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Dented wheels - ok to keep using?

Repair/fix, or replace with used/new wheels? Or minimal damage enough to reuse as is? Looking at it, looks to be minimally dented at/around the edge/rim that I don’t foresee a problem as a novice but wanted some opinions. I haven’t taken it to the shop yet.

On one of the wheels where tire was messed up, so swapped with spare tire, I see the inside of the wheel looks normal. Ignore the broken hub cap.

Seriously? The bead (sealing area) is almost peeled away in places. The answer is NO.


Replace, no question.

Back in “the day” one could buy “curb feelers”. They were basically springs that attached to and protruded out from the wheelwells that made noise when you go too close to a curb. Perhaps these would help you.


You should be able to find a cheap steel rim at a junk yard for a low enough cost that it’s not worth considering driving on a rim in this condition. One of my favorite places to buy replacement rims are businesses with “hubcap” in the name, like “Hubcap Heaven” in Hollywood, Florida.

…and if this damage was caused by parallel parking, perhaps you should straighten out your wheels at 11:00 instead of 10:30.

I remember those “Curb Feelers” @the_same_mountainbik.

My grandpa had those on his Packard. They were more popular with the luxury cars of the 50s and 60s I think.

As for those rims,…they’re junk!!!


Here’s another strong vote to replace them. Also, these tires look to be in bad shape, unless the pictures are deceptive, so I hope you plan on replacing those also.

It looks like both the tires and the wheels have been subjected to a lot of abuse.
Perhaps TSM’s suggestion about “curb feelers” is a good idea for the OP.

I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news…


Thanks for the input. Sad that what looks like minor ignorable dents & scrapes (like say on car chassis/body if you’re not the type that vainly cares about minor fender benders) does not apply for the wheels/rims. Sounds like rims must always be in “perfect” condition to be reliable?

Not necessarily!
How do you feel about being stranded on a remote rural road–or in a dodgy urban area–with a flat tire?
If you are not bothered by those scenarios, then you might want to take a chance on continuing to drive on those badly-damaged wheels.

Um, replace.

We had those curb feelers on our 64 Ford Drivers Training car. Worked great and I’m sure saved a few tires. I would actually like to put one on our RDX in case I get too close to the concrete step in the garage.

I have a tight garage (circa 1940) and use foam pool noodles to protect my car from hitting things. They make great bumpers.

Can’t remember where I saw the article but a man put one on the left side of his garage door sticking out into the opening so his teenage driver could just touch it with the front left fender thus assuring her she was centered pulling in.

I always back into my garage. And in winter I have to back all the way in to allow me to pull the snowblower out.

I put a long strip of white reflective tape vertically on the back wall such that when the car is perfectly lined up I can look in the driver’s rear view mirror and the car’s side is in line with the tape. I also put tape on the side wall horizontally with marks that line up with the passenger side mirror when I’m clear of the garage door and when I’m fully in. The pool noodles are second-tier protection (bumpers) in case I miss. Pool noodles have 1000 uses.

The previous photos were taken at night and farther away with iPhone, so they’re not as detailed. Here’s some close ups that may be better.

Curious, so these dents are “serious” huh? As an ignorant novice it just looks bent at the edge in some sections of the rim but not so bad that it exposes a gap to the tire nor the structural shape of the rim, it just looks like certain sections are folded over a bit. Just curious to what kind of rim damage is “ok” and what’s not. Or is any/all rim damage = bad?

“precise parking assistant” I made from scrap-wood for my wife, 100% success rate so far:

“liquid nails” was used to hold it to the floor

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does not look that bad actually, as a poor student I was using a hammer to fix such bends, never was stranded in a desert :slight_smile:

bead area does not seem to be bent, only outer edge is damaged

if it holds air, unlikely it will cause trouble IMHO

The tire is not going to fall off, unlikely to have a tire related failure because of the bent lip on the rim of the wheel.

However it is hard to believe those wheels are still true and vibration free. If you are not having any performance problems keep using them until the tires are worn or until the next impact destroys the wheel.

I think you’re risking a sudden flat tire with that much damage at the bead area. Whatever caused that damage might have damaged the tire too. It might be out of round too, and the balance may be skeewampus. Iffy rim, iffy tire, I don’t see it makes sense to drive it that way. Not when a used replacement rim can probably be found at the local car recycler place for not much $$. A shop might be able to remove the tire & pound the rim back into more or less normal shape, but I doubt they’ll do it for you b/c that bending might weaken the metal.

Buy a new rim, and ask the shop who swaps the tires over to double check they haven’t been damaged. The old rim will be melted down and make some brake rotors for a Mercedes probably.

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And a replacement rim from the junkyard is how much? Replace it my thought!

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