How to Repair a Bent Car Rim

Written by jim franklin
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How to Repair a Bent Car Rim
Potholes and other road hazards can bend car rims. (tyres and rims at display image by TekinT from Fotolia.com)

A car may suffer a bent rim from hitting a pothole, curb or other object. The speed at which the car hits the object is typically proportional to the damage. The faster the car is going at the time of impact, the worse the damage is likely to be. Repairing a bent rim can be done yourself with the right tools and expertise. It is important to understand how to use a blow torch, as you will be heating the rim to soften the metal and allow it to be reshaped.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Blow torch
  • Mallet
  • Wooden plank
  • Prybar
  • Jack
  • Tire blocks
  • Lug nut wrench
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Bead sealer
  • Soapy water

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Park the car on a level surface. Engage the parking brake.

  2. 2

    Place tire blocks or other block-type objects under the wheels of the car. This will prevent the car from accidentally rolling or moving.

  3. 3

    Use the lug nut wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the bent rim.

  4. 4

    Place the jack under the car where the bent rim is located. Follow manufacturer's guidelines on jack placement. Lift the wheel up with the car jack. Remove the lug nuts.

  5. 5

    Remove the wheel from the car.

  6. 6

    Remove all of the air from the tire. Remove the tyre's bleeder cap and press the inflation needle with the tip of a screwdriver to release the air.

  7. 7

    Use a prybar to remove the rim from the tire. Insert the bar in the seal between the rim and the tire. Gently pry the seal apart to remove the tire from the rim.

  1. 1

    Put on protective goggles, gloves and clothing to prevent burns.

  2. 2

    Heat the blow torch to its highest setting.

  3. 3

    Apply the heat from the blow torch on the rim where the bent area is located. Allow it to heat the rim for about two minutes.

  4. 4

    Turn off the blow torch.

  5. 5

    Hold a plank up against the rim while it is hot. Strike the plank with the mallet to smooth out the bent area.

  6. 6

    Allow the rim to completely cool.

  7. 7

    Clean the edges of the tire and the rim with a cloth to remove rust and dirt build-up.

  8. 8

    Place a thin coat of bead sealer on the bead or seam of the tire. Also apply it to the inside lip of the rim. This is the edge of the rim that is thinner and more rounded.

  9. 9

    Place the tire back on the rim by pushing it over the inside lip of the rim at an angle.

  10. 10

    Re-inflate the tire.

  11. 11

    Spray the tire with a mixture of soap and water. Check for any leaks by looking for air bubbles.

  12. 12

    Remount the tire onto the car.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are not comfortable repairing a bent rim yourself, you can take your car or wheel to a wheel repair shop.
  • It is very easy to cause further damage to the rim or damage the tire by trying to pry the rim off yourself. You can take the wheel to a professional shop and have the rim separated.
  • You may need to reheat the rim and hammer it several times in order to get it back to its original shape.

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