 

If you notice any of the above 4 warning signs, you will want to do a more thorough inspection of your rims or bring your vehicle by the Rimguard Inc. shop for a professional rim inspection.
 

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