Banged something in road going ~45mph

I was going about 45mph and got a BANG. I dont know what I made an impact with. Drove the last 2 miles home and nothing felt any different. No vibrating of my steering wheel, breaking seemed normal…but my hubcap is gone.

Is there any other damage? I assume I may need to test for possible tire alignment?


The rim is slightly bent at the 7:00 o:clock position.



Yeah, that was gonna be my guess. What would you recommend, get a new one?

I’d hit it with a 5 lb maul and straighten it out.


Like a sledge hammer?

A maul is a baby sledge hammer, easier to control than a full size sledge. I used a 4 lb maul to straighten out a worse dent on my 2010 Cobalt front wheel (steel) a week ago. If you can check the back of the wheel for a similar dent. It doesn’t look too bad but keep an eye on the tire pressure and check for the tire sidewall for any bumps/bulges for the next week or too.

A few years back the Missus hit some road debris with her minivan. The steel wheel had a good size dent which I hammered out. The tire looked undamaged but about a week later the sidewall developed a bulge at the impact point. The tire was replaced.

Ed B.

It’s also called a drilling hammer.


Use a pipe wrench. The jaws can easily grab the lip of the rim and bend the metal as you go.Hope you have one in your toolbox.

Don’t hit the rim hard. If light tapping doesn’t do the trick, hit a little harder. Don’t try to get it straight in one bang. You will likely overdo it and have the rim bent too far in the opposite direction.

I dont. But I have a few friends in the engineering department at work. They may toss one my way.

If the wheel can be balanced and you don’t feel the bent rim when you drive, I wouldn’t mess with it.

Pay attention to the way the car drives. Does it pull one way or the other? Does it stop smoothly? Also, watch the tire wear. It may need to be realigned.

If the wheel will balance and the tire holds air then you don’t have to bother trying to straighten it.

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That rim may have been bent a long time ago, and all you did was lose a wheel cover???

Probably when you ran over the neighbors dog. Meanie!!!