Slightly Bent Rims: Why Ignoring It Can Be Dangerous

Tires and wheels are two of the most vital parts of a car because they are responsible for mobility.

They are the features that enable you to drive from one location to another.

However, while you drive, you may experience issues with them – sometimes after you encounter obstacles such as potholes, bumps, or curbs.

You could experience changes in your driving pattern which could be a sign of a bent rim, flat tire, damaged wheel, or wheel misalignment.

However, the focus here is to discuss how a slightly bent rim appears and every other thing you need to know.

How Do I Know If My Rim Is Bent?

In a wheel-and-tire assembly, there is an important component called the rim that holds the tires intact to make sure they can move seamlessly on the road.

Unfortunately, these tire rims are vulnerable such that when you encounter potholes, curbs, or bumps, they could bend.

And by bending, they could puncture the tires, causing serious tire blowout and eventually, a road accident.

But before that happens, you may start experiencing some warning signs of a damaged rim.

Signs That Your Tire Rim Is Bent

Below are the common signs of tire rim damage.

Steering Wheel Vibration or Shakiness

One of the first signs of bent rims is that you notice vibration or shakiness with the steering wheel.

The rim is connected to the steering and any problem with the former simultaneously affects the latter.

The shakiness tells that there is a problem with the front rim because that is where the steering column is, while the vibration at the back means there is a problem with the rear rim.

Improper Handling

Another sign that you have a problem with your rim is that you have a problem controlling your car – the handling becomes different.

As a bent rim influences your car’s steering, it does the same for handling. On every occasion, you would feel out of control.

However, one way to be sure that it is definitely a bent rim and not any other wheel problem is to do a physical inspection.

Visible Wheel Damage

One thing that will always remain constant especially when a rim bends, is the visible damage done to the wheels.

The wheel’s design is to support the tire and ensure steady contact with the road; however, if you have a bent wheel, then that means there is something wrong with the rim.

In most cases, you may not be able to see if the rim is bent or not, especially if your wheels have metal or plastic hubcaps.

So, what you do is remove them and observe thoroughly.

If it is a minor bend, you can straighten it but if it is serious, then you need to fix it immediately.

Constant Tire Issues

Also with bent wheels, there is no way you won’t experience constant tire issues.

One of such problems you’ll face is a slow leak because the bent wheel is pressing against the rubber. Another is uneven tire wear.

So, if you notice that you experience a flat tire every time and after fixing it, it didn’t take long before you had another, you should have your wheel and rims checked.

Decreased MPG

Having a decreased miles-per-gallon (MPG) doesn’t always mean your wheel is bent but it is a considerable sign to look out for.

A bent rim decreases the MPG, making it more challenging to steer your car in any lane or direction you want.

How Serious is a Bent Tire Rim?

There is so much damage that a bent rim can do to you.

Even if it is just a minor bend, your tire pressure decreases over time, leading to a flat tire or blowout, and ultimately, an accident.

Damages that can come from a slightly bent rim

Before you experience a blowout, there are damages a slightly bent tire rim can do to your car. They include:

Vehicle Suspension/Axle Problems and Other Mechanical Issues

The wheel is an important car part known for housing other components such as the rim, axle and suspension system.

If there is a problem with the rim, the entire wheel is at stake and if it isn’t repaired quickly, it would affect other parts.

Sooner than later, your axle will get damaged and it would be very difficult to have a quality ride. As a matter of fact, you may start experiencing other mechanical issues, especially with the brakes and driveshaft.

Tire Damage

Due to the constant road vibrations and changes in driving patterns because of a bad rim, your tires may constantly develop issues. And unless you replace the old with a new rim, your tires are not safe. 

Each time you buy a new, healthy tire, it won’t take long before air pressure reduces and you are forced to have it repaired or get another one.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Can You Drive On A Bent Rim?

100 yards to safe parking.

Driving on a bent rim is a risk because anything could go wrong. For instance, if you are driving at high speeds, you could experience a serious tire blowout which is not only dangerous to your vehicle but to you.

So, if you are driving on a highway and you start observing the signs and symptoms such as wheel vibrations, and wheel misalignment, you should consider parking your car for safety.

Within 100 yards, you should find somewhere appropriate to park your vehicle and have it looked at or picked up by a service center.

Can Bent Rims Be Fixed?

Yes, it can if it is only slightly bent.

Not many drivers can tell if they have rim damage but a good deal would want to have their wheels checked if they start experiencing strange signs when driving.

If, as a driver, you can detect a minor rim bend, you may be able to have it fixed in an auto service repair shop.

You need to let professionals handle the task because restoring your vehicle rim’s shape isn’t an easy one.

However, you may have to replace the rims if the issue is a serious one.

What are Rim Scratches?

Apart from bent rims, you may also develop other issues like rim scratches.

If your rims are scratched, there isn’t any severe consequence to your driving pattern; instead, it affects the aesthetic design of your vehicle.

Rim scratches are a normal occurrence.

Conclusion

Should you ignore a slightly bent rim? No, you shouldn’t.

It is important that you have your car tire rims checked often because your safety depends on them. 

You don’t want to drive and experience a serious blowout which could be dangerous. 

So, get your damaged wheel to a good tire repair service center and have it replaced with a new one for a quality road ride. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

Thanks for reading our article! We've written this article with a lot of thought and care. If you're interested in seeing more of our content, please check out our Tires section and find an answer to your questions!

Tire Forge