I’m hoping for a bit of advice from the car community here. I’ve got a 2004 Corolla with 170k on it. I had a few lug nuts which were getting dinged up and I wasn’t able to get my tire iron fully on to so I decided to be proactive and replace them before they got too rounded. Around that time I started noticing a slight wobble sound from the back left tire I concentrated my replacement lug nuts on. Upon discussion with my dad I learned I’d followed my inherent cheapness and bought the less expensive lug nuts which taper in rather than having a flat washer that meets the wheel. What I now know is those with the taper are for steel wheels, whereas what I have are aluminum alloy. So I’m thinking that likely caused what is a slightly warped wheel I’ve been driving with for a few months now. To double check I recently rotated my wheels, that one to the front and the noise moved with it.
So now is what I’m hoping I can get some help deciding should I replace the wheel or let it be? I’m in grad school for physical therapy so less money spent the better. Secondly if I should replace it would I be okay getting a 45 dollar one from a junk yard or spring for the 150 dollar new one.
On the side of letting it go, my daily commute all under 40 mph, no highway. After having this for a few months, I measured the tread depth with a gauge which currently shows no difference between tires. I’d greatly appreciate opinions on this as well as advice when selecting a used wheel from a junk yard.