Are Reconditioned Wheels Dangerous?
You should be very concerned if your insurance company writes an estimate for reconditioned wheels (sometimes referred to as remanufactured or refurbished wheels) after an accident.
Of all the key safety components of your vehicle’s ability to perform properly, few rank higher in importance than the wheels your tires ride upon. It can be very dangerous to introduce reconditioned wheels into your car’s performance, and this article will explain why we believe you should always insist upon original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) wheels if your have suffered damage in an accident.
Wheels can easily be damaged during an accident, and many insurers write their estimates to include reconditioned wheels. They do so because it’s cheaper for them to attempt to re-machine, super-heat, weld, bend, straighten and reshape the wheels. Those who sell reconditioned wheels often add or remove metal to “fix” the problems caused by an accident.
The elephant in the room that no one seems to want to address, however, is that once metal has been bent (or worse yet, cracked), it is permanently fatigued. And while the case could be made that welding pieces of metal together makes them stronger… it doesn’t change the fact that welding two fatigued pieces of metal will never restore the wheel to original strength.
Most, if not all manufacturers have issued position statements against the use of reconditioned wheels. They use terms that suggest anything beyond cosmetic sanding and replacement of paint coatings is not supported. The concern is that these altered wheels could very well cause steering or suspension problems that could lead to loss of control of your vehicle.
Look, we all understand what it is to try to stretch a dollar by cutting costs. But when it comes to using reconditioned wheels, we strongly encourage you to cut corners somewhere else. Your life, and quite literally the lives of others depends upon the integrity of your wheels when you’re driving.
If you have any questions about this content, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly. We are happy to help advise you, and serve your vehicle repair needs.
Resources: Hanflik Law