Can A Cracked Rim Be Repaired? How To Fix It?

Robert Herrera-COR-Wheels

By Robert Herrera

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Sadly, it makes no difference how attentively you drive or how good the road is for driving, your car’s rim will sustain damage eventually. When this occurs, you will want to learn how to fix a cracked rim. Still, solving this problem can be more complicated than you think.

Can You Fix A Cracked Rim?

It depends. Cracked wheels can be mended safely, depending on where the crack is. The majority of cracks on wheel edges are repairable; thus, there is no need to replace your wheel.

On the contrary, any crack in the spokes or at the point where the spoke and barrel meet renders that wheel irreparable. In this case, you will have to replace your rim to secure safety for yourself and others while driving.

Still, there is no assurance that a damaged wheel will ever be as good as it once was. Bring your automobile to an experienced technician for advice on how and whether you can fix the problem.

Is Repairing A Cracked Rim Worth It?

It depends on the situation. Before making any repairs, a crack test must be performed to ascertain the full degree of the damage. When the crack is small, there is no need to swap to a brand-new rim. Plus, welding can be an excellent choice if it costs more than 400 dollars and you lack the funds for a complete replacement.

That being said, new steel rims, however, may be cheaper than having them repaired. With high-end aluminum or magnesium alloy wheels, the cost of rim repair is frequently less than the cost of replacement.

How Can You Tell If Your Rim Is Repairable?

crack rim

This is the most crucial stage since you need to inspect the whole wheel carefully so that you can be completely aware of its current condition. Your goal is to examine the wheel and decide whether it is prudent to fix it or not. 

Don’t be afraid to ask someone with more knowledge about the rim, like a professional mechanic, and get all the information you can.

Suppose you want to know the cases when the rims can’t be fixed or repaired; take a look at our list below.

  • Numerous cracks on the rims
  • Rim has already undergone repair
  • It is a sizable crack.
  • The crack sits at the wheel’s front, the barrel’s inside or front face, the lug area, or the spoke’s base.
  • The fractures extend in several directions.

How To Repair A Cracked Rim

Before starting any rim welding, check to see whether the metallic component of your rim can withstand the welding technique. Also, check if the crack is of a size and location that you can easily access. Once you know you can weld the fracture, here is what you need to do.

Step 1: Park The Car.

Place your vehicle on a flat surface in a way that makes it simple for you to access the damaged rim. Put the parking brake on and turn off the engine to prevent further movement.

Step 2: Locate The Rim Crack.

Even with bare eyes, you can see some of the fissures. For easier handling, it’s always a good idea to take the rim off the wheel before disassembling it. After inspecting the crack and sawing it down on one side of the fracture, hold your alloy wheel that needs to be repaired in place.

Step 3: Increase The Wheel’s Weldability.

Pull the crack out using a flat punch or screwdriver and tap it with a hammer. Then, use a 13-mm drill to create a hole at the crack’s end. Repeat the process on the underside.

Step 4: Weld With A TIG.

At the initial drill point, begin TIG welding in a circular motion on the inside of your wheel.

Step 5: Test Your Wheel To See If It Is Properly Repaired.

After the repairs are complete, test your wheel by looking for any visible cracks with a drop of thinner and a black marker. You might use a soft hammer to listen to its sound. 

Suppose it makes a slow cracking sound; the wheel is still cracked. However, the car wheel has been properly mended if it makes a steady ringing sound that gradually gets quieter.

How To Fix A Cracked Rim Without Welding

In case you want to learn how to perform this task, here is the complete guide.

Step 1: Park And Examine The Wheel.

Park your car on a flat, secure surface, and have a look. Alternately, unscrew the whole set of wheels to remove the rim and do a thorough inspection. 

A wire brush can find things that your unaided sight cannot. To accurately find the damaged portion, scrub and clean a few inches of the rim.

Step 2: Put On Rubbing Alcohol.

After you have found and cleaned the cracked area of the rim, add some rubbing alcohol to a fresh piece of cloth. Wipe the area, including any additional inches around it, and clean it with the rag. The afflicted surface should be given time to dry the material.

Step 3: Prepare Your JB Epoxy Mixture.

Incorporate resin and hardener in the prescribed amount. Turn the box over, and pour the hardener into it with the polish inside. Stir your mixture using a stirrer to ensure that all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and the epoxy has an even color.

Step 4: Apply The Epoxy Mixture To The Rim.

Use a flat scraper tucked beneath the epoxy to spread the mixture. After that, apply it around the rim’s fissured area. As you lower the scraper over your rim, the epoxy will be absorbed by the crack. Make sure the mixture reaches the region around the fracture by at least 1 to 2 inches.

Step 5: Let The Surface Dry.

Leave the surface dry overnight to give the epoxy time to adhere to the rim. Keep in mind to avoid using a blow dryer or any other artificial drying method. Let the drying and hardening of the treated surface to natural.

Step 6: Get Your Rim Replaced.

After the drying process is completed, check to ensure the epoxy has adhered to the crack. If so, it is time to put the rim back on your car wheel. Follow the replacement procedure exactly.

Tips To Prevent A Broken Rim

  • Always keep well-inflated tires and fix flat tires promptly.
  • Avoid red flags like potholes (especially edgy, deep ones) and curbs
  • Invest in high-quality wheels from the get-go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Continue To Drive With A Cracked Rim?

No. It is advisable not to drive with a cracked rim, no matter how or where the fracture is placed. The wheel’s edges could enlarge as the cracks begin to spread. The broken rim can eventually separate if it persists.

Is It Better To Have My Cracked Wheel Repair Or Replace?

It depends. You can quickly repair a minor hairline crack on the rim that is present at the back or center. On the other hand, it is better to replace your rim when the damage gap is too big or too severe.

How Much Will It Cost To Have My Rim Replaced?

A good set of brand-new wheels is between 200 and 500 dollars each, but high-end, custom, carbon fiber, and magnesium wheels can cost up to 20 times as much. 

As you can see, it is extremely expensive, but luckily, you won’t need to do this frequently, so it is understandable to pay for high-quality products that can secure your safety.

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The Bottom Line

Driving with a damaged rim can lead to unwanted accidents and serious repercussions in extreme circumstances. Thus, fixing a cracked rim should not be taken lightly. 

Keep in mind that before starting any broken rim repair, verify whether the crack can be fixed since, in some cases, replacing the rims rather than just repairing them is preferable.

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Robert Herrera

President & Automotive Expert at COR Wheels

Robert Herrera has been with COR Wheels for 17 years and has a great passion for the automotive industry. During his time at COR Wheels, he has driven and test-driven a variety of vehicles.

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