Wheels or rims on cars tend to get damaged easily. There are several ways wheels are damaged; bends, curb rash, and cracks are fairly common. While it might seem easier to buy new wheels, that can be costly (think: $200 to $500). Most of the time, damage can be repaired at a wheel repair shop and cost anywhere from $65 to $400. But, depending on the damage, you may be able to repair your wheels or rims yourself for $20 or less.
How Much Does It Cost to Have Your Rims Repaired?
Although wheels are one of the most easily damaged parts of a vehicle, to have them professional repaired can be costly — ranging from $65 to $400 or more per wheel. As you’re looking for your nearest wheel repair shop, you’ll notice that many of them do not list prices because individual cases vary. A repair shop will want to assess the damage, determine if repairs are possible, and then provide you with a quote. In the following sections, we’ll explain the factors that affect the cost of most wheel repairs.
Size and Type of Wheel
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. When getting price estimates, a standard quote will assume you have alloy wheels.
The other type of material commonly found in wheels is steel. Although not as nice looking as alloy wheels, steel wheels are sturdier and cheaper. Many wheel repair shops will not fix steel wheels, but if it does, the cost will be similar to repairing alloy wheels. Whether a shop can fix steel wheels depends on the equipment and skills of its technicians.
Custom wheels with intricate designs and special finishes like chrome. Most wheel repair shops are not able to repair custom wheels. In this case, it may be cheaper and easier to buy a new custom wheel. Repair shops that do work on chrome wheels will charge you an extra fee.
It should also be noted that the size of your wheels will also affect rim repair costs. Smaller wheels will be cheaper, and larger wheels will cost more.
Type 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 for repairs:
1. Cosmetic Damage (Curb Rash, Scrapes, and Scratches)
Cosmetic damage is the most common type of damage your wheels will sustain. Curb rash and scratches happen when you accidentally scrape your car against something rough, like a curb or sidewalk. This type of damage is mostly cosmetic and can be fixed easily. The scratches will need to be smoothed out, and your wheels will need to be repainted.
Average cost to repair: $100 to $150 per wheel
2. Bent Wheel
Dents and bends tend to happen to the outer part of a wheel. This happens when you hit something hard enough to warp the shape of your wheel. 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 if the tire needs new paint or finish, costs will be higher.
Average cost to repair: $75 for simple repairs; up to $200 for refinishing, repainting, and additional services
3. Cracked 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 need to be welded, shaped, and smoothed out. Repainting and refinishing will also be necessary. On average, a shop may be able to repair a small crack for $80 to $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.
Average cost to repair: $80 to $125 to repair a small crack; $200 to $500 to replace the rim
Extra Services: Wheel Refinishing, Repainting, and Tire Removal
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 about $50. In some shops, re-chroming is possible for previously chromed wheels and can range from $150 to more than $200.
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 a cost.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix Rims Yourself?
The good news about repairing wheels is that if the damage is minor and you have the tools and the skills, you may be able to fix them yourself. For example, here’s how to repair curb rash and scratches at home:
- Tools: You’ll need basic tools, like clippers, a screwdriver, and pliers. You’ll also need sandpaper and/or a metal filler.
- Cleaning supplies: Soap, water, and a sponge should work. You may need a stronger cleaning product if there’s any grease on the wheel.
- Video tutorial: Watch the video below for complete instructions.
If you already have all the basic tools, the cost to repair your wheels should be low. The metal filler used in the tutorial, for example, is only about $20 on Amazon. Of course, think about the value of your own time; especially if you’re a novice at wheel repairs, it might take you a while.
Where to Get Your Rims Fixed
Although many of the big chain auto body repair shops do not fix wheels, others specialize in wheel repair. If the shops listed in this article do not have locations near you, be sure to do a quick search for local wheel repair shops (as opposed to auto body shops). Prices can vary significantly between wheel repair shops, so it’s a good idea to shop around before committing to one. Here are a few suggestions:
1. 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 re-manufacturing: Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists will repair wheels that have structural damage, such as cracks or severe bends.
- Note: Not all Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists locations offer 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. All of Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists’ wheels come with a lifetime warranty.
- Cost: Contact your local Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists for a cost estimate and to make an appointment.
- More info: Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists
- Find an Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists
- Services Offered: Abra mainly offers auto body repairs; however, Abra’s technicians can repair cosmetic damage like:
- Curb rash
- Nicks and scrapes
- Cost: Schedule an appointment with your nearest Abra to get an estimate.
- More info: Abra Services
- Find an Abra
3. Fix Rim Mobile Wheel Repair
Note: All of Fix Rim’s services are done inside a mobile repair shop. Fix Rim’s mobile technicians will come directly to you. Fix Rim is affiliated with Wheels America.
- Services Offered:
- Curb and road rash repair
- Light scrapes
- Oxidation and peeling
- Slightly bent wheels
- Other minor cosmetic issues
- Cost: Contact a Fix Rim near you for a quote.
- More info: Fix Rim
- Find a Fix Rim
- 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, a Kwicksilver technician will help you find an OEM rim.
- PVD chroming: Kwicksilver offers a chroming method based on physical vapor deposition (PVD). The chrome comes with a five-year warranty.
- Powder coating: Kwicksilver offers powder coating in a wide range of colors and finishes.
- Cost: Contact your nearest Kwicksilver for an estimate.
- More info: Kwicksilver Services
- Find a Kwicksilver
Note: 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 can 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 can work on the following repairs:
- Curb Rash
- Custom color match powder coating or paint
- Cost: In general, RimSpec can repair wheels for about $85 per wheel. Pricing depends on the amount of damage and size of the wheel. The following prices are for wheels that need to be straightened and have minor cosmetic damage. Custom paint is included, but chroming is extra. The price also includes shipping.
- 18” and under: $165
- 19”: $190
- 20”-21”: $200
- 22”-23”: $230
- 24”-26”: $255
- 27”-29”: $300
- 30”: $370
- Motorcycle: $290
- More info: RimSpec Mobile Wheel Repair
- Find a RimSpec; see RimSpec’s shipping information if you’re not near a location.
6. Wheels America
Note: Wheels America is the fixed location shop associated with Fix Rim. Wheels America will fix wheels that can’t be fixed on site by Fix Rim. Additionally, Wheels America allows customers to send in their wheels to be fixed.
- Services Offered: Wheels America claims the shop can fix almost any type of alloy wheel damage. Exceptions include 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.
- Curb rash
- Cosmetic damage
- 24-hour re-manufacture service
- Chrome reapplication
- Cost: Contact your nearest Wheels America for an estimate.
- More info: Wheels America services
- Find a Wheels America shop
There are many ways to fix your wheels or rims. Specialty repair shops can repair, restore, and re-manufacturing wheels. Not only can you have your wheels repaired at a shop, fixing minor wheel damage is a project you can take on by yourself.