Driving On A Bent Rim – Signs Of Serious Wheel Rim Damage?

Anything could happen to your wheels while driving on the road. You could have a flat tire or a bent rim.

If you have the latter, you should know driving on a bent rim is dangerous and not advisable. Unfortunately, not many people know this – neither do they know the cause and the signs.

Hence, the aim of this article is to explain in detail general safety while driving.

What Causes Bent Rims?

As you are interested in knowing whether driving on a bent rim is safe or dangerous, you should take a look at the common causes. With them, you may be able to know what to avoid or how to prevent damage in the future.

Potholes and Curbs

Oftentimes, the main causes of damaged rims are potholes and curbs.

If you are driving at high speeds and hit a pothole too fast, it could cause structural damage to your vehicle rims.

On the other hand, if you park your car close to a curb, hitting your rims against it can also cause significant damage, affecting the structural integrity of your wheels.

Thus, it is important that you are careful about how you drive around a curb or avoid hitting a pothole too hard.

Bad Road Surface

There is also so much damage that a bad road can do to rims and your car in general.

If you keep driving on a bad road surface, you may start to lose control of your car someday. More so, you harm your rims as you hit uneven areas, especially those under construction.

Besides, you should never drive too fast around these areas. If there is a better alternative route, it is strongly advised.

Speed Bumps and Bruises

Like other road hazards, speed bumps and bruises are also major causes of bent rims in cars.

The purpose of speed bumps is to reduce speed and ensure safety; however, many drivers don’t often realize that and drive through them too fast.

And sometimes, these bumps aren’t entirely innocent, driving over them for a long time can harm your wheels.

If you don’t experience a bent rim after a while, then you are likely to experience other mechanical issues like wheel misalignment.

Bad Rims

Finally, what could cause a bent wheel is if you get bad rims from an unreliable brand or supplier.

And sometimes, it could be that the manufacturer launched a defective product to the market unknowingly.

Notwithstanding, you should get from a good brand that allows you to claim a warranty for manufacturer defects.

Can you drive on a bent rim?

Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t.

Getting to understand the causes of bent rims is one thing; however, knowing the right thing to do is another.

If you notice you have a bad rim, that isn’t time to continue driving. Instead, you should park your car immediately and have it fixed.

If you keep driving on a bent rim, as time goes by, the air pressure in your car tires decreases. And when that happens, you develop a flat tire or experience a serious tire blowout, which could cause a serious road accident.

Another thing that could happen is that you start facing serious issues such as wheel misalignment, poor handling and cornering, and steering issues. Overall, your driving experience will be compromised.

Therefore, it is important that you get a replacement immediately if you see there is a problem.

How long can you drive on a bent rim?

If you are in a situation where you have to drive with a bent rim, especially if you noticed while driving on a highway, you might want to watch the distance you cover and the speed.

That being said, traffic regulatory authorities approve a maximum distance of 100 yards with a slightly bent rim. And that is only enough to get you to safe parking. You shouldn’t drive at high speeds.

Why Bent Rims shouldn’t be ignored?

Every day, before you start your vehicle, you should do a basic maintenance routine. You should check important parts of your car, such as the engine, tires and wheels, and radiator.

The purpose of doing all of that is to ensure your car is in great condition for the day’s journey.

By doing this, you may be able to tell if your tire rims are having problems or not through some signs. And as you see these signs, you shouldn’t ignore them because your safety depends on them.

You don’t want to constantly experience anything that affects your tire pressure or steering column.

So, if you notice any visible damage, you should call a professional mechanic to have it checked or fixed.

How dangerous is driving with a bent rim?

It is extremely dangerous to drive with a bent wheel.

When you see a sign of a bent rim, you shouldn’t ignore it to prevent further damage. If you do, you could experience a serious accident while driving on the road.

As a matter of fact, you will spend more trying to fix your entire car when all you needed was to have settled the cost of repair or replacement.

Does the degree of bending matter?

Yes, it does.

There is so much difference a slightly bent rim can make from a totally damaged rim.

For the slightly bent rim, you can drive a little longer until you can get it repaired.

However, in extreme cases, the best thing is to stop driving immediately and wait for help. You may have to get a new set of aluminum rims or alloy wheels, depending on the type you use.

That is why when you experience any problems with your tire rim, the first thing to do is to assess the situation to know what next to do – keep driving or not?

Common signs of serious wheel rim damage?

If you have serious wheel rim damage, there are some signs you will observe. When you notice them, your top priority is having your rims replaced with another immediately. They include:

Steering wheel vibrations

If you start to notice a vibration on the steering wheel when you accelerate or drive at average to high speeds, then there is something wrong with your rim. You should check if it is bent or cracked.

Loss of tire’s PSI

The most common way to know if you have a bent rim is from the tire pressure.

As you keep driving on a bent rim, there is leaked air from the tires, which automatically reduces, causing a flat tire or tire blowout.

If you keep experiencing this, you should have your rims looked at, there could be an issue.

Feel like you’re driving on flat tires

Also, with the reduction of air pressure, you will feel your tires are wobbly – like you are driving on flat tires.

Likewise, if you hear a thumping sound when driving, that is another sign that you need to have your vehicle rim checked immediately.

Poor Braking

If you have a bent rim, you may be able to tell from the brakes.

The brake rotor could be damaged due to road hazards. Thus, your car may start to pull to one edge first before coming to a halt.

External and Internal Damage

Finally, if you can see with your naked eye that there are external and internal damages to your rim, then there is a problem. The sunken appearance is definitely an obvious sign that you need a new rim.

How does a bent tire rim affect your car’s performance?

If you have a bent tire rim, there is a good chance that it will automatically affect your vehicle’s performance and ride quality.

When you drive on a bent rim, you pose a threat to your car and your own safety.

First, your wheel becomes hard to control and then cornering and handling become impossible. Eventually, you won’t be able to move past some speeds without having an accident.

What’s Your Best Course of Action?

The best thing to do is to sign up for bent rim repairs.

You should contact a professional mechanic or visit an auto service center to replace it with a new alloy or aluminum rim Or repair and straighten your rim back to its original shape.


So, driving on a bent rim – isn’t something you should try doing, only if it is important to get you to safety.

And as you drive, you should pay attention to your vehicle for tire pressure, vibrations, and other obvious signs to risk not having an accident.

If most drivers can do this, they won’t have to be worried about bent rims anymore. 


Dean Alvarez, TireForge Head Author

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