Repair Aluminum Wheel?

Good evening!

I have an '06 Nissan Sentra SE with 17" aluminum wheels. I have always liked how they looked, but one of them has fallen victim to a pothole.

Hitting it left a dent on the outside edge (1" long by 1/4" wide). This is causing an ongoing rim leak. Two tire shops have told me that it is impossible to repair aluminum wheels because heat cracks them.

After doing some research online, I’ve found that there are a number of companies that do repair alloy wheels using equipment that you wouldn’t find at a neighborhood tire place. This option is 1/4 the price of a new wheel.

Any experience on whether these repairs work?

I’ve seen the ads. I have no idea whether they are legitimate or not. You could try it. What have you got to lose?

Are you pricing the new wheel at a Nissan dealer?

Here’s an option:

I don’t know if it will save you money, but it’s worth a try.

Another option would be to find a used wheel in a junk yard (excuse me, Auto Recycling Facility) or on eBay.

You now know that inexpensive (OEM) Aluminum/alloy wheels and most aftermarket versions are not as strong as Steel and may be as heavy or heavier than steel. I am not saying don’t use them, but just be aware that you may have more problems and expensive repairs than with OEM steel wheels.

Those wheels they use on the real racing cars, likely cost more than your whole car.  

Personally I use OEM Steel wheels.  Cheap and strong and add a set of cheap WallyWold wheel covers, they don't look that bad.  

I would not try repairing them.  I have only heard bad news about those repairs. 

In any case, good luck

My vote is with mcparadise and Mr. Meehan. The car is 5 years old so just find another used wheel for it would be the easiest option.

Like Mr. Meehan, I like steel wheels too even if they’re not as attractive. They’re tougher and I’ve noticed that tires seem to stay in balance better with steel wheels as compared to aluminum or alloys.

If you have a recycling yard nearby that deals with late model cars, you might check there for matching rims. If you do find a car that matches your rims, buy them all and keep them around in case you need another one

I don’t know if the wheels you speak of are original factory equipment on your Sentra. I don’t think they came with 17s. If they are factory stock, you may be able to find a used one at . If it is an aftermarket wheel, I find that most salvage yards don’t keep many of them unless they have a good full set. They don’t want to break those sets. If they have two or three, they usually sell them for aluminum scrap by the pound. I’ve seen semi truck loads of them, ready to go.

As far as straightening a bent wheel, there is a local place that says they can do it, but I’ve never used them. At 1/4 the price, it might be worth a try.

Just to play devil’s advocate… I’m a welder (8 years) and I have repaired all manor of wheels from rim damage. Never for a car though… You could take it to a local welding shop and see what they say: my gut feeling is, though, that no one will do it incase it fails (the don’t want to be responsible for your death).