All four rims bent?


#1

I’ve been having a problem with my 1998 Honda Civic pulling to the right recently. At the same time, I realized that the front right tire was having trouble holding air.



I took it to the shop asking for an alignment and a patch on the tire. They told me that all four of my rims are bent and needed replacing! I’ve had the car for 6 months and only recently had this problem.



I asked them if they thought the car had been in an accident before I bought it? They said no, that there was no evidence of an accident and it’s probably just driving on the terrible roads we have in Missouri. My husband and I are both in our 40s and neither of us have ever heard of/had a car with bent rims from just driving around town. Am I about to get ripped off?


#2

Yup.

I doubt all 4 are bent.

The vehicle is nine years old and if those rims are alloys, they are likely corroded enough so as to let air out.

When alloy wheels (rims) get corroded they won’t let the tire bead seal properly.

They MAY hold air until the wheel is remounted back on the vehicle and then start leaking as the wheel turns with the weight of the vehicle on them.

Some shops are better than others at cleaning the rims, but there’s no lasting guarantee for how long they’ll last.


#3

It is possible the rims are bent. You are not the original owner. Another owner may have done Bullitt stunts in the Ozarks and you are just not aware of it. I would get a second opinion, or at least have the shop show you with a gauge why they are sure that the rims are bent. The air loss is probably just a leaky air valve. Get a new valve stem and replace it yourself. You will need a stem tool, too. You should be able to get both the stem and tool for less than $5.


#4

You can check the rims yourself. It’s not rocket science. Jack up one of the rear wheels. Follow standard safety precautions. Spin the wheel and tire with your hand. It will spin freely if the E-brake is off. Watch the edge of the rim closely. Do you see and deformation as the wheel turns? Place a none-moving object like a screwdriver on some wooden blocks so the point of the screwdriver is about 1/8" from the edge of the spinning rim. Any “bent” rims will reveal themselves.

Swap the front tires side to side. Does it pull to the left now? If so, that’s a tire problem, not a wheel problem. Bent wheels don’t make a car “pull”. They make the steering wheel wobble back and forth…