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How to fix curb rash?
  • 27 September, 2022
  • /
  • Marion Smith

How to fix and protect rims from curb rash?

Are you trying to find a solution to the problem of curb rash on rims? Well, you are in the right spot. Here we will discuss how to protect rims from curb rash. And if you've had a bad experience with curb rash on your wheels and rims, don't worry, we'll tell you how to fix curb rash.

Moreover, you will find useful tips and suggestions in detail to avoid other damages to the rims and wheels that may occur. Let’s start by fixing it first!

How to repair rims affected by curb rash?

Although curb rash is nasty, you can treat it yourself given enough time, patience, and effort. The steps you take to fix rims after they have suffered curb rash damage will depend on the type of rim material.

For example, your aluminum wheels/rims can be coated with a clear protective layer. If you're unsure, inspect the damaged area with a piece of sandpaper to see if it has one.

If the resulting dust is white rather than grey, it reveals a transparent layer that needs to be removed before you can see the actual curb rash. After that, follow the below procedure for repairing curb rash:

  • First, the clear coat must be removed completely around the rim, the wheel must be polished with sandpaper
  • Once the clear coating has been removed, you can refine the surface by wet-sanding the damaged aluminum
  • Cleaning it with water and then drying it before polishing it with aluminum

For painted metal wheels other than aluminum or magnesium rims, you have to follow the below procedure. In this process, you will be sanding, using putty, priming, painting, and clear coating.

Smooth the Rims

First of all, you have to smooth the rims by following the step below:

  1. Put On Saftey Gear

    When working with paint, sandpaper, thinners, and primer. It’s important to wear eye protection.

  2. Sand Rough Areas with 400-grit Sandpaper

    To smooth out the metal in the damaged region, use 400-grit sandpaper. Sand continuously until the damage is gone.

  3. Apply Spot Putty on Rough Areas and Dry

    Spot putty works with all types of automobiles. Use a spot putty knife and a small amount of the product to fill in the area. Try to apply a very thin layer to the region. After that, wait for 30 minutes for the putty to cure.

  4. Sand the Excess Putty Away with Sandpaper

    Sand off the extra putty once it has dried. Sand with sandpaper to make a putty level with the rim.

  5. Use a Scouring Pad to Remove the Clear Coating from the Rest of the Rim

    It’s a difficult task to match the color of the paint exactly to the rim color. But you can use a scouring pad to remove the scuff entirely.

Priming the Rims After Painting

  1. Use Paint Thinner to Clean the Rims

    Before continuing, it's critical to clean the rims so that the primer and paint will cling to the metal properly. Use a lint-free cloth and a little amount of paint thinner to clean the rims.

  2. Cover the Entire Car so that Just the Rims with Damage are Visible

    Mask off the tire's center cap, lug nuts, and valve stem. To also cover the brake pads, tuck masking tape or plastic into the rim holes. To conceal and safeguard the tires, place masking tape behind the rim. Then use drop cloths or masking paper to completely enclose your car. Mask the rest of the tire and vehicle with masking tape, leaving only the damaged rim exposed.

    • If you don't thoroughly mask the rest of your automobile before spraying the primer and paint, it could be ruined, so take your time!
    • Alternatively, you might remove the tires from the vehicle, leaving only the brake pads, center cap, lug nuts, and tire exposed.
  3. Over the Entire rim, Apply the primer.

    Before using the primer, properly shake the can. Hold the can with its rim about 6 inches away. Then, using quick back-and-forth motions, spray the entire rim. Start at the top of the rim and work your way down. The rim should be evenly and thinly covered.

  4. Apply a Second Layer of Primer after letting the First One Dry, if Desired

    It should only take the primer 10 to 15 minutes to dry. You can use the same technique to apply a second coat if your first application was too thin or uneven. A minimum of 15 minutes of drying time is required before priming is painted over.

  5. Put a Light Coat of Paint on the Rim

    Shake the paint can well before you start to spray. Over the entire rim, mist a thin, equal layer of paint. Hold the can at a distance of about 6 inches (15 cm) from the rim. Short, back-and-forth strokes are best. Work your way down the rim, starting at the top.

    • Pick a paint color that is closer to the original color of the rims.
  6. Apply a Second Layer of Paint after 30 Minutes, if Necessary

    You can add another coat if the paint is uneven or sheer. After giving the first coat 30 minutes to dry, apply a second coat using the same procedure.

  7. Let the Paint Dry for Two to Twelve Hours

    For the best results, you should let the paint dry completely before continuing. To ensure that the paint is fully set if at all feasible, let it dry overnight. If you're in a rush, let the paint dry for at least two hours before applying the clear coat.

