Wheels or rims on cars tend to be damaged easily. There are several ways for a wheel to take damage; bends, curb rash, or cracks are fairly common. While it might seem easier to simply buy new wheels, that can be a costly decision. Most of the time, damage can be repaired at a shop that specializes in wheel repair. Depending on the damage, you may even be able to repair your wheels yourself after doing a little research and watching a few tutorials. This article will highlight everything you need to know about rim repair costs including scratched rim repair costs, curb crash repair, scratch repair, wheel refinishing and even the cost of getting out flat spots that give you a bumpy ride.
Included In This Article:
Wheel Repair Shops (Including Available Services and Costs)
Types of Rim Damage and Average Rim Repair Cost
How to Fix Wheels Yourself (DIY Tutorials)
How Much Does It Cost to Repair Your Wheels?
Although wheels are one of the most easily damaged parts of a vehicle, a professional repair can be costly. In general, there is not an average cost for wheel repair as several factors may affect the final price. A repair shop will want to assess the damage first, determine if repairs are possible, and then provide you with a quote. As you’re looking for a wheel repair shop, you’ll notice that many of them will not list prices because every individual case varies. You will need to contact the repair shop you’re interested in using for a cost estimate. Further in the article, we have provided a list of national wheel repair shops. However, after looking through auto repair websites and various reports from customers, we have determined that a wheel repair can cost anywhere from $65 – $400+ per wheel. In the following sections of the article, we’ll go over the factors that affect wheel repair cost.
How the Size and Type of Wheel Affects Repair Costs
In general, most wheels today are made from some alloy. Most cars will have alloy wheels composed of light metals, usually aluminum, magnesium, or a mixture of both. Alloy wheels are lightweight, strong, and aesthetically pleasing. All wheel repair shops will be able to work on alloy wheels. Alloy wheel repair costs are the standard quotes you will receive when getting wheel repair estimates.
The other type of material that is commonly found in wheels is steel. Although not as nice looking as alloy wheels, steel wheels are sturdier and cheaper. Unfortunately, most wheel repair shops do not fix steel wheels. If a shop does fix steel wheels, the cost of repairs should be similar to the cost of repairing alloy wheels. Whether a shop can fix steel wheels depends on the equipment and skills of its technicians.
Besides basic wheels, custom wheels with intricate designs and special finishes like chrome are available. Most wheel repair shops are not able to repair custom wheels, and it may be cheaper and easier to just buy a new wheel. However, a few repair shops can work on chrome wheels and can even re-chrome your wheels for an extra fee.
The size of your wheels will also affect rim repair cost. Smaller wheels will be at the lower end of the spectrum, while larger wheels will cost more.
Type and Severity of Wheel Damage
Wheel damage can range from something minor, like curb rash, to something major, like cracks and breaks. The following are common types of wheel or rim damage and the average cost of repairs:
Rim Repair Cost for Cosmetic Damage, Such As Curb Rash, Scrapes, and Scratches
Average cost to repair: $100 – $150 per wheel
This is the most common type of damage that your wheels can sustain. Curb rash and scratches can happen when you accidentally scrape your car against something rough, like a curb or sidewalk. This type of damage is mostly cosmetic and usually easy to fix. The scratches will have to be smoothed out, and your wheels will need to be repainted. Although this is a fairly easy process, the average cost to repair curb damage and do a repaint is about $100-$150 per wheel.
Bent Wheel Repair Cost
Average cost to repair: $75 for simple repairs, up to $200 for refinishing, repainting, and additional services
Dents and bends tend to happen to the outer part of a wheel or the rims. This happens when you hit something hard enough to warp the shape of your wheels. A wheel repair shop will straighten the dents and bends for you by hammering them as close to the original shape as possible. If no refinishing or repainting is needed, this repair can cost as little as $75 per wheel; however needing a repaint, a new finish, or even needing the tire removed will cost you more. These extra services will bring the total cost to upwards of $200 per wheel. Yes, wheel refinishing costs can be high. Prices will vary by shop and extent of the damage.
Cracked Rim Repair Cost
Average cost to repair: $80 – $125 to repair a small crack; $200 – $500 to replace the rim
Cracked wheels are the hardest type of damage to repair. In fact, many shops may not be able to fix a cracked wheel at all. Since this is a special type of repair job, the price will be determined after a consultation. Cracks will need to be welded, shaped, and smoothed out. Repainting and refinishing will also be needed. On average, a shop may be able to repair a small crack for $80 – $125. Typically, it’s best to buy new wheels when cracks start to happen. Even if the crack can be fixed, the structural integrity of the wheel has been compromised and might not be safe to use anymore. On average, new rims can cost between $200 – $500. Custom rims will be even more expensive. The good thing about needing new rims is that many shops have rims in stock or can order them for you.
