Can a Cracked Rim be Fixed?

Cracked Rim Repair: Can It Be Done?

The typical repairable crack on an alloy rim is 1.5 inches or smaller, located in the middle or back lip and does not impact structural parts of the wheel in any way. Front cracks, multiple cracks, and large cracks are all unsafe to weld and present a potential safety hazard. Should you find yourself needing a replacement, Sturtevant Auto has used rims in stock—so check out our pick-and-pull junkyard near Racine.

Cracked rims should be repaired by a trained professional. Do not attempt to keep driving on a cracked rim or repair it yourself unless you have the tools and experience.

TIG Welding and Wheel Repair

Cracked hubcap from broken rim

The most common way wheel repair specialists use to fix a repairable wheel is a process called TIG welding. TIG welding is a process that uses a filler material to effectively seal and repair the crack. After the initial weld, a dye test is usually performed to check for possible leaks.

Keep in mind that 80% of cracked rims are also bent and should be straightened before repair. This entire process should run you no more than $80-$100. If there happens to be nobody able to TIG weld in your area, you can physically ship your tire for repairs. It will be returned to you in “like new” condition.

Dangers of Driving on a Cracked Wheel

Unlike bike tires, car tires are physically sealed around the rim to retain air. Cracked and bent rims break this seal, causing your tire to leak and wear. Your vehicle may become difficult to handle and it may reduce your gas mileage. This could also cause a possible lethal tire blowout that can lead to personal injury, totaling your car, or harm to other drivers.

Why Do Rims Crack?

Most modern vehicles come equipped with alloy rims that are a blend of aluminum and magnesium. These rims typically last longer than traditional metal rims, are less prone to rust and can be upgraded with aftermarket parts and add-ons. The only downside is that aluminum is a rather brittle metal prone to bending, deforming, and cracking. Your rims may crack from extreme temperature changes, potholes, curb damage or brake dust. 

Cheap Used Replacement Rims for Your Model Vehicle

If you’re going to take a rip at repairing your cracked rim, rest assured you won’t find a better deal for a used rim to use as a replacement. Sturtevant Auto, just south of Milwaukee, has a huge junkyard full of perfectly usable, uncracked auto parts.