What Is Curb Rash?
Curb rash refers to the damage that a vehicle’s wheels or rims endure when they come into contact with curbs, potholes, or other obstructions. This damage often manifests as scuff marks, scratches, or finish deterioration on the wheel. In some cases, curb rash can lead to more serious structural damage to the wheels. This includes bending, cracking, severe gouging, or chunking.
Curb rash is not just a cosmetic issue; it can have significant implications for your vehicle’s performance and safety. One major issue is the potential misalignment of the car’s suspension, which can result in uneven tire wear. This misalignment can become evident within as little as 200 miles of driving post-incident. Additionally, curb rash might damage the tire’s sidewall, increasing the risk of a dangerous tire blowout.
How to Protect Your Vehicle from Curb Rash?
Protecting your vehicle from curb rash involves both driving techniques and the use of protective accessories. Here are some key strategies:
- Practice and master parallel parking, as this is a common situation where curb rash occurs. Be mindful of the distance between your wheels and the curb when parking.
- Install rim protectors on your wheels. Rim protectors are often rubber rings that fit between the tire and the rim. They provide a barrier against scratches and scuffs from curbs.
- When driving in urban areas with tight turns and curbs, take care to maintain a safe distance from the curb.
- When parking, adjust your side mirrors to give you a better view of the curb and your car’s position relative to it.
- Whenever possible, park in spots where you don’t need to be close to the curb, or where the risk of scraping against the curb is minimized.
How to Fix a Curb Rash?
- Clean and Sand the Area: Thoroughly clean the wheel and sand the damaged area to smooth out scuffs and scratches.
- Fill Deeper Gouges: Use a metal-reinforced filler for deeper gouges, and sand again once it’s dry to ensure an even surface.
- Prime and Paint: Apply primer to the area, let it dry, and then paint with a color that matches the wheel’s original hue.
- Apply Clear Coat: Once the paint is dry, add a layer of clear coat for protection and gloss.
- Polish the Wheel: After the clear coat dries, polish the wheel to restore its shine.