Professional wheel repair services can be rather expensive, and many people may be able to fix minor damages themselves. Below is a section providing information on how to repair wheel damage on your own.
How to Fix Wheel Damage Yourself
The good news about repairing wheels is that if the damage is minor and you have some tool skills, you may be able to fix the damage yourself. You may need to buy some additional materials, but basic tools should be all you need to fix your wheels. Usually, small dents and bends in the rim and cosmetic damage like curb rash and scratches can be fixed at home. Rim scratch repair costs and curb rash repair costs can actually be pretty low:
Wheel Refinishing Cost, Repainting, Tire Removal…
If you’re not the most mechanically inclined or if your wheel shows serious damage, repairing a damaged wheel on your car may be best left to the professionals. It’s worth noting, however, that you may be paying for more than just fixing the immediate damage to the wheel. Your wheel may also need to be refinished, repainted, or have its tire removed.
At most shops, the cost of paint-matching and refinishing is included in the quoted price of the wheel repair. However, some shops will charge extra for these services. If you care about the look of your wheels, it’s best to get them repainted and refinished to match your other wheels. You can expect a shop to add at least another $50 or so per wheel for paint-matching and refinishing. Powder coating, which is the most common way to finish a wheel, can cost between $50 – $65. In some shops, re-chroming is possible for previously chromed wheels and can cost $150 – $200+. The price can be higher if the original chrome needs to be completely stripped first.
Another extra service that can affect cost is whether you need to have your wheels unmounted from your tires. Basically, any shop can remove your tires, but this additional labor will come at an extra cost. You will need to ask the shop you intend to use for a price quote on this service.
Finding a Repair Shop or Auto Service Center
Prices vary so widely between wheel repair shops that it’s a good idea to shop around before committing to one. All shops will have different prices for different services and types of wheels. It’s a good idea to have pictures ready that detail the damage to your wheels. Shops will ask for pictures if you’re not able to bring your wheels in or are planning on sending them to a shop out of state. We have provided a list of wheel repair shops in the following section.
Where to Get Your Wheels Fixed
Although many chain auto body repair shops do not fix wheels, several auto shops specialize in wheel repair. If the shops listed in this article do not have locations near you, then be sure to do a quick Google search for local wheel repair shops. You should turn up a couple of hits for wheel repair shops in your town or city. Be sure to check out reviews before committing to a place.
Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists
- Services Offered:
- Wheel Refinishing: Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists will refinish alloy wheels that are scratched, scraped, or have peeling paint.
- Wheel Straightening: Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists will straighten bent alloy wheels that have been damaged by things like potholes, curbs, road hazards, and debris. The company DOES NOT straighten motorcycle tires
- Wheel Remanufacturing: Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists will repair wheels that have structural damage such as cracks or severe bends. Not all Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists locations offer re-manufacturing. Be sure to find a location that offers re-manufacturing.
- Wheel Replacement: If Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists deems a wheel is unsafe to repair, the shop can provide you with a new Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) wheel. The company keeps wheels of every brand in stock and will order a wheel for you if the location does not have it. All of Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists’ wheels come with a lifetime warranty.
- Cost of Services: Cost of services will vary depending on how much damage needs to be repaired and what services you are seeking. Please contact your local Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists Franchise for a cost estimate and to make an appointment. Quotes may also be requested online after selecting your Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists location.
- Website: Find more information about the wheel services offered by Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists.
- Location Finder: Find your nearest Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists location.
Abra Auto Body and Glass
- Services Offered: Abra’s mainly offers auto body repairs, however, Abra’s technicians can repair cosmetic damage like:
- Curb Rash
- Nicks and Scrapes
- Cost of Services: Costs will vary depending on damages and services required. You will need to schedule an appointment with your nearest Abra to get an estimate.
- Website: Find more information about the services offered by Abra.
- Location Finder: Find your nearest Abra location.
Fix Rim is a mobile wheel refinishing service. All of Fix Rim’s services are done inside of mobile repair shop. Fix Rim’s mobile technicians will come directly to the customer. The technician removes the wheels, repair them in the mobile shop, and then places them back on the client’s car. Fix Rim is affiliated with Wheels America, which is a fixed location wheel repair shop franchise.
- Services Offered:
- Curb and Road Rash Repair
- Light Scrapes
- Oxidation and Peeling
- Slightly Bent Wheels
- Other minor cosmetic issues
- Note that any wheels that cannot be fixed on-site will be sent to Wheels America location for repair or exchange.
- Cost of Services: Cost of services will vary by damage and services required. To find out the cost of the services you need, you will have to contact your local Fix Rim location.
- Website: Find more information about the wheel services offered by Fix Rim check here
- Location Finder: Fix Rim is not a large chain, but there are Fix Rim locations in a few states. Find your nearest Fix Rim location.
