Replacing bent rims


#1

I recently hit a deep rut and bent the two rims on the passenger side of my 2003 Ford Windstar. While changing the wheels, a friend happened along and helped me remove and examine the wheels. With a small sledge he was able to straighten the rims sufficiently. He had an air pump with him and was able to put air back into the tires. They held. I have topped up the air pressure and I have been driving on these tires for three weeks and they seem fine. The rims are “almost perfectly straight”, a bit dinged up from hammering, but holding air. How dangerous is it to continue to drive on them, or should i eventually replace them? My friend assures me that if they are still holding air that I do not need to replace the wheels. I’d like second opinion. Mahalo.


#2

You live on the “big island”? Good. That means when you hit that bump right at the repaired spot and the tire suddenly loses all its air you won’t have too far to walk home. If you can still walk after the crash.

Replace them. It isn’t worth the risk.


#3

You may not be able to align the vehicle with out replacing the rims.


#4

If you hit hard enough to bend the rims I’d be very worried about the tires. The tires had to be smashed totally flat against the rims in order for the impact to bend the rims. This can’t be good for the sidewalls.

I suggest you have the wheels and the tires inspected by a competent tire shop.


#5

Excellent point about the tires. There’s a real fair chance of internal damage. Fortunately there are no highways on the islands, but I agree the tires should be at least inspected of not replaced.


#6

Get the wheels checked for runout. Too much runout will cause excessive wear on the front end components, particularly the tie rods.