Cars require a lot of care. Oil changes, tire rotations, proper rim mounting and balancing, and regular maintenance are part of keeping your car running smoothly and increasing its lifespan. You may also want to watch your wheels for any wear and tear, particularly to the rims. In many cases, gutter rashes, bends, and nicks on your rim can hurt your car’s performance, and should be fixed immediately.
In many cases, a wheel repair specialist at an auto shop will be able take care of the damage easily, and after rim mounting and balancing, get you back on the road quickly. But not all auto body repair has to be done through an auto shop; rim repair can be done right in the comfort of your own garage with a few supplies, such as paint, sand paper and some fill primer.
Once you have taken the damaged wheel off your car, you will have to asses the damage to see how much force you will need to smooth over the scratched rim. There are several different grades of sandpaper from 24 to 1000 grit, and each one contains a different particle diameter. For rim refinishing, automotive experts recommend different grit size levels depending on the car’s rim. In many cases, 60 or 80 grit sandpaper will do for initial sanding, and is slightly less coarse than 24 grit, which is used to sand hardwood flooring.
After selecting the right sand paper, it is important to put masking tape around the rest of the rim to protect it from sanding particles and paint. You should then continue sanding until the scuffed areas begin to wear down. Once this is complete, a body filler should be mixed with a hardener and applied to the area to fill in the scratches. Afterward, the area should be re-sanded with finer sandpaper to smooth down the surface even further, and then finally sprayed with a hi fill primer before it is sanded again the next day, this time using wet sandpaper. You can finally begin using your base coat of paint after sanding with the wet sandpaper.
(Keep in mind that this is a basic repair technique, and more severe damage could require additional sanding using more or less coarse paper, as well as additional primer.)
After proper rim mounting and balancing, you can get your car back on the road, and have your rims looking as new as ever. While this might seem like a time consuming process, the average price for rim repair is anywhere between $95 and $200. If you needed to fix all four rims, you could save yourself $800 by doing it yourself, and $800 is more money than most car owners want to spend on their tires.