Most vehicle owners are pretty diligent about things like oil changes and tire pressure—but many neglect to check the status of their wheels on a regular basis. Wheels are pretty important, though, if they don’t turn properly, your car doesn’t move properly either. That’s why you need to know how to do some basic maintenance on the wheels of your car, as well as when to do it.
Your wheels must be able to bear the full load of your vehicle and rotate easily to move your car in the direction the steering wheel is turned. Wheel problems can cause poor acceleration, sluggish handling, increased brake wear (resulting in longer braking times), or even transmission damage, all of which can compromise the safety of your vehicle and make an accident more likely.
But wheels are not a single component, they are made up of many smaller parts, all of which must work together for your vehicle's wheels to turn. Here's a list of each part you should check when assessing wheel health, and how and how often you should check it.
Wheels provide the base on which your vehicle’s tires are mounted. They’re built to be pretty resilient, but they can become bent over time—and when they do, you’ll need to replace them to avoid steering problems. Bent rims can also cause the wheels attached to them to deflate faster, since the bent portion can puncture the rubber.
To check a rim for damage, you’ll need to take off the lug nuts and remove your hubcap. Then you’ll be able to conduct a visual inspection of the rim and look for any significantly warped areas. Minor warping may be correctable via wheel balancing, but majorly deformed rims will need to be replaced completely. But if it’s just some surface scratches, then you don’t need to replace the wheels, you only need a wheel repair machine to remove the scratches, which is very simple and more economical.
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