BUCKLED ALLOY WHEEL REPAIR PROCESS
If you are experiencing vibration or shaking from your steering wheel or excessive tyre wear or tyres which don’t seem to be lasting very long after purchase then it is likely that your alloy wheel is suffering from some damage and is buckled.
You may have fallen victim to the ‘pothole plague’ and had that awful feeling where you cannot avoid going through a pothole due to the traffic conditions and then experience that crunching sound when your wheel gets bent in some way. No matter how minor the damage is, it still will have consequences for the general ongoing health of your car. Damaged wheels also lead to MOT test failures and in the worst case the car will be unsafe to drive if a wheel becomes structurally unsafe.
Alternatively you may have a kerbed wheel as a consequence of either clipping the kerb while moving at some speed or a gentle scrape when parking or pulling up against a kerb.
Out of shape wheels, commonly referred to as buckled wheels will not only destroy your tyres but the vibrations can cause serious damage to both the steering and suspension components of your vehicle. In their worst form they will not hold air or lose air rapidly.
All of these situations imply that your wheel needs straightening and if particularly bad, a full alloy wheel repair and refurbishment will be required.
Ask Us For A Wheel Inspection
Even if you think that the wheel is too badly damaged to be straightened you should ask us to assess the wheel and report back on the feasibility of straightening it which will often save you a significant amount of money versus buying a new wheel. Our technicians are highly skilled at wheel straightening and you will be amazed at what they can achieve.
Wheel Straightening Process
At Alloy Master we have invested in hydraulically assisted wheel straightening equipment. This equipment, coupled with the experience and skill of our technicians enables us to straighten and repair damaged wheels.
Hydraulic assistance is a process which involves a combination of heating the wheel and then using hydraulic rams to press out any bends in the heated metal. The wheel is first placed on a rack within the wheel straightening rig which centers the wheel. The wheel shape is then measured with a dial gauge to identify the location of any deformed sections. The operator then uses their skill to determine the correct balance of heat and pressure required to transform the wheel back to its correct shape.
The process of heating the wheel in the spot to be repaired softens the metal and makes it much less likely that the alloy will crack under the pressure required to straighten the bend. Once the wheel is straightened the alloy must be heat treated once again in order to strengthen it, as the heat and forces involved in the straightening process change the molecular structure of the wheel.
As explained, the process of straightening an alloy wheel involves heating the damaged area to both enable the repair to be performed and also strengthen the repaired area once complete. On the inside of the wheel this may not be visible but if on the outside then it is highly likely that the paint finish will be affected. In these cases the recommendation is to have the wheel fully refurbished. If we need to straighten or weld a wheel during the refurbishment process then the additional cost is only £25 - 35 + vat per wheel dependent on the finish of the alloy; ie diamond cut or painted.
The process of straightening a wheel involves considerable forces being applied to the wheel and we cannot guarantee that the wheel will not crack as a result. We will apply our skill and experience but it is possible that the wheel will not be repairable.