Cracked alloy wheel repairs are one of our specialities at CCM. Our trained team have performed and repaired thousands of rims over the past years, and we have the answers ready for the most commonly asked questions. We can’t list all of them here, but let’s take a look at the ones we hear the most.
Do alloy wheels crack easily?
Alloy wheels are prone to cracking, especially when hit with a hard object. This is especially common in large, more high-end vehicles such as BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mercedes. The reason we see more of these vehicles is that they usually have bigger wheels which means less rubber tyre to protect the wheel against those pesky potholes.
What causes an alloy wheel to crack?
The most common cause of a cracked alloy wheel is that it has come into contact with a pothole or a kerb. Sadly, it doesn’t need to be at crazy high speeds to crack the alloy.
There are two types of crack that we see at CCM, a short and a long crack. The short crack only extends down the outer rim or bead sealing area. They can be seen from underneath the car when the wheel is still fitted and are often spotted during an MOT test.
The second type we see is what we refer to as a long crack. This crack will have split the outer bead and started to creep into the inner wheel rim.
Both types of cracks will present themselves as a slow puncture and cost the same to repair. Many of the customers we see only notice the wheel is cracked once they’ve gone to get a new tyre fitted and the fitter has spotted it. It’s important to know that a crack of any size in the wheel rim IS an MOT fail item.
Luckily, both of these cracks can be repaired using TIG welding process.
What happens if you have a cracked alloy?
A cracked alloy wheel will start to cause you problems straight away. You can expect a loss of tyre air pressure, poor handling and difficulty balancing the wheel. It is a dangerous issue as the wheel can begin to deteriorate whilst you are driving.
Will a cracked rim leak air?
Yes, a cracked rim can leak air, which will cause the tyre to lose pressure and lead to poor handling. If you are finding that you are regularly topping up the air in your tyres it may be because of a crack or a buckle.
Can you drive with a cracked alloy?
It’s not recommended to drive with a cracked alloy wheel. The cracks can worsen while driving, and the wheel can begin to deteriorate, which can lead to a dangerous situation. A cracked alloy wheel is an MOT failure.
Can a crack in an alloy wheel be repaired?
Yes, in most cases we can repair cracked alloys. Only in cases where the wheel is badly damaged will we have to decline. Bring it to our Gatwick team and our wheel expert will take a look and let you know. Please know that this is a specialised service that requires special tools and skills to perform. We have invested over £15,000 in making sure we have the best TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding plant.
The steps to repair a cracked alloy wheel:
- Remove the wheel from the car
- Carry out a leak check to identify all leaks
- Remove the tyre and check the tyre’s condition
- Place the wheel onto the balance machine for a general check-over of the wheel condition and look out for any buckles (buckles often go hand in hand with cracks, unfortunately)
- Clean back the crack and gently cut it open to allow the weld to fully fill the crack
- Drill weld end to help with flex dissipation and diffusion
- Carry out the weld repair
- Grind back to the inner weld and tyre seating bead
How much does it cost to fix a crack in a rim?
We have a very simple pricing structure for our alloy wheel repairs. For most people, you’d be looking at £81.95 + VAT. See the breakdown below for more details:
Crack repair – £57.95 + VAT
Additional crack – £28.95 + VAT
Remove & refit wheel and tyre – £24 + VAT
Is a cracked alloy an MOT failure?
Yes, a cracked alloy wheel is an MOT failure. Section 5.2.2 of the revised MOT Testing standards for class 3 – 7 vehicles states that a fractured wheel rim is a dangerous defect. If your MOT tester spots this on your MOT test, they will have to issue a fail certificate.
For a lot of drivers, this is the first time they notice that they have a cracked wheel. We see people coming from far and wide to get theirs fixed.
Therefore, it is important to ensure that all alloy wheels are inspected regularly and any cracks are repaired as soon as possible. Speak to our team to get your cracked alloy wheel booked in and we can get it repaired within an hour.