Damaged Wheel/rims

Hi: My son bought a 1999 Honda Civic about 2 monts ago. The car was in great shape when he bought it. I discovered yesterday that the front passenger wheel/rim is very damaged – it has a large crack and part of the rim now protrudes, and is very bent/misshapen. The rear passenger wheel/rim has a narrow crack about 6 inches long, but it’s not nearly as bad as the front. My son claims no knowledge of how or when this happened. I’m assuming he must have hit a curb or something, though I did take the car to a car wash yesterday, and my son “noticed” the damage when I got home. I’ve read that it’s very dangerous to drive it in this condition. Do I need to have it towed to the repair shop (Honda dealer), or can I have the spare put on the front, and drive it myself to the dealer? Most important: how much is reasonable to replace the wheels/rims? Thank you very much!!

Yes, it’s dangerous to drive in that condition.
I’ll also bet he knows exactly what happened but is reluctant to say. I’ve raised kids of my own.

Do not go to the dealer for rims. I replaced one of my own and the dealer was 2-1/2 times the cost of the exact replacement I bought via the internet.

For safety’s sake, I’d recommend that you replace all four rims with steel direct-fit replacements and hubcaps. If he’s gonna do that much damage, steel rims will simply bend and be safer to drive on.

By the way, you also ahould get the tires checked for internal damage and have the car aligned…and you have the alignment shop check for undercarriage damage while they’re aligning it. Have these things done at a reputable independent shop…the dealer will soak you for all you have.

Wow, cracked, not just bent? He ‘doesn’t remember’…sure…hard to say how dangerous, but they’re under pressure,and if the rim fails it could really hurt both those inside the car and anyone hit by flying shrapnel, so I’d replace them ASAP. You could check with nearby tire stores, see if they have any ‘take off’ stock rims (used) for sale at a reasonable price, the dealer also might have some. Craigslist is another source. If it was me, I’d get the replacement rims, deflate a tire, take it off, and have a tire store mount it on a the replacement rim, inspecting the tire for damage at the same time.

It really does not take all that much to damage those fancy, expensive rims. Steel rims are stronger. Of course if you want to speed $10,000 each for really great alloy rims they should hold up a lot better.

Depends on the rims. I’ve banged a few potholes with mine and even with the 215x45 tires the only damage I’ve really done is from an invisable granite curb. Some are pretty rugged.