How to Avoid Bent Rims and Repair Wheel Scuffs in New York City

Mar 22, 2018

Have you ever noticed just how many potholes there are in New York? Before you laugh, actually take note of it, especially if you have ever driven anywhere else. Search the internet for how to avoid, manage, or repair bent rims and you will find groups of New Yorkers everywhere discussing the latest nasty pothole, wheel damage, and possible ways to mitigate this constant damage the poor road quality inflicts on their wheels rims. Neededing to repair wheel scuffs in New York City and the surrounding area is simply a fact of life, but you do not have to take it lying down. From the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of our wheel repair experts and countless NYC locals, we have put together a helpful collection of tips and tricks for keeping your wheels in as close to top condition as the roads will allow.

Repair Wheel Scuffs In New York City Sanding

How to Avoid Bent Rims

We know there are just too many potholes to avoid them all and who wants to spend their entire life creeping down roads at 25 miles per hour fearing for the safety of your wheels? While there is probably always a ‘big one’ lurking somewhere along your travel path, there are a few things you can do before getting on the road that should help you avoid taking wheel rim damage from most of the lesser potholes and rougher roads.

Maintain Tire Pressure

The amount of air in your tires matter a lot when it comes to whether or not your wheels hit the edge of a pothole with enough force to bend or crack them. You see, when a tire is full and bouncy, it is more likely to bounce over an uneven spot in the road. An underinflated tire, however, with too little air and not enough bounce is more likely to give under the pressure of a sharp pit in the road. As the wheel presses in without air to stop it, eventually, that impact reaches all the way to the rim with a resoundingly damaging ‘clang’. To minimize your rim damage, keep your tires at their optimum pressure or even a little higher. Be careful not to over-fill or the impact of a pothole may blow the tire and damage the rims.

Avoid Low-Profile Tires

Low-profile tires tend to be preferred by people who drive in a lot of ‘urban’ environments. They are thinner than normal tires with less space to be filled with air, and they may also be made of a thinner material. In an ideal world, ‘urban’ streets are smooth, well-maintained concrete which is what low-profile tires are built to roll over quite smoothly. However, if you live in New York, even if your neighborhood has nicely paved roads, you will eventually wind up going somewhere (most places) with the usual pothole-filled mess. Low profile tires provide less ‘bounce’ space as a buffer between the rubber and the wheel meaning that pothole impacts are more likely to push through and dent the rims.

Strong Tire Material and Sidewalls

The softer your tire material or sidewall design, the more likely it is that your tires can be pushed inward by the edge of a pothole. Softer tire materials tend to have more give while the tire sidewalls are part of the shape and utility of the tire defining the level of resistance to non-road problems like curbs and potholes. By ensuring that you have both a strong tire material and reinforced sidewalls to prevent blowouts or impact damage.

Stay Away from Potholes

The more carefully you drive, the less likely your car is to take damage. Yes, we know you want to get from place to place in a reasonable amount of time, and sometimes the placement of a pothole means it is unavoidable no matter what you might prefer, there are also a large number of potholes that could potentially be avoided. Just like you would not try to run over a box in the middle of the highway, try to dodge potholes, stay away from rough roads, and drive very carefully if you do have to cross either.

How to Repair Scuff Marks On Your Wheels

Maybe that last pothole did not put your rims out of commission with a dent or crack, but it did leave unsightly scuff marks on your nice shiny wheels. This often happens as a result of scraping the edge of a pothole with the side of your wheel creating a big scratch or even cluster of scratches where your wheels should be smooth and attractive. There are many professionals who can help you to smooth out and repolish your wheel but this is also something you can DIY if you are confident and have the right tools.

Remove the Wheel or Protect the Car

First, some of the things you will be doing could damage or paint the car itself in a way you would not prefer. To deal with this, you can choose one of two options. You can either remove and work on the wheels separately, or you can protect your car with masking tape and a protective cloth or tarp. The choice is up to you.

Clean and Sand Out the Scuffs

Now that the wheels are ready to be worked on, your next task is to clean the finish off the area you will be working on. Use a small amount of paint thinner on a tack cloth to remove the finish around the scuff marks, then get ready with wet 240-grip sandpaper. Carefully sand away the scratches. This task is finished with the scuff is mostly gone.

Apply Filler Putty

For what’s left of the scuff scratches you can see, rather than sanding your wheel down to nothing, we are going to use filler putty to finish the job. Apply the putty with a sponge and give it about five minutes to dry before applying a second or third layer as needed. Use the sponge to keep the line of putty flush with the rest of the wheel and smooth out your work.

Sand, Spot Putty, Sand

When the scratch filler putty is completely dry, lightly sand it over and apply a thin layer of spot putty which should also be allowed to dry based on the instructions on the package. When that is finished, use a 400-grit sheet of sandpaper to lightly sand over the previously scratched area and all the putty. When you are done, the area should feel smooth to the touch.

Repaint and Polish

Now it is time to re-apply that lovely chrome finish, which is why you either removed the wheels or wrapped the car in a tarp earlier. The easiest way to do this is with spray-on silver metallic paint that patches your current wheel color, followed by a layer of spray-on clear protective finish. When the finish is dry, lightly sand it with 400 to 600 grit sandpaper to bring out that metallic shine, then polish your handiwork.

Whether you are dealing with a major scuff or a dangerously bent rim, here at TLC Metal Restoration, we know the roads are rough, and you cannot avoid every pothole. The next time you some serious New York City rim repair or just want a bad scuff polished out of your shiny wheels, you can count on us to be here for you. Just bring in your wheels, and we will have you back on the road in no time at all. For more information about our rim repair services, please contact TLC metal today.