Aluminium wheels are found on passenger vehicles and on many ATVs. Aluminium is a softer metal than many other types of wheels and can become riddled with small dings. They can also become bent near the edge where the rim meets the tire, causing the tire to leak air. Since aluminium is soft, it can be reshaped using a few simple tools and some patience.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Automotive body hammer
- Thick towel
Lay the rim down on a flat surface with a thick towel or cardboard acting as a cushion. Aluminium wheels scratch easily so extra care must be taken when laying the wheel on a flat surface.
Look at the wheel and the damaged area to get a good idea of where the high spots are. High spots are the areas around a ding or dent. These high spots need to be beaten down evenly in order to repair the dent. Place a thick towel over the end of the body hammer and tap all the way around the dent, on and around the high spots. Don't hit too hard, but use more force than a gentle tap. The towel should soften the blow enough to not leave a mark on the wheel.
Run your fingers along the edge of the wheel where the damage is. This will let you know which side is high and bent out of shape. Place the towel over the hammer and gently tap on each side until the edge feels straight.
Tips and warnings
- Don't beat the wheel too much or you will risk losing the structural integrity of the wheel, especially along the rim where the tire seals to it.