Even if car wheels are made out of metals like aluminium, they can still crack for various reasons. A strong enough impact may cause it to still break. Such cracks are extremely dangerous since they can release air from the tyre. More than just a flat, a crack might cause a road accident if left unattended.
There are instances when the cracks are small enough to be sealed by the bead of the tire. People in these instances must have their wheels checked before the situation worsens. Since there is a tendency for the crack to grow, it may break even with a slight impact.
The begs the question: is it safe to weld a cracked wheel and continue to use it?
Things to Consider Before Welding a Wheel
The Location of the Crack
The only safe location for a crack is at the back or inboard side of the wheel. A crack on the front face of the wheel can compromise the wheel’s structural integrity. It is the same for a crack on any of the spokes. Cracks within the barrel are also irreparable.
The Direction of the Crack
Oftentimes, cracks in the backside of a wheel cross the flange and bead area at a right angle to where the wheel spins. If this is the kind of crack you have, you can have the wheel welded. However, if the crack runs parallel to the spin direction, it should not be welded because the process will never allow the vehicle to run straight again.
Skill of Welder
In welding aluminium alloy, the welder must use a process called TIG or the Tungsten Inert Gas welding method. The welder should know how to use this method instead of the MIG or Metal Inert Gas welding method.
MIG can weaken the beads and make them thinner and weaker. It can also burn the surrounding alloy, weakening the spots around the welded area. Find a welder who knows how to do TIG with experience in wheels.
Keep in mind that wheels are only safe to use after welding if their cracks are in the inboard side of the wheel running orthogonal to the spin. In any other case than that, the crack should not be welded. Welding a wheel in such cases may cause it to expand and break in the long run—which can cause accidents and harm people both inside and outside the vehicle.
It is also good to remember that not every welder should be trusted to weld a cracked car wheel. The welder you choose should know how to handle the type of wheels you have. They should also know which welding method is more suitable. However, you should also understand that a weld will never be equal to the strength of the original material. Welding a cracked wheel may prolong its use a little while longer, but you might still have to replace it in the future.
We at Wicked Rims prioritize our client’s safety over the aesthetics of wheel repairs. We offer aluminium welding services for cracked wheels, but we also provide alloy wheel refurbishment. Our goal is to make sure that drivers and their passengers are safe while they are out on the road. We serve the community of Essex and are only a call away. Set an appointment today, and let’s get to work!