Bent Wheels? Longevity of alloy wheels?

Messages
26
Location
Pennsylvania
Hi everyone, just looking for some advice and information on the life and longevity of alloy wheels. I have a 2012 Accord and it has been very reliable outside of the VCM issues I experienced a few years back. I've had the car since new, so going on 8 years now about a year ago I started having issues with the car shaking. The shaking can be felt in my steering wheel and also in the seat of the pants and it doesn't really go away at all with balances or rotations. So, I had 3 shops check my wheels, Walmart where I get my tires first said they could find no bends, the Honda dealer who also said they could find nothing wrong with them, and finally an independent shop that also had issues but did finally determine they were ALL bent. They aren't bent terribly or anything like they were smashed into a curb, but they are all bent in smaller varying amounts more on the inside of the wheels not the outside near the spokes. They were not able to identify the bends until they actually removed the tires from the wheels and placed the wheels onto a lathe. So, my main reason for posting is just to find out if this is normal after 7-8 years for an alloy wheel to weaken and deteriorate. I'm only 32 so my other cars I didn't have that long and this car has been with me for 25% of my life and 50% of my driving life since licensed at 16y/o. So, is this just a normal maintenance thing I should expect to do with cars and replace the wheels every 6-8 years? I had everyone look at the suspension as well and no one could find anything visibly wrong or bent with my suspension components. I should also add I commute to work in Morgantown, West Virginia and the roads there are a terrible pothole-ridden nightmare. So, I'm sure that has something to do with my wheels as well. I'm about to go wheel shopping I guess, but I just hope this was a weakening of the wheels over time. I'd hate to buy new wheels and have my commute beat them to death in only a few years. eek
 
Messages
22,093
Location
Apple Valley, California
The low profile wheels get bent easily. The lack of a tire sidewall is the cause. Any potholes are transferred right to the rim. To answer your question no they do not deteriate to the point of bending. They get bent from hitting things.
 
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beastykato

Thread starter
Messages
26
Location
Pennsylvania
I've read online that the wheels simply weaken over time from repeated blows is why I was asking. I do understand that it's an impact that creates the bend. My tires are 225/50R17, which I didn't think were low-pro but I guess anything 50 or less are considered low-profile after looking it up.
 
Messages
8,378
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
The independent shop "that also had issues", means what exactly and how do these issues effect you? Is cost the reason you're reluctant to remove the tires? How close to worn out are your tires? Maybe asking at a wheel refurbishing & straightening shop is an effective way to go? A 9MY old car (yours) might have worn control arm bushings. Have any of your rebalance attempts involved a Hunter Road Force Balance machine? Call around and find one. edit: Having grown up with 78 series tires, they "all" seem low profile to me. Remember, 40 (or more?) years ago Dunlop named their D60-A2 for the aspect ratio (the 60) because it was a big deal. Maybe they were "78% high as they were wide" for a reason. It's a sore point with me as my BIL was lied to by a car salesman who said the 45/35 (ft/rr) aspect ratios weren't low profile. Yes, he bought the car.
 
Messages
1,037
Location
Northern New York
Originally Posted by Chris142
The low profile wheels get bent easily. The lack of a tire sidewall is the cause. Any potholes are transferred right to the rim. To answer your question no they do not deteriate to the point of bending. They get bent from hitting things.
So true! They handle nice but beyond that are nothing but a "Bimbo". The look real sexy , cost a fortune and cause problems you never even dreamed possible. Problems just like yours that you used to only Experience in an accident , severe ditching Or finding that pothole that looks like it came from the lunar landscape. The kind that you remember years later hitting it. Welcome to modern manufacturing. Gettin better every 🥴 day.........
 

beastykato

Thread starter
Messages
26
Location
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by Kira
The independent shop "that also had issues", means what exactly and how do these issues effect you? Is cost the reason you're reluctant to remove the tires? How close to worn out are your tires? Maybe asking at a wheel refurbishing & straightening shop is an effective way to go? A 9MY old car (yours) might have worn control arm bushings. Have any of your rebalance attempts involved a Hunter Road Force Balance machine? Call around and find one. edit: Having grown up with 78 series tires, they "all" seem low profile to me. Remember, 40 (or more?) years ago Dunlop named their D60-A2 for the aspect ratio (the 60) because it was a big deal. Maybe they were "78% high as they were wide" for a reason. It's a sore point with me as my BIL was lied to by a car salesman who said the 45/35 (ft/rr) aspect ratios weren't low profile. Yes, he bought the car.
When I say issues I mean that they could not identify that the wheels were bent through balancing the wheels with the tires mounted. One they removed the tires and put the wheels up on a lathe is when they were able to identify they were bent. The other shops didn't take the time to remove the tires. As for what type of machine was used to balance them, I honestly do not know. EDIT: Also I forgot to say I did replace the tires. That was my first thought, even before I thought the wheels were bent I bought a whole new set of tires because I thought it might be the tires or a wear pattern issue, two of the tires were ready to be replaced at the time anyway. Which was about a month prior to finding they were bent.
 
