3 Signs Of A Bent Rim, What To Check & How To Fix

3 signs you’re driving on a bent rim — and how to fix it

April 15,2016

Ignored bent rims can prove dangerous & expensive down the road

You’ve taken care of your vehicle all year long, keeping it safe from other drivers, weather, and wear — and it happens. You didn’t see it coming. Or maybe you did, but it was too late. You hit a pothole. And if it’s not a pothole, it’s one of the plenty other road hazards that you just sometimes can’t avoid. It happens, you might shrug as you drive forward. But bent rims happen too. And a bent rim ignored can cause a whole world of trouble.

While sometimes there aren’t obvious symptoms after hitting a pothole, curb or other bump in the road, here are a few telltale signs of a bent rim you should check for after such incidents:  

 

vibrations in steering wheel

 

Bent Rim Sign # 1:  The vibration symptom.   

Feel for vibration in your steering wheel. If your knuckles rattle, then you most likely have a bent rim or some other tire issue at the front of your vehicle. If your steering wheel is still steady, pay attention to your seat. If you feel vibration here, the rear of your vehicle most likely has the issue. 

This is a subtle sign and could have many other causes besides a bent rim. But it’s important to watch for especially after taking a dive into a pothole or bumping hard into a curb.

 

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Bent Rim Sign #2: The “my car doesn’t handle like it used to” symptom.

You and your vehicle used to be one. You could move your wheel and the tires would heed your command around every corner or into any parking spot. Nowadays, though, you seem to have to take corners slower. You turn the wheel, and your vehicle suddenly responds like a typical teenager — maybe I will, maybe I won’t, it squeals.

If your steering isn’t like it used to be, that’s a sign to get your undercarriage checked out. A bent rim often affects the pressure on your tires and your ability to handle your vehicle. And the longer you fight a bent rim, the more likely you’ll experience dangerous or costly tire issues.   

 

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Bent Rim Sign #3: The something doesn’t look right symptom.

A bent rim can be obvious to the trained eye. The rim rests on the outer edge of your tire and maintains the air seal between your tire and your wheel. When you have a bent rim, the affected part is visibly bent away from the tire, breaking the flush seal.

For a steel rim with a hubcap, you can check this out by removing the hubcap itself. You’ll see something like this. 

If you have alloy rims, you can see right away whether or not you have a bent rim. 

If your vehicle is showing any of these symptoms, get it checked out by a professional. Even if there are no signs but you’re the slightest concerned that your vehicle has a bent rim, you shouldn’t continue to drive like nothing’s wrong without getting it checked out.

An untreated bent rim can cause tires to leak air over time, at best. At worst, you’re looking at a flat tire or a blowout. These are dangerous and costly consequences — and ones that could otherwise be avoided.

 

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So stop by Veenstras Garage today for a FREE rim inspection. We can give you the peace of mind that you and your loved ones won’t be driving on a bent rim.