A lot has changed since the first iron rims around the wheel were seen on Celtic chariots in 1000 BC.
And it’s nearly 100 years since Aluminium wheels started being used. They were first used in the early sports cars which were lighter in weight and made the wheels turn faster compared to the standard steel ones. Fast forward to the present day and many modern cars have Aluminium wheels as standard.
Unfortunately, due to the number of potholes the UK road network has this can be a nightmare when trying to keep your wheels in mint condition. The amount of potholes has had a huge negative effect on modern-day cars. Having your expensive alloy wheels damaged causing multiple issues can be a nightmare.
When your wheels are subjected to high impact the first thing you notice is the bump. Over time you might start to notice a slow puncture from the cracks caused by hitting a pothole.
These cracks can be welded and the wheel can be straightened. Unless the damage is so bad it becomes more cost-effective to buy a new alloy wheel.
How to find out if your alloy wheel has cracked
There are a few signs to find out if your wheel has cracked. The most obvious sign is a visible crack. But what if you don’t see any cracks.
Other signs include:
- Hearing a different sound when driving
- Hearing a noise coming from the tyre such as the air trying to escape
- Unusual vibrations in the steering wheel
- Noticeably altered vehicle handling
- Lower gas mileage and need to top up the air pressure more often (this could also be an indication of a slow puncture in the tyre)
Another test is taking the wheel off the vehicle and putting it in some water or spraying soapy water over the tyre and rim. This is to see where air bubbles might be coming from if the crack is difficult to see and if the tyre is still on the alloy wheel. This is probably a lot easier with a bike tyre when looking for a puncture than with an automobile wheel but it is possible.
Is a cracked alloy an MOT failure?
Yes! If you are taking your vehicle to have an MOT under Section 5.2.2 on the gov.uk the MOT inspection manual: cars and passenger vehicles guidelines state. Any fracture or welding defect on a wheel is dangerous and results in failure.
What is the process you do for welding an alloy wheel?
So you might be wondering what the process is when having to weld your wheel and what else you might need to know.
The first thing we need to do is to start with an assessment of the wheel. We need to make sure we are certain the damage is fixable or if you might need to buy a new alloy wheel. First what we have to do is…
- Remove the wheel from your car
- Inspect the outside of the wheel
- Remove the tyre from the wheel rim
- Inspect all areas of the alloy
Once an inspection of the alloy has been done the necessary repairs can begin. This will involve welding and refurbishing follow.
- Refit the tyre and balance the wheel
- Refit the wheel to the car
In most cases, the wheel will need to be heated up to make the alloy flexible. When heat is applied to the area that needs straightening there is a chance the original paint will melt off the alloy. This will mean that it will need powder coating again which can be booked in with us.
If you have or you think you might have a cracked and damaged alloy wheel and need it repairing then feel free to get a quote from us.
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If you do need any more help with diamond cutting your alloys, don’t hesitate to get in touch and request a free quote!