How Much Does Alloy Wheel Repair Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

The alloy wheels are rims made from an alloy of aluminum-magnesium, often painted with a clear coat.   Most new cars come standard with alloy wheels because they offer several benefits:   They are lighter, provide the same strength as its counterparts, offer better heat conduction and have a better appearance than your traditional wheels.

However, there are cases when these alloy wheel can get damaged such as a simple scratch to a dent caused by rocks.  While it may seem costly to replace the entire wheel and/or rim, oftentimes, if allowable, it will be cheaper to have the wheel repaired.

17” Alloy Wheels by Flyinace2000, on Flickr
17” Alloy Wheels” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  Flyinace2000

How much does alloy wheel repair cost?

The cost of fixing an alloy wheel will depend on the amount of damage, the size of the wheel, the mechanic performing the job and geographical location. On average, a scratch or scuff job can vary anywhere from $75 to as much as $250 per wheel.

However, if an alloy wheel is cracked, gouged or bent, 99 percent of the time, you will have to have to pay for a replacement for your own safety.  For example, if your alloy rim were to have more than one crack, a repair shop may not weld it together due to the stress it may place on the tire.

With alloy wheels, there are DIY kits on the market, which allow you to fix minor scratches, for about $15 to $30+, depending on the brand and where you purchase.  However, as rimbladesusa.com recommends, these kits are only as good as the user.  If you don’t have much in terms of sanding, putting and applying a finish, then the results may not be what you envisioned.  The paint color can also be hard to match.

First Quarter Finance has an in-depth guide, explaining the average costs of rim repairs.  According to their guide, most repairs, depending on the factors we mentioned, could be in the $50 to $150 per wheel range.

Alloy wheel repair overview

There are three common repairs professionals will often see:  cosmetic damage, a bent wheel or a cracked rim.

During a simple cosmetic scuff or scratch job, the repair will involve sanding, puttying it and attempting to match the original color.

If, as mentioned above, the alloy wheel is gouged or bent, most reputable mechanics will recommend a replacement for two reasons:  For starters, it can be cheaper to replace the rim than fixing it, and secondly, for your safety, it may be the only way to fix it safely.  If they do fix it, the rims will be straightened and will be hammered to make the rims look like the original shape.  From there, if necessary, the rim may be repolished and repainted, depending on the cosmetic damage.

Lastly, a cracked alloy wheel, again, if it can be repaired, will be welded if the wheel can support it and then shaped and smoothed out.  If cracked, don’t be surprised if the professional recommends replacing it 100 percent.

What are the extra costs?

If the entire wheel has to be replaced, tires can greatly vary in price.  See: “How much do new tires cost?”  If the alloy wheel has too much damage, most shops will stay away from fixing it for your safety.

Wheel painting and refinishing can sometimes be an additional charge unless specified during the initial contract.  If not included, this can be an additional $50 or so for each additional wheel.  If it needs to be re-chromed, the costs could be closer to $200.

Tips to know:

Any crack, scuff or scratch should always be looked at by a professional.  Even though it may not look like much from the outside, it could be a safety concern for your passengers.  If it’s severe, then i

How can I save money?

As noted above, doing the job on your own may save you up to $100 or so, but keep in mind the results may not be as desired, especially if you don’t have the experience doing this sort of work.

If you have more than one wheel that needs to be replaced, consider asking for a bulk discount.  Some may offer without asking, while others may negotiate.

Prices will vary across repair shops, so it’s best to call up a few and ask for a ballpark estimate over the phone.  Even in person, most repair centers will be happy to offer a free estimate.


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