Short Answer: Bends, curb rash, and cracks are fairly common types of damage for wheels and rims. Buying new wheels can be costly — most of the time, a shop can repair the damage for around $50 to $400 per wheel, depending on the type and size of the wheel, as well as the type of damage. If the damage is minor, you may actually be able to repair it yourself for around $20 with the help of some video tutorials. Below, we detail the average costs for wheel and rim repairs, some popular shops that specialize in wheels and rims, as well as the costs associated with doing the repairs yourself.
How Much Does It Cost to Have Your Rims Repaired?
Although wheels are one of the most easily damaged parts of a vehicle, the cost of having them repaired professionally can vary widely depending on the size of the wheel, the metal type, the extent of the damage, and the additional services needed. In the following sections, we explain the factors that affect the cost of most wheel repairs.
Cost Factor: 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 size of your wheels will affect rim repair costs — smaller wheels will be cheaper, and larger wheels will cost more.
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; for those that do, 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.
You may also have custom wheels with intricate designs and special finishes like chrome. Most wheel repair shops are not able to repair custom wheels, and repair shops that do work on chrome wheels will charge an extra fee. In this case, it may be cheaper and easier to buy a new custom wheel or repair it yourself.
Cost Factor: Type of Damage
Wheel damage can range from something minor, such as curb rash, to something major, such as cracks and breaks. The following are common types of wheel and rim damage, as well as the average cost for repairs — keep in mind that repairs for smaller wheels will typically fall near the lower end of the price ranges, and vice versa:
Cosmetic Damage (Curb Rash, Scrapes, and Scratches)
Average cost to repair: About $50 to $150 per wheel
Cosmetic damage is the most common type of damage your wheels can 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: About $75 per wheel 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. 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 wheel needs new paint or finish, costs will be higher.
Average cost to repair: $80 to $125 to repair a small crack; $200 to $500 to replace the rim
Cracked wheels are the hardest type of damage to repair; many shops may not be able to fix a cracked wheel at all, and if they can, the price will be determined after a consultation. Cracks need to be welded, shaped, and smoothed out, and likely repainting and refinished. 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.
Wheel Refinishing, Repainting, and Tire Removal
Average cost if not included: About $50 ($200 for all four) for paint matching, or $200 or more per wheel for re-chroming; about $10 per tire for unmounting
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 (or powder coating) and refinishing. 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 the cost is whether you need to have your wheels unmounted from your tires. Most shops will charge about $10 extra per tire for the labor needed to unmount it.
Where to Get Your Rims Fixed
Although many of the big chain auto body repair shops do not fix wheels, there are some that specialize in wheel repair. If the shops listed in this article do not have locations near you, you can do a Google search for wheel and rim repair places near you.
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. Prices can vary significantly between wheel repair shops, so you may want to get a few quotes before committing. Below are a few options for wheel and rim repair in the U.S.:
- Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists
- Fix Rim Mobile Wheel Repair
- Services offered: Curb and road rash repair, repairs for peeling, oxidation, light scrapes, slightly bent wheels, and other minor cosmetic issues
- Cost: For a quote, contact a Fix Rim near you.
- More info: Fix Rim by Wheels America
- Note: All of Fix Rim’s services are done inside a mobile repair shop. Fix Rim’s mobile technicians will come directly to you.
- Wheels America
- Services offered: 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. Wheels America also offers 24-hour re-manufacture service and chrome reapplication.
- Cost: For an estimate, contact your nearest Wheels America.
- More info: Wheels America services
- Note: Wheels America is the fixed location shop associated with Fix Rim. Wheels America will fix wheels that can’t be fixed onsite by Fix Rim. Additionally, Wheels America allows customers to send in their wheels to be fixed.
How Much Does It Cost to Fix Wheels and Rims Yourself?
The good news about repairing wheels is that if the damage is minor and you have the tools and the time, you may be able to fix them yourself, and you may already own many of the supplies needed to do the repairs. For example, while it might take you longer than getting the work done at a shop, you can repair cosmetic damage and scratches for a fairly low price:
- Tools: You’ll need basic tools, like clippers, a screwdriver, and pliers. You’ll also need sandpaper and/or a metal filler, which you can find for about $20 to $25 on Amazon (paid partner link).
- Cleaning supplies: Soap, water, and a sponge should work. You may need a stronger cleaning product if there’s any grease on the wheel.
- How to repair: The video below offers complete instructions.
There are several ways to fix your wheels or rims. Specialty repair shops can repair, restore, and re-manufacturing wheels for as little as $50 per wheel for minor cosmetic damage up to $500 for full replacements. Exact prices and service availability will depend on the type and size of your wheels, as well as the type of damage. Additionally, if you do not want to take your car to a shop, fixing minor wheel damage is a project you can take on by yourself for as little as the cost of some basic equipment like metal filler.