Having damaged rims is more than just an embarrassment for the appearance of your car. In addition to the danger of driving on a bent rim, it can cause further damage to your wheel, resulting in ruined tires and alignment issues, therefore creating a potential safety hazard.
Today’s discussion is all about a bent or buckled wheel, how to determine whether the wheel is bent or not, and how to fix a buckled wheel.
How to determine a wheel is bent or not?
It is not always possible to see buckles and small bends. Here are a couple of methods you can use if you hit a pothole to determine if your wheel is bent or cracked:
A buckled wheel is very likely to crack if left unattended. After sitting on the road for a long time, it begins as a buckle and cracks with the constant strain.
It is pointless to try and repair a wheel that has a straight crack across the spoke; in that case, the wheel basically becomes scrap. It is generally because of extremely heavy loads or very poor manufacturing that wheels break through the spoke.
Contrary to factory wheels, counterfeit wheels are inexpensive because they are made with lower standards. Every year, more than 500,000 wheels are imported from China, but none are tested to determine whether they meet Australian Design Rules, and the rules aren’t enforced.
China makes most cheap or counterfeit wheels from scrap alloy and raw materials, but alloy wheels should be made solely from raw materials to ensure their durability.
The wheels of a bicycle can be straightened if they are just slightly bent. However, if the wheel of your kid’s bike has been crushed in a crash or if it was accidentally run over on the driveway, you should consider buying a new wheel rather than trying to straighten the old one.
You should check that all the spokes are still there before you begin to adjust the spokes. In this case, you will need to get a new wheel before you attempt to true it.
Your wheel will be quickly thrown out of whack if it has no spoke, which can cause tons of problems.
As a result of rubbing the rim against the brake, you may already know where the wheel has bent.
In case you’re uncertain about the exact location, you can turn your bicycle upside down and spin the wheel gently while holding a marker pen near the brake and within a few millimeters of the rim.
You’ll be able to see marks on the rim of your wheel if you gently turn it. These marks indicate that your wheel is slightly buckled.
After you locate where the spokes of your wheel are bent, you should tighten them to bring them back into shape. It is relatively inexpensive to get a spoke key for this purpose.
It is necessary to tighten the spokes on the opposite side of the wheel from where the bulge is occurring.
Then you should evenly tighten the two spokes by half a turn. The spoke can be tightened by placing the key on the spoke nipple and turning counterclockwise.
As you are bending your wheel, continue to straighten it until your wheel is no longer bent, and when no marks appear when you test where the bend occurred.
If your car wheel buckles even slightly, you may not be able to physically see the buckle but you can almost always feel it on the steering wheel.
Driving with a dangerous wheel would not only impair your drive, but it could also be dangerous for yourself. You will be inconvenienced by losing your vehicle as well as delays, cancellations, and additional costs, such as taxi fares.
Here are the steps to fix a buckle in a car wheel:
Lubricate the outside edge of your rim before prying it off. Using a spray can, hold the lubricant about 2.5 cm (one inch) over the circumference and spray it over the circumference. Apply jar lubricants with a cloth to the same area.
Turn the tire upside down on a flat surface. Place the tire iron with the curved part down between the wheel and rim at the furthest distance from you, sitting on the edge of the wheel.
Pull backward in a downward direction while holding the tire iron. Continue this process until it is totally detached from the wheel.
Your tire should be placed on top of a piece of cardboard. Placing the alloy wheel on top of the tire and inserting it in the center hole will help secure it. Make sure no flammable products are nearby.
A 0.4 m (1 foot) distance should be kept between the thermometer and the outside edge of the alloy. Blow the torch at a 45-degree angle over the bend from the inside out.
Continue moving the alloy wheel until the thermometer reads 302 °F (150 °C). Hold the blow torch approximately one inch away from the wheel.
Obtain a curved sanding block from an office supply store or online supplier. Pick a piece of wood that fits close to the dent, but do not fret if it does not fit perfectly.
Use a wooden block if you are using a sanding block. In that case, the rubber will do just fine–just not as effective.
The alloy can now be bent back into shape because it has been heated and is malleable. Use a heavy rubber mallet to attack the curved piece of wood or rubber from the side of the dent. To change the metal’s shape, vertically swing it with enough force.
It’s fine to remove the wood piece after the alloy no longer changes shape, and then hammer it straight on.
The job of straightening a slightly bent bicycle wheel is tedious, but with patience, you can do it. Most bike shops will offer a wheel-truing service if you don’t have the time or you prefer a professional to do it.
It is common for buckled alloy wheels to deteriorate with time, turning into a safety hazard that you need to get repaired immediately.