When alloy meets cement, the results are never good. Maybe the worst part about car rim damage is the sound the poor things make as soon as they get hit. You hear the noise, wince in response, and you know the damage is as bad as it sounds. But, who are we kidding- the worst part is how the rims end up looking. Here are some ways to protect your shiny new rims from curb rash and other accidents.
Master Parallel Parking
Parallel parking is the biggest cause of curb rash and rim damage. It’s more of an issue for drivers in bigger cities, but just about everyone needs to parallel park at some point. Unfortunately, everyone develops their own style that works for them. However, there are some simple tips to make the process easier. Tilt the passenger side mirror down at the curb to better gauge distance. Back into the spot slowly at a 45 degree angle. If you are unsure of where the curb is, you’ll at least tap it with the stronger part of your tire, the back. Then you can pull forward and straighten it out. Lastly, park further away from the curb than you think, but not too far, because you don’t want a ticket.
The clear coat on rims might protect against dust and dirt, but that only goes so far. If other people drive your car, or you just can’t master parallel parking, then rim protectors are a good option. They are remarkably simple, yet effective. Essentially, they are a rubber ring that fits in between the tire and the rim. They are intended to take the damage from any light impact. Proper installation is key to their effectiveness. They need to go on a completely clean rim in order to adhere properly. As a bonus: they come in different colors.
Prepare for Winter
Although curbs cause the most damage to rims, winter deserves a fair share of the blame. Ice-covered roads can make your tires slip and bang into curbs or other obstacles. Salt used for melting snow can have a corroding effect on rims as well. You likely have winter tires to better manage the seasonal roads. While this can lower the chances of striking a curb, winter rims are a good investment themselves. Without winter rims, having to spend money to repair damaged rims becomes almost inevitable. A set of steel rims can eliminate this problem before it happens.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to hear your rims crunching against cement. Drive carefully and get your wheels the protection they deserve.