Curb Rash Repair Cost

Written by: Staff

Whether it’s a bad parallel parking job or you simply misjudged the curb, your wheel could have suffered curb rash because of it.

Depending on the extent of the damage, the costs will greatly vary, usually based on the type of rims your car has.

Curb Rash Repair Cost
Camera Roll-60” (CC BY 2.0) by Simon Davison

How much does wheel curb rash repair cost?

In most curb rash situations, the car’s rims will take the brunt of the impact, meaning that most of the time, you will need to repair or in a worse case scenario, replace your rim entirely.  In conclusion, the two main factors to consider when receiving a quote will include the scope of the damage and the type of rims you have installed, with most quotes, when hiring a professional, being in the $50 to $250+ range.  

As there are a variety of rim types, we broke down the popular rim materials and the costs involved in the table below:

Rim TypeScratched or Scuffed?Bent?Cracked?
Steel$50 to $100 but isn't necessary. It's often done for cosmetic purposes only.Depending on how the bend, welding may be required, with costs in the $50 to $150 range. If no welding is required, most jobs can be performed for less than $50.Steel rims usually do not crack but can gouge. In this case, the rim will need to be replaced 100%.
Aluminum/Alloy$50 to $100 when using some sand, putty and paint, but for many rims, matching the color specifically can be hard.Replacement is recommended as this type of rim cannot be bent back into a safe position.Like a bent rim, replacement is highly recommended for safety reasons.
ChromeUsually replaced, but if you do not want to replace, they can often be re-plated for $200 to $500.$50 to $125 to bend back into position as long as the bend isn't too extreme. Keep in mind, however, that if you were to consider the bending option, it can damage the finish of the rim.99.9% of the time, a replacement is required and will be much cheaper than repairing.
Plastic CladUsually no great way to repair and replacement is recommended.In most cases, a bent plastic clad rim will lead to a rather large chip. Again, replacement is required.No repair option available and replacement is required yet again.

For those who tend to like DIY jobs and want to avoid the professionals,at-home kits are available, which range anywhere from $15 to $35, depending on the brand you purchase.  For at-home kits, however, the results often do not look as good as a professional and the colors can be hard to match.  If you want to purchase an at-home kit, just be sure to read the reviews before doing so to make sure you’re buying a good product.

On this forum thread, a member posted a picture of his rim scratches, asking what he should be prepared to pay, and according to the responses, members stated you should be prepared to spend at least $120 to $150 per wheel at a local dealer.

Another member on this forum thread stated he was quoted $125 for his curbed wheel he posted a picture of.

The four types of rims

As you see in the table above, most cars will use one of the four rim types, with each type offering its own advantages and disadvantages.

Aluminum alloy:  Commonly found on newer vehicles, aluminum alloy rims, as the name implies, comes from the alloy of aluminum and are usually painted with a clear coat.  If they bent, the repair can be difficult, but as for a scuff or scratch, most professionals are able to sand and repaint with ease.

Chrome plated:  In the case of curb rash, most chrome plated rims can be sandblasted and re-plated; however, for most, the price of this repair can often be close to purchasing a new rim, the main reason why most drivers prefer to simply purchase a new comparable rim.

Plastic clad:  Similar to the look of chrome, a plastic clad rim will be much lighter and cheaper for the manufacturer to produce.  As it’s made from plastic, any sort of damage done to this type of material can be next to impossible since, most of the time, the rim will crack, requiring replacement.

Steel wheel:  Steel, as a material, is quite durable and can withstand a lot of damage.  Because of this, it means you can often repair them without the worry about replacement, whether it’s scuffed or bent.

The process

When repairing a curbed wheel, the process often begins by removing all of the dirt, particles and protective finishes from the rim, according to  Next, the damaged area is sanded down, patched with a filler, sanded again and finally buffed to create a smooth finish to remove the scratches.  Then, the damaged area needs to primed and painted to match the original color and topped with a clear-coat finish.  This is often the process for scratches and scuffs, with no bending or cracking visible.

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