A particular issue that BMW owners tend to encounter is cracked alloy wheels, especially when it comes to flat tires. This occurs because, while aesthetically pleasing, alloy wheels are not as durable as other kinds of wheels and have a tendency to crack under pressure. Luckily, there are some things that can be done to fix the problem when it occurs and some tips to make it less likely to happen in the first place.
First, a few definitions to clear up any confusion. As you may know, there is a difference between tires and wheels. Though many people use the terms interchangeably, in technical terms, a car’s wheels are the metal hubs that are permanently affixed to the car’s axle. The word tires, by contrast, refers to the rubber coverings that surround the wheels. The tires are what actually touch the ground and gain traction that allows the vehicle to move forward.
Wheels come in all sorts of colors and sizes, from 16 inch shiny alloys with spokes to 19 inches in black matte. Some people prefer larger alloy wheels that fill the wheel well and are more aesthetically pleasing. It’s a matter of opinion and a great way to customize your car.
With the amount of pressure a car’s wheels are under all the time, it’s unsurprising that cracks happen. Alloy wheels in particular, because of their lightweight nature, crack easily. They’re very good to look at and their weight allows for more control over acceleration and stopping, but the drawback is the fragility.
When the wheels crack, it’s usually because of something that is difficult to avoid. As much as you might try to get out of the way of obvious dangers like potholes, curbs, or large bumps, sometimes these dangers may be hidden or hard to suss out and you will likely end up running into a few here and there.
When damage occurs, the only thing to do is to take the vehicle to a trusted and knowledgeable BMW mechanic. They will be able to determine the severity of the damage and whether the wheel needs to be replaced or simply repaired. This will depend largely on the type of damage.
If the crack in the alloy wheel is relatively small and not too deep, it can probably be repaired pretty quickly by an experienced technician. However, deeper gouges will require the wheel to be replaced. In the long run, even with thinner cracks, replacing the wheel may be more cost effective than repairing it, as once the wheel has a crack, even one that has been patched, it is weaker and more likely to crack again in the future.
After all this discussion of how fragile alloy wheels are, you might be wondering why anyone wants alloy wheels to begin with, but one of the main advantages is that they are lighter weight, allowing for greater responsiveness to acceleration and braking. They are also affordable and come in a much wider array of styles than sturdier wheels, making them an attractive option for those who care about the aesthetics of their vehicles and are looking to customize their car.
For many people, those advantages outweigh the drawbacks. If that’s the case for you, then you simply need to keep in mind how you’re driving and be careful not to hit too many bumps. Additionally, avoiding larger wheels can help, as that means the tire will be taking more of the impact than the wheel itself.
If you do find yourself with a cracked wheel, however, the experienced mechanics at Euro Plus Automotive would be delighted to find a fix. We are located in Canoga Park, California and are happy to provide services to clients all over Los Angeles County, including Woodland Hills and San Fernando Valley.
If you’d like to set up an appointment or learn more about the services we offer, feel free to give us a call or stop by our shop for information. We’d be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the services you need!