Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2006 Sienna Bent Steel Rim

My wife was driving home and had to swerve around some debris, she almost made it. Ended up clipping the debris with the right rear tire. Lost the hub cap and put a small dent in edge the rim, pushed it in about a 1/8" to 1/4". The tire has no visible damage and is not losing air. The van drives and steers normally. No body damage either.

I have a picture but haven’t figured out how to post it. Since the dent is small and no air is being lost, I’m going to keep driving it for now. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Any suggestions on who to contact to repair the rim or is it necessary for a small dent. At least it’s not aluminum.

Ed B.

I’d want someone to inspect the tire, especially the sidewall, to make sure it hasn’t been damaged. Whatever hit the rim hard enough to damage it also hit the tire, which is not as strong as the rim.

You may also want to have to wheel checked to see if it’s bent, and I don’t mean the small ding you can see.

The small dent can probably be ignored as long as it’s not causing a leak. There are lots of people driving around with small dents on the rims of their steel wheels.


Thanks for the reply, it’s almost word for word what my mechanic told me this morning. There isn’t any danger of the tire coming off or blowing out, but he suggested I replace the rim eventually and have the inside of the tire inspected after it’s dismounted. I worked on the dent with a 4 lb sledge (at his suggestion) and got most of it out. I’ll order a new rim and have it mounted. Until then I’ll keep an eye on it.

Thanks again,

Ed B.

Yes, do keep an eye on it until you get the chance to replace it. Many years ago, a friend did “a 180” on a curve, and wound up hitting a pole. The cause was the dented rim on the right rear of his rear-engine VW.

Under certain conditions-such as when the suspension was subject to excessive camber on curves–the tire apparently lost a lot air. Normally, it held air fairly well (lost about 3 lbs per month), but this pressure loss was greatly accelerated by the forces exerted on the tire and its bead on curves.

As we all know, those old VWs were treacherous on curves when low rear tire pressure allowed the tire to run over on its sidewall. While the Sienna has better, more predictable handing than an old VW, I would suggest that you replace that wheel sooner, rather than later.

As was suggested, the tire was hit as hard as the rim - and since rubber isn’t as strong as steel, it might be best to replace the tire.

The tire may now have a broken belt in it. Also if the rim is bent you may not be able to get an alignment until it is replaced.

You could have called your insurance company for this incident and it would be considered comprehensive since debris does not belong in the road. If covered a different rim, possibly a tire and an alignment would have been paid for ( if a tire or rim is contacted normally alignments are included). Since you beat the current rim with a hammer you chances may be over, don’t know.

Just an update, the van has been driving fine on the bent rim and the tire hadn’t lost any pressure after a few weeks of local driving. Howevermthe missus and the kids talked me into taking on a highway trip to Philadelphia. After we arrived, I noticed a bump in the sidewall at the impact point.

I decided to order 4 new tires from Tire Rack and am having them installed today. The OEM tires had 25k and I would have probably have had to replace them at 30k any way. I prefer to replace tires 4 at a time, especially on the family vehicle. The mechanic is going to check the rim and I’ll have that replaced if needed.

Again thanks for the advice,

Ed B.

That sounds like a good decision.


I hope you don’t mind being used as an object lesson.

Inspite of advice to replace the tire, this tire was driven on for many miles and the tire developed a bulge. This could have easily become a blowout - and if the blowout had occurred at high speed, could have resulted in … well, something tragic.

The lesson here ought to be: If you’ve done enough damage to dent a wheel, replace the tire.


Thank you for the kind words. I picked up the van tonight with the new tires. The rim is fine, other than the bent lip there was no other damage to the rim. Other than a small bump on the sidewall there was no visible damage to the tire externally or internally. Based on my wife’s description it appears the impact was a glancing blow at best.

It turns out the front brakes are at 30%, so I will have them replaced at the next oil change. The missus must be autocrossing when I’m not looking.

Ed B.