Clear-Coating and Polishing the Rims

The final steps for clear coating and polishing the rims are:

  1. Apply a very light layer of spray over the rims and let it dry for 30 minutes. After that apply another layer and leave it for 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Make sure you don’t apply the paint too much it will dip out and ruin the look of the rim.
  3. When it is completely dry remove the masking tape and drop cloths and papers. Don’t forget to replace the center caps.
  4. Finally, polish your car rim, through rim polish!


  • Fixing curb rash is best done during a warm(sunny), bright day so that your putty, primer, and paint can dry more rapidly.
  • You'll probably need to take the rim to the repair shop if there are severe scratches on it. Professionally, they can remove one or two millimeters from the wheel.

While you can save money by making the repairs yourself for small damage, you can benefit from letting our specialists fix your wheels as different materials will have different requirements.

Get your desired wheel now! If you have any specific requirements for your car here at Wheel Synergy, we offer a request wheel option for our customers where they can ask for their desired rims or wheels and get a cheap rim and tire package.

How to Protect Rims from Curb Rash?

Curb rash usually occurs when parking or making sharp maneuvers. The protruding edge of a wheel is particularly susceptible to damage. Serious damage can happen when:

  • Making a tight bend and mistakenly running into a curb
  • Parallel parking

The best method to avoid curb rash is to make sure that the wheels never touch a curb at all. This is entirely up to the driver's skills. Of course, you have to work on this on your own. Making sure you never run into a curb is the straightforward solution. But that's not how life usually works. Here are some useful recommendations for maintaining the condition of your rims if you want to prevent such wheel damage.

Pay Particular Attention When Parallel Parking

When reversing into a space, many people who are not accustomed to parallel parking will run into the curb. If you still struggle with parallel parking, practice in a parking lot that is vacant and has enough room until you feel confident.

There are a few things that may be more annoying than trying to parallel park and running into a curb. You might spend up to $200 on curb rash repair!

Install Wheel Rims Protectors:

Installing wheel rim protectors is one of the best ways to prevent curb rash on your car's rims. Rim protectors are a brilliant solution that protects rims from harm and enhances the overall appearance of your car.

Another advantage of wheel rim protectors is that they are simple to remove whenever necessary, whether they need to clean the protector or the wheel or swap out the wheel and tire. When one wishes to use them again, one can reattach them just as quickly.

Note: Learn more about Tesla Rim Protectors

  • Prevent expensive damage
  • Prevent structural wheel damage (prevent scratches and absorb the impact of potholes)
  • Personalized aesthetic looks (custom designs)

Winterizing Your Wheels

For several reasons, winter may be terrible for your rims as well. First, slick roads might make your automobile less stable, increasing the risk that you'll lose control and hit a curb. In an ideal scenario, your car would be equipped with a pair of winter tires that would help it maintain an appropriate grip in the rain, sleet, and snow.

Wheels struggle in the winter. Your automobile can go into a curb if the road is slick with ice. The better traction provided by winter tires can stop that skid. Winter driving conditions favor steel rims more. Although steel rims are heavier and less expensive than alloy wheels, they do not look attractive.

Read More: Best All-Season Tires For Winter Conditions

Road salt is another element that aggravates rim deterioration in the winter. Salt turns into salt water when it is combined with melting ice and snow, which corrodes your wheels. Wheels with chrome plating are particularly vulnerable. During the winter, it's crucial to wash your vehicle frequently.

Useful Suggestions

Furthermore, avoid potholes, wash your rims, and be aware of curbs. In addition, to curb rash, there are additional things that might harm your wheels. Take these preventative measures:

  1. When washing your wheels, be sure to only use the proper cleaning chemicals. The worst thing for most wheels is steel wool, which unintentionally removes the clear coating.
  2. Several wheel cleaners contain acid, which is another substance that could potentially affect different types of wheels.

Note: Although acid is excellent for eliminating brake dust, over time it can also wear away the clear coating on your wheels. If the wheel cleaner fluid says to rinse it off in five minutes, it probably contains acid. Acid-based cleaners are also used at full-service vehicle washes.

Bottom Line

We hope you’ve learned everything about how to protect rims from curb rash. It's time to start taking action against curb rash right now. We have all the tools you need to move forward, whether your goal is to purchase a new set of rims or wheels for any brand. Or do you want advice from our experts at “wheelsynergy” .

Browse through our best online collection of wheels and rims. Please feel free to contact us or call us at (+1 (217) 996-1730). We will be happy to assist you!

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