Wheels America is the fixed location wheel repair shop associated with Fix Rim. Wheels America will fix wheels that cannot be fixed on site by Fix Rim. Additionally, Wheels America allows customers to send in their wheels to be fixed as the business does not currently have many locations. Wheels America will call the customer and discuss payment method if wheels are sent by mail.
- Services Offered: Wheels America claims that the shops can fix almost any type of alloy wheel damage. The exceptions would be wheels that have been warped in the center hub area of the wheel or wheels that have excessive broken areas. A Wheels America repair technician will assess the damage and determine if the wheel is repairable. Note that in some cases steel wheels can be fixed by Wheels America, however, it is not a companywide policy. You will need to contact your local Wheels America for more information about fixing steel wheels.
- Curb Rash
- Cosmetic Damage
- 24 Hour Remanufacture Service
- Chrome Reapplication: If there is no structural damage, Wheels America can repair peeling chrome. Wheels America will chemically strip the old chrome and apply new chrome.
- Cost of Services: Costs vary depending on wheel damage and you will need to contact your nearest Wheels America location for an estimate. However, Wheels America will not charge extra for welding, custom colors, bolt together wheels, or aftermarket wheels.
- Website: Find more information about the wheel services offered by Wheels America.
- Location Finder: Find your nearest Wheels America location.
Kwicksilver has both mobile repair shops and fixed location wheel repair shops.
- Services Offered:
- Rim Straightening: Kwicksilver can straighten almost any bent car or truck rim including steel, aluminum, and chrome rims.
- Cosmetic Repair and Polishing: Kwicksilver can remove curb rash, scrapes, gouges, and discoloration caused by age.
- CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Machining: Kwicksilver locations are equipped with a CNC wheel lathe. According to Kwicksilver, “The device cuts a fine layer of aluminum from the entire face of the rim with exacting precision, producing a new finish that is equal to or better than original factory finishes.”
- Welding: Kwicksilver technicians can repair wheel cracks by using TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) welders. If a cracked wheel cannot be repaired, the Kwicksilver technician will help you find an OEM rim at a fraction of the cost of a new rim.
- PVD Chroming: Kwicksilver offers a new chroming method based on physical vapor deposition (PVD). The chrome comes with a 5-year warranty and comes in a bright finish (Ice) or a darker finish (Black Ice).
- Powder Coating: Kwicksilver offers powder coating in a wide range of colors and finishes.
- Cost of Services: Costs vary depending on wheel damage and desired service. You will need to contact your nearest Kwicksilver for an estimate.
- Website: Find more information about the wheel services offered by Kwicksilver.
- Location Finder: Kwicksilver has locations throughout the United States and internationally. Find your nearest Kwicksilver location.
RimSpec is a wheel repair specialist shop and aftermarket wheel retailer. Although the shop is based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, RimSpec welcomes wheels from anywhere in the U.S. Customers can send in their wheels after providing RimSpec with an email and pictures detailing the damage. If RimSpec determines that the shop can fix the wheel(s), customers may send them in for repair.
- Services Offered: RimSpec can fix aluminum, steel, and motorcycle wheels that range in size from 14” to 30”. The shop can also work on damaged chrome wheels and re-chrome the wheel if needed. RimSpec offers the following services:
- Curb Rash
- Custom Color Match Powder Coating or Paint
- Cost of Services: RimSpec states that in general, the shop can repair wheels for about $85 per wheel. However, the price will vary depending on the amount of damage and size of the wheel. Chrome finishes will cost extra, and you will need to contact RimSpec for an estimate. The following prices are for wheels that be straightened and have minor cosmetic damage. Custom paint is included, but chroming is extra. All of the following prices include back and forth shipping. Check the website for more information about service costs at RimSpec.
- 18” and Under Wheel: $164.99
- 19” Wheel: $189.99
- 20” – 21” Wheel: $199.99
- 22” – 23” Wheel: $229.99
- 24” – 26” Wheel: $254.99
- 27” – 29” Wheel: $299.99
- 30” Wheel: $369.99
- Motorcycle Wheel: $289.99
- Website: Find more information about RimSpec and the services the shop offers
- Location Finder: RimSpec has a main location in Texas and a partner location in Miami Florida. However, RimSpec takes wheels from anywhere in the U.S. Check the website for more information regarding shipping your wheels to RimSpec
Rim Repair Cost: Conclusion
As you can see, there are many ways to fix your wheels before resorting to shelling out a lot of money for new ones. There are several repair shops that specialize in repairing, restoring, and remanufacturing wheels. The good news about many of these shops is that you can send your wheels in to be repaired. Not only can you have your wheels repaired at a shop, fixing minor wheel damage is a project you can take on by yourself. So before you give up and buy new wheels, make sure to visit one of the wheel repair shops listed in this article or look up tutorials to fix it yourself.