Impacts from pot holes, road debris, and other road hazards are the main reason why alloy wheels crack and bend. Aluminum is a brittle metal, which is why they crack. About 80% of the cracked wheels we see are also bent. The impact that caused the crack also caused the bend. We also see many cracks that were a result of someone trying to straighten a bent wheel using a sledge hammer!
The most common crack is on the inside lip extending from the edge of the lip into the barrel 1 to 1 ½ inches. Most of the time, this type of crack can be repaired by welding. Cracks in the barrel are usually also repairable. Cracked spokes or cracks where the spoke meets the barrel is on a structural part of the wheel, thus we don’t feel that it’s safe to weld in these areas.
Proper prep, welding, and finishing will usually restore full functionality to the rim without sacrificing safety. We have successfully welded 1000’s of rims, so we know it’s a viable repair option. The key is knowing how to properly accomplish the repair.
Weekly, we see wheels welded by others that re-crack. This is due to improper prep and poor welding techniques. We’ve even seen an aluminum wheel that was welded using steel because the person doing the welding didn’t know what they were doing!
Kwicksilver Technicians have been thoroughly trained on proper wheel repair techniques. We can complete the repair and get it right the first time!