Most car owners at some point in their life would have decorated their wheels with scrapes and scratches when misjudging a corner or did not see an incoming pothole. This terrible incident is what we call, gutter rash. Even a decade ago, most cars had smaller rims and were wrapped with high-profile, cushy rubber.
However, large rim sizes are trending these days in the automotive world and, it means the chances of your car’s rim hitting the gutter are much higher and common. Unfortunately, spotting scratched rims can be spotted without much scrutiny, often revealing a contrast against paint rims like day and night. It is just one of those pain points that cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to selling your car. After all, scratched rims may give off a poor impression about your driving and ultimately how you take care of your car.
Nevertheless, although facing gutter rash is common these days, here are some ways to address the issue so that you can help prevent gutter rash from happening to you.
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How can you prevent gutter rash?
Know your car’s dimension and size
It is important to know the dimension of your car and we do not mean this to the centimeter. We generally mean this to a degree of which you have a general idea of how big your car is so that you can easily estimate whether you can fit your car in tight spaces and what room you must work with. Scratches and unexpected curb hits are commonly caused from underestimating how much room you have to work with when driving or parking. Knowing your car’s size and dimensions can help you avoid costly gutter rash incidents.
Try to avoid potholes and other kinds of hazards that the roads are filled with. Avoiding obstacles on the road would keep your rim in good condition. Potholes are notorious for causing significant damage to the rims and tyre itself, especially at high speeds and potholes deeper than usual. Keep your eyes on the road and safely avoid potholes to keep your car rims in top condition.
Master parallel parking
It may surprise you, but parallel parking is one of the biggest causes of gutter rash and rim damage. While it may be difficult to do every time, knowing the process can help you a lot. Start by tilting the passenger-side mirror in line with the curb. Slowly back into the spot at about a 45-degree angle. Then straighten the steering wheel as you reverse in until you are parallel with the gutter. It also pays to have a professional dash camera installed and/or reverse camera to assist you if your car is not already fitted with one. Everyone could do with an extra set of eyes when it comes to parking into tight spots, such as the city where roads can be narrow, traffic is busy and parking spaces are both scarce and tight.
Can I repair the gutter rash?
A quality gutter rash repair will often cost close to a couple to few hundred per wheel, depending on the severity and your rims quality. It is worth noting that not all rims can be repaired as a mobile service and will at times require to be fixed in a wheel repair shop for the heavily damaged wheels that require heavier equipment/machinery to rectify. Gutter rash in general, is often treatable as they tend to be quite minor in comparison to dented and cracked rims.
Although there are a number of car services that one could perform as a DIY project, fixing your rims for gutter rash, is just one that we would not recommend doing yourself. There are safety implications involved when it comes to repairing your wheels and a lot can go wrong, fast. Repairing involves understanding the layers of clear coat used, how much sanding is required along with evenly blending in areas, polishing, respraying where necessary, drying and of course, achieving a look that blends in with every other wheel for consistency.
Using a professional rim repairer is a safe way to have your rims properly restored to looking its best again. They are well equipped with the supplies, equipment and knowledge to determine the best route for action to treat your gutter rash efficiently and effectively.
What are rim protectors?
One of the best ways to protect your vehicle’s rim from the gutter rash is to install rim protectors. Gutter rash protectors or wheel rim protectors are amazing product that keeps your wheel rims safe from damage while complementing the overall look of your car. The best part is that the products are easy to install and take little time. Besides, they are available in different colors so that you can match them according to the color of your car. Additionally, the rim protectors act like a superficial accessory rather than an intuitive protective measure.
Moreover, you can detach the wheel rim protectors when you need to. Sometimes, you need to detach them to change the tire or wheel, or to clean the wheel. Furthermore, to clean the rim protectors, you have to remove them. You can reattach them with ease when you want to use them again. Not everyone are fond of rim protectors, as the look can be a hit or miss for some depending on your tastes and preferences, although it is an option worth considering.
Until next time, stay safe and drive cautiously. If you encounter gutter rash in the future, of which we wish you don’t, do not fret, it is most likely repairable and definitely much more affordable then purchasing new rims altogether.
Car Care Advice For The Everyday Driver & Enthusiast
As a seasoned author on our team, Chester also known as ‘Gadget’, for his love for all things mechanical, brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, particularly when it comes to automotive topics.