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Messages
4,597
Location
Manchester, England
lots of people are in the habit of dodging potholes to avoid this exact situation. its not always possible but an ounce of prevention is worth the price of a new wheel.
 

beastykato

Thread starter
Messages
26
Location
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by Olas
lots of people are in the habit of dodging potholes to avoid this exact situation. its not always possible but an ounce of prevention is worth the price of a new wheel.
Hahah I'm sorry, this is funny LOL . I'm not making fun of ya for saying this it's just funny because in WV if you dodge one hole you hit two more grin2
 
Messages
1,435
Location
Warner Robins, GA
I took my Mazda in to get the tires balanced after I bought it and discount tire said 3 out of my 4 wheels are bent.. It only has a slight vibration around 60mph and is smooth at all other speeds so I'm just living with it. The rest of the car looks like it went through a good bit of teenager ownership before I got it, so I don't doubt its crashed through a lot of pot holes/curbs.
 
Messages
3,899
Location
Somewhere in the US
Originally Posted by beastykato
..... and finally an independent shop that also had issues but did finally determine they were ALL bent. They aren't bent terribly or anything like they were smashed into a curb, but they are all bent in smaller varying amounts more on the inside of the wheels not the outside near the spokes. They were not able to identify the bends until they actually removed the tires from the wheels and placed the wheels onto a lathe...…
Did you mean they looked at them on a Hunter GSP9700 RoadForce Machine? (I'm guessing, No!) In either case, what values did they get? If not, find one: https://www.hunter.com/gsp9700 Get these values: Overall uniformity of the assembly in pound Radial First Harmonic (shouldn't be over 20#) Tire uniformity (by itself) 20# Radial First Harmonic Wheel uniformity (by itself) 10# Radial first harmonic Generally wheel end vibrations are found between 50 mph and 70 mph and more or less not there at other speeds (the reason is the natural resonant frequency of spring/mass/damper systems). I'm guessing that this is not the case here! So to answer your questions: Nothing is perfectly round. Tires will develop irregular wear, wheels will warp and bend - and unless something odd happens, these don't change enough within their lifetime to get a vibration. Having said that, it is known that bad alignment will cause tires to wear irregularly and develop vibrations. It is also known that potholes do dent wheel and those can cause vibrations. But you have to be sure it is those - and for that you need to attach numbers to each component. The fact that you feel the vibration both in the steering wheel and in the seat and rotating tires didn't change anything leads me to believe the problem is NOT at the wheel end (tires/wheels/other rotating parts). My best guess is CV joints. Edit: I see where you posted more information AFTER I wrote the above. You replaced tires. Further evidence the problem isn't at the wheel end.
 
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Messages
7,775
Location
Oklahoma
How can you tell if a rim is bent if you don't take the tires off the car? They should at least put them on a balancer and see how it does.
 
Messages
3,047
Location
The Northeast
The roads here are also abysmal. Besides potholes, you've got both raised & very recessed manhole covers, broken pavement, random dips and elevated pavement, and just general nonsense. I'm no metallurgist but I've also read that alloy wheels can lose their strength over time. My Accord supposedly has a bent alloy rim somewhere. It's had a slight vibration for years that sometimes seems rotation-dependent, and other times, not. I just live with it. If your shaking is bad enough, maybe get a set of steelies. Four of those will likely be cheaper than getting two of your bent alloys repaired.
 

