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Kerbed an alloy wheel? Here's how to fix it

Alloy wheels are the finishing touches to a car’s exterior. They also have an effect on its ride and comfort. However, there are few things more annoying than hitting one on a kerb while parking.

Kerbing damage is one of the easiest things that can occur to your car. Thankfully, you can fix it at home – if you’re patient enough.

If the kerb damage isn’t too bad, repairing it yourself isn’t as tricky as you think. Motor factors will sell you over-the-counter kits, which contain sand paper, filler, primer and paint. Using these are a little bit of a dark art, but it’s all in the preparation. Sanding down the area takes time – especially to ensure the lines of the wheel are met – but do it right and you could easily save yourself some money.

After sanding down the area, you’ll need to fill the gap that is left, usually using a putty that is supplied as part of the kit. Once filled, you need to leave this cure. However once this has been applied, only half of the work has been done.

The trickiest bit comes next. You’ll need to carefully sand down the putty back to mimic the lip of the wheel – and this is much harder than it sounds. However, it’ll save you a lot of time if you do this slowly and make sure you get it right first.

Once you’re happy with the work, you’ll have to apply a layer of undercoat. This will not only give a good base for the paint but will also highlight any scratches or dents that you might have missed, which means you can individually fill them in before painting. This may take a few attempts, but if you’re hoping for a showroom finish then you’ll need to do it.

When everything’s dry, it’s time to paint. This is best done in several layers, taking plenty of time with each one and allowing it to dry before reapplying. If you go too thickly with the paint, there’s a good chance that it will run and you’ll have to start the process again. If you’re happy with the way the paint looks, you can allow it to dry and finish with a coat of lacquer, which will give a factory-fresh appearance.

Once repaired, a set of dent-free alloy wheels not only improve the look of your car, but the value of it too. If you’re looking to sell the car you’re in luck too, as nothing puts off a potential buyer like a set of ragged wheels.

However, if a kerb is just too bad, it might be time to call in those who know best. This will be the right choice if the wheel has been bent, or if there’s some corrosion on it too.


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