4 of the Worst Things You Can Do To Your Wheels

Your car’s wheels are one of the most important and yet most underrated aspects of your car. The only point of contact between your vehicle and the road, we depend on our wheels and tires to keep us safe and heading in the direction we want to go. It’s surprising, then, how many people treat them so poorly, seeming to take them for granted. In fact, there are a handful of harmful habits and trends that can damage or ruin our car’s wheels, and some of them we don’t even think twice about.

Hitting potholes

Hitting a pothole can do a lot of damage to your car’s wheel, but also the suspension and numerous other parts. While many parts of your car’s suspension can be damaged, that isn’t the point here. Your wheels can become bent and disfigured, causing them to leak air and, in more serious cases, cause your car to shake violently as you drive. This can sometimes be repaired though often the best solution is to replace the wheel altogether.

28 January 2019, Brandenburg, Briesen: The car tyre of a Volkswagen can be seen on a defective asphalt road surface and is reflected in a puddle. Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The car tyre of a Volkswagen can be seen on a defective asphalt road surface and is reflected in a puddle in a pothole | Patrick Pleul/picture alliance, Getty Images

Curbing your wheels

You can’t always avoid curbing your wheels — after all, it’s not like anyone does it on purpose (we hope). Curbing your wheels can cause cosmetic damage on the surface that detracts from your car’s overall appeal, but it can also damage your wheel functionally. Much like hitting a pothole, curbing your wheels can, in extreme circumstances, cause your wheels to bend.

A flat tire on a car is seen on a wet pavement surface.
Stock photo of a flat car tire. | Niall Carson – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Driving with low tire pressure

Driving with low tire pressure can be dangerous and disastrous for so many reasons. On the surface, it can ruin your car’s drive quality and also decrease fuel economy. If it gets flat enough it could also cause your car’s wheel to ride directly on the pavement, of course, causing them to get permanent road rash along the edge. Drive like this long enough and you can damage the wheel, and your car’s suspension.

Flat Tire
A Mercedes with its flat tire | Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

Spray painting your wheels

Okay, so this one doesn’t actually hurt your rims, but it can sure ruin them pretty easily. Painting your wheels with spray paint or plastidip can be a great way to give your car a custom touch, and sometimes even increase its appearances. If the prep work isn’t done right or your painting technique is sub-par, however, it can end up looks worse than it did before.

Workers spray paint a car body shell at the BYD Automobile Company Limited Xi’an plant | Yuan Jingzhi/VCG, Getty Images

Hitting a Pothole Can Cause More Damage Than You Think

Tires and wheels are the part of our cars that we take for granted up until something goes wrong. With just some maintenance and attention we can prevent our rims from getting ruined, which can, in turn, ruin our whole day. If you value your car’s appearances and ride quality, we suggest you avoid these common wheel-ruiners at all costs.