Smart-looking alloy wheels can add that little bit extra to your car’s appearance. In good condition, they really look the part. However, damaging them on a kerb is one of the most common and irritating things you can do to taint the appearance of your ride. Luckily, you can fix kerb damage at home – but only if you’re patient
If the kerb damage is relatively minor, it isn’t too difficult to do a DIY repair job. Motor factors will can provide you with over-the-counter kits, which include sand paper, filler, paint and primer.
There is a fair amount of technique involved with getting this right, but preparation is key. It will take time to sand the area down – especially to ensure the lines of the wheel are met – but if you’re willing to do this yourself you can save a fair amount of money.
Once the area has been sanded down, the next step is to fill the gap. This is normally done with a putty that is supplied as part of the repair kit. Once you’ve filled this in, leave it to set. At this point, you’re only half way done. See what we mean about patience?
The next step is the trickiest. Sand the putty down so it matches the lip of the wheel – this is often easier said than done. Take your time to ensure you get it right the first time round.
Once this has been done to a standard you’re happy with, apply a layer of undercoat. This will provide a good base onto which the paint will be applied, and will also highlight any scratches or dents you might have missed – giving you the chance to fill them before painting. Again, be patient – this will take a good deal of time to get right.
Once the undercoat has dried, it’s time to paint. Do this in several layers to get the best result, allowing plenty of time for each layer to dry before moving onto the next. If you apply the paint too thickly, it could run and you’ll have to start all over again. Once you’re happy with your paintjob, let it dry before finishing with a coat of laquer.
A set of pristine-looking alloys will not only improve the appearance of your car, it will also help improve its residual values. Factory-fresh-looking wheels can also help sway potential buyers if you’re looking to sell.
That said though, if the kerb damage is really serious, you might find it a better option to get a professional to perform the repair job. If the wheel has been bent, or has suffered from corrosion, this will be the option to go for. You will usually find that most specialists charge roughly £50 per wheel to fix the damage, although this will increase depending on its severity.
The majority of professional wheel refurbishment companies can come to you to perform the repair, too, saving you time you would have otherwise spent travelling to a specialist garage. However, truly serious damage will require the car to be taken in to the shop.