Pew

Messages
1,250
Location
Illinois
Originally Posted by beastykato
Originally Posted by Olas
lots of people are in the habit of dodging potholes to avoid this exact situation. its not always possible but an ounce of prevention is worth the price of a new wheel.
Hahah I'm sorry, this is funny LOL . I'm not making fun of ya for saying this it's just funny because in WV if you dodge one hole you hit two more grin2
Last winter, I-80 in Illinois near Joliet had a pothole so big that it caused semis to gain air. The only way to avoid it was to be in the left lane or go haflway on the shoulder and hope you don't hit the other 4 potholes within 50ft. They had to fill it every week last winter and it was fine until now - the hole is coming back.
 

beastykato

Thread starter
Messages
26
Location
Pennsylvania
Originally Posted by CapriRacer
Originally Posted by beastykato
..... and finally an independent shop that also had issues but did finally determine they were ALL bent. They aren't bent terribly or anything like they were smashed into a curb, but they are all bent in smaller varying amounts more on the inside of the wheels not the outside near the spokes. They were not able to identify the bends until they actually removed the tires from the wheels and placed the wheels onto a lathe...…
Did you mean they looked at them on a Hunter GSP9700 RoadForce Machine? (I'm guessing, No!) In either case, what values did they get? If not, find one: https://www.hunter.com/gsp9700 Get these values: Overall uniformity of the assembly in pound Radial First Harmonic (shouldn't be over 20#) Tire uniformity (by itself) 20# Radial First Harmonic Wheel uniformity (by itself) 10# Radial first harmonic Generally wheel end vibrations are found between 50 mph and 70 mph and more or less not there at other speeds (the reason is the natural resonant frequency of spring/mass/damper systems). I'm guessing that this is not the case here! So to answer your questions: Nothing is perfectly round. Tires will develop irregular wear, wheels will warp and bend - and unless something odd happens, these don't change enough within their lifetime to get a vibration. Having said that, it is known that bad alignment will cause tires to wear irregularly and develop vibrations. It is also known that potholes do dent wheel and those can cause vibrations. But you have to be sure it is those - and for that you need to attach numbers to each component. The fact that you feel the vibration both in the steering wheel and in the seat and rotating tires didn't change anything leads me to believe the problem is NOT at the wheel end (tires/wheels/other rotating parts). My best guess is CV joints. Edit: I see where you posted more information AFTER I wrote the above. You replaced tires. Further evidence the problem isn't at the wheel end.
I'll certainly take your information into account. I was never given exact measurements, but they showed me the wheels spinning on the lathe with the stationary point on it and on that machine I could also see that sections of the wheel varied in distance relative to that point as it spun. They clearly appeared to be bent visually at least from what I could see. I too thought this was a suspension issue, but I'm just relying on these "professionals" to tell me. I had the dealer and the independent shop both look over my suspension and they said it was all ok. I have about 0 experience working on or diagnosing suspension problems so I'm basically taking what they say as truth. I'm not saying they were right or wrong either, but I bet my bottom dollar that if they had seen something awry they would have used that opportunity to try to sell me on some parts and labor, so based on that I'm inclined to think they were both honest about their assessment (whether or not they are correct). I did do all the basic Youtube tests that I ran across. Jacked up the wheels, tried to shake them back and forth and see if there is any play, no clunking in the suspension, brakes and rotors smooth, and there doesn't seem to be any play in the steering wheel it's firm and accurate just vibrating at all speeds. I will most certainly look into the condition of my control arm/cv joints though.
 
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Messages
1,326
Location
South Texas
@beastykato, I'm not familiar with cities in WV, but there might be a wheel refinishing shop relatively close by where you live or a mobile service. Wheels can be trued back to original specs, tested, and re-painted-chromed-powder coated etc to make like new again. There is a rather large shop where I live (probably part of a chain) that does full service refinishing from correcting simple blemishes to full out restoration w/ chemical dips, re-straightening and finish coating. Mobile services that operate out of trailers are popular now also, many techs buy into turn-key franchises to offer the services. I'd suggest looking into something like this, it maybe cheaper than you think. You don't want to be driving down the highway and start getting the "death wobble" from a jacked up wheel.
 
Messages
3,899
Location
Canada
This is exactly why I prefer steel wheels for commuter vehicles. Alloy wheels should be reserved for show/weekend cars only.
 
Messages
1,410
Location
Western Canada
If a couple of shops did not notice the " bent ... " wheels, and the last shop could only see the " bend ... " with the tires off, then the wheels aren't BENT. They may be ever so slightly out of round, but that likely won't cause a vibration. Look elsewhere for the problem.
 
Messages
10,288
Location
MA
Either get the bent wheels fixed or get new wheels on eBay. I've had several bent rims and a few cracked ones too. Even cracked rims can be welded and bent back, but I've seen some broken wheels at the repair shop where there were chunks missing and couldn't be fixed. Those were usually aftermarket rims. It's about $95 to fix a bent rim so it depends on what the reman/replica rims are going for. For one car, they were in the $140 range so with a cracked rim, it was cheaper just to get another rim. For the other car, a replacement rim was in the $200 range so it was just cheaper to bend them back.
 
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