When alloy wheels look their best, they are something to be proud of.
But when they’re damaged, your alloy wheels can have an impact on the overall safety of your car. They can damage your tyres and affect your steering and suspension.
This is in addition to spoiling the way your car looks.
It’s important not to ignore your car’s buckled alloys. Not only can alloy straightening improve your car’s safety, but it will also improve your driving experience.
How do alloys get damaged?
The simple pothole is often the biggest culprit where buckled alloy wheels are concerned.
As you drive over a pothole, you might experience that worrying tell-tale thud. A bent wheel rim is often the result and can be very expensive to replace.
Do buckled alloy wheels need replacing?
Only occasionally do bent wheel rims require full replacement; more often than not they can be repaired using specialist alloy straightening equipment.
You’d be surprised how buckled metal can be returned to an almost-new condition. When it’s done right, this process could save you a fortune.
Why can’t I drive with buckled alloys?
Aesthetically speaking, you may decide that you can live with your buckled alloys, especially if the damage doesn’t look too bad from a distance. But this should not be your main concern.
A buckled wheel can cause unnecessary vibration, leading to premature failute of other parts such as wheel bearings, ball joints and your car’s suspension.
Is alloy wheel straightening expensive?
Alloy wheel straightening is nowhere near as expensive as many of the alternatives, like replacing alloys completely or leaving them to do damage to your car.
Alloy wheel repairs usually cost less than £100, even if the damaged alloys need to be welded. Alloy straightening is not a process that takes all day – if the alloy can be saved, a straightening repair is actually a fairly quick job.
How can I tell if alloy straightening is essential?
If your alloys are visibly damaged, then it’s always worth getting them checked out. In the vast majority of situations, even minimal damage can have a big impact on your car.
Other signs to look out for are poor car handling, frequent drop in tyre pressure or even a vibration through the steering wheel or whole car, if the bend in the wheel is severe enough.
What’s involved in an alloy wheel repair?
Your alloy wheels may need to be heated and bent back into place. In cases where the alloys are significantly damaged, hydraulic pressure may push them into shape. Specialist equipment can be used to maximise the success of these techniques, ensuring your alloy wheels function as good as new even if you thought they would need replacing.
If the alloy wheel is cracked and very badly damaged, it may still be saved with welding. This service can be provided at the same time as your alloy is being straightened.
A full alloy wheel cosmetic refurbishment can also be undertaken whilst your wheel is being repaired, ensuring that not only are your alloy wheels buckle free but that they also look as good as new.
Why choose repair over replacement?
Your car may well fail its MOT with a buckled wheel, but there’s far more at risk than the certificate.
Alloy wheel replacement can cost between £400 and £1500, meaning it’s often beyond the average household budget. Many cars have alloys as standard, with few people considering those extra costs when they’re picking out a car in the showroom. Yet, the high price of alloy replacements should not stop you from acting when they’re damaged.
Alloy wheel refurbishment is a budget-friendly alternative. Your alloy wheels can look as good as new, without the budget-breaking price tag.