Bent rims on 2006 Nissan maxima

I took my wife’s car in for an oil change and to check a slight wobble in the wheel. Turns out I have 3 bent 18" aluminum wheels. One is a pothole, two is hitting something, but THREE bent rims?!? Any suggestions about replacement or whatever. I don’t think it wise to buy the same rims if they are just going to bend again. Would it make sense to consider aftermarket rims of a smaller size to give us some protection? We live in Wisconsin with rough 4-season roads. Will Nissan help us? Seems like a design flaw. The car only has 28,000 miles on it with the factory tires.

It is not a design flaw, aluminum is somewhat soft but under normal use it is perfectly fine for wheels. Even steel wheels bend.

Will Nissan help? No, even though you may not have been able to avoid the pothole it is not Nissans fault or Nissans design flaw.
Call a salvage yard or Keystone parts for a reman rim.

Just replace and try to be more careful, it’s an accident not an intentional, car stuff happens.

I am sorry to hear that. As noted, not all wheels are created equal. Steel wheels are all much the same, but when you get aloy or aluminum they are almost all weaker and more easily bent than steel.

Sure the race cars use them, but the ones they use cost something closer to the price of your car new than the price of your wheels. Pot holes and hitting a curb can do a number on OEM and aftermarket wheels.

Google auto wheels and you’ll get a lot of places to buy replacements. Factory refurbished wheels go for about about 1/2 of what new ones from Nissan will cost you.

I don’t agree that this stuff just happens…3 rims bent in 2 1/2 years? I owned a 99 toyota and 90,000 miles for 9 year w/out any damage to the rims. One is resonable and “stuff happens”, three is a flawed design. My gut tells me if I buy “new” remanufactured rims of the same design I’m just wasting money. What about aftermarket rims that are 17" instead of these 18" rims? Will they be more durable?

You probably have the larger, high performance rims. I had a similar experience on a 2000 Maxima SE and bought a set of 4 rims, used, that were smaller diameter, but when you put on tires with a higher profile the outside diameter of the whole tire and rim can be the same as your original equipment. Research on for diameter sizes. You will find that handling is a little softer, but the taller tires absorb more impacts without bending the rims, and the ride is smoother. It’s clearly a trade-off, but you can decide based on your experience.

This damage is caused by collisions with holes in the road, and might be covered by your collision insurance. Again, it’s up to you what to do.

Thank you for the insight. I figured the smaller rims would be a trade-off, I just don’t want this to happen again or at least to lessen the chances of such. I never thought about an insurance claim…that’s worth looking into.

18" rims usually equals low profile tire(distance from rim to sidewall) which is less rubber to absorb bumps. The delicate rims cannot take it.

I don’t agree that this stuff just happens…
What I meant was stuff happens in life that can’t be avoided and we need to just deal with it.
As far as 3 rims in 2 1/2 years, sure if you hit something in that amount of time. We recently had a car in our shop with 4 bent rims, steel rims. As far as you other vehicle with no problems, good deal, no hard hits in holes or curb rash.
I repeat that this is not a design flaw.
You do need to replace the rims since the vehicle may not be able to be aligned with the current rims. No matter if you buy new OEM, reman or LKQ from a salvage yard they will be fine, UNLESS, you hit something hard enough to damage them. Aluminum rims are designed to take abuse, otherwise they would not be used, but there is a limit.
The damage most likely happened in the winter and you nor your wife can control where pot holes happen or how big they are. If not do you need to evaluate your families driving habits? DO NOT GET DEFENSIVE, that is a question that I cannot answer, it was only provided to see if it applies.
BTY, call Keystone aftermarket/reman auto parts. Normally a reman alloy rim is $179.00.

Andrew makes an excellent point. Those big rims with ultra low-profile tires are really great if you want to emulate the look and the style of urban purveyors of controlled dangerous substances, but they are really bad at withstanding the pounding of potholes.

I’m not getting defensive per se, I just disagree with your take on this matter. Engineers design automobiles within acceptable parameters, and 18" rims are indeed a performance option. However, Nissan must know what American roads are like, therefore I suspect I got a “bad lot” in the rims (probably subcontracted). I’m going to try to take this up with Nissan and see what happens.

What are the cons of downsizing to 17" rims?

Of course they were subcontracted. Auto makers do not actually manufacture the majority of the parts that are used in the construction of their cars, and specialized wheel companies build wheels for all of the major auto companies.

That being said, of course Nissan “knows” what road conditions can be like in this country, but since people frequently seem to prefer style over substance, since the the overall weight of the car is a major factor in fuel economy, and since the weight of wheels and tires (unsprung weight) is a factor affecting both handling and ride quality, many car makers nowadays opt for lighter weight contruction of their alloy wheels.

The result is wheels that look nice, and may produce slightly better fuel economy, handling and/or ride quality, but are not strong enough to withstand the impact of a large pothole when shod with those ultra low-profile tires.

You are not the first to complain of this wheel-related problem on a variety of makes, and you will not be the last.

I checked Tirerack and it looks like you can do a Minus-1 (17") wheel on your car. They list compatible alloy wheels from $95 each. With a little more sidewall you should fare better on the roads where you live.

Going with smaller rim and a higher profile tire may help…but as a warning the car will handle differently. It may be better…but it could be worse…Not something to really worry about…just be aware and adjust your driving accordingly.

As for the low profile tires…and rims…I NEVER liked them…ESPECIALLY on trucks. I don’t care for the look…and the low profile tires make a truck worthless as far as doing anything a “Truck” is designed to do.

It’s not a design flaw. A quick look shows the optional tire size on this one is a 45 series tire and that means a pretty low profile. This in turn means not much rubber between the edge of the rim and the pavement; or the edges of a pothole.
Very stiff sidewalls on a low profile tire mixed in with potholes can very easily distort the wheel rims.

Just my opinion, but I’m not a fan of 45, 40, or 35 series tires for this very reason.

The page also shows the standard 17" wheel size on this car uses a 55 series tire and this would give it a noted increase in sidewall cushion due to the heightened profile.
If the car were mine it would get a set of 17s on it in a heartbeat.

In retrospect, if your wife is damaging these rims by corner-cutting and striking the curbs (my daughter is a bit notorious for this) then no wheel size change would help.

Thank you…That’s the plan! It’s not her driving as she had other cars with relatively large rims and no problems

Thank you, will do and I agree that the low profile is a contributing factor.