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Discussion Starter #1
How embarrassing. I clipped a curb. Can't recall when I've ever done that, but of course, I had to do it with my Elise. Damaged the wheel -- there's actually a tiny chunk out of it, just near the rim. And the paint is peeling. And the tire sustained a small amount of damage to the sidewall.

Can a wheel be fixed, or is it a lost cause? Where would I take it for that kind of repair?

I can ask a tire dealer for an opinion on the tire, I guess.

I'll have to check it more carefully tomorrow, but it doesn't look severe enough to avoid using the car in the short run. But I obviously do want to get it fixed/replaced ASAP.

Suggestions? I'll try to post a pic tomorrow.
 

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There are several nation wide chains that specialize in wheel repair, you would be surprised what they can do. Here are a couple: Wheels America they are listed in 8 cities 888-4-FIX-RIM.
Wheel Collision Center: www.wheelcollision.com
Look in your Yellow Pages and see what is local.
I had a friend who ran over a brick and really distroyed his wheel, it was fixed for $125.
 

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One comment the hyper black or whatever the finish is called on the standard wheels is near impossible to touch up. So they will have to redo the whole wheel. If you are particular it would make sense to look into that aspect because you could wind up with two different wheel shades on one side of the car....this may only be noticeable in certain lighting conditions though. If that is a major concern, then a new OE wheel is the way to go.

On the tires, if the sidewall is damaged beyond a cosmetic scuff they cannot be repaired like a tread puncture can. The sidewalls are fairly delicate.

Was it a front or a rear? I find that the rear of the car is easy to hit autocross cones with since it widens out so much. Since I realized that the cones have been left standing!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's a rear wheel.

I guess it depends on the price of a new wheel. I'm not as worried about the color match as I am getting a safe repair. If there's not a huge diff, I'd prefer to just replace it. If I read another thread here correctly, the wheels are about $350 each. Sound right?
 

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>>>It's a rear wheel. <<<

Well if cones were curbs I'd have set a record rashing up wheels! The next time you are out by the car, try this. Put your hand in line with the center of the headrest...and then move it back staying in a F/R line through the head rest. Stop when your hand is parallel to the wheels. Now look how much stuff there is past your hand until you reach the side of the car. A bunch! Do the same thing with a normal car and you'll find way less behind you. A fraction. Once you get used to this, the curbs won't jump out at you as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And I will now proudly hold my head high as I once again demonstrate my complete ignorance of this fine vehicle that I own by asking:

Just what the heck are these wheels made of anyway??? Powdercoated aluminum? I guess if I'm gonna call around about a repair, I'd better know what I'm asking for! :eek:

Oh, and thanks, James A, for the links, but none of those places are near me. :( But I've found several that are.
 

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I never needed wheel repair, but yes, try one of those wheel repair places. I hear they can do wonders with slightly bent wheels.

Get the tire looked at by a tire shop you trust. If there's any kind of significant sidewall damage, they will probably urge you to get it replaced. I whacked a curb a couple of years ago :eek: , and got a new tire following professional advice. It most likely would have been fine, but a blown tire at the wrong moment can be a Very Bad Thing, better be safe than sorry.

No need to be embarassed. We all make mistakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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>>>OK -- you all are going to make me show my ignorance AGAIN by asking again what the heck these wheels are made of -- powdercoated aluminum?<<<

You win!
 

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Pin,

Since you clipped the curb hard enough to take a chunk out of the wheel, you would probably be well-served to get the alignment checked by your dealer. Just something else to consider.
 

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I'd plan on replacing the wheel, looking for bent rear suspension, and a four wheel alignment.
Good thing you weren't going faster. The car is so light you'd have been thrown into an airborne 360*
m
 

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Both the standard and sport wheels are alum. and both wheels are painted (pretty standard for most alloy wheels) ...originally the sport wheels where to be anodized.

"ye old wheel shop" in maryland would be a good (local) place to start for a repair.
 

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"ye old wheel shop" in maryland would be a good (local) place to start for a repair. [/B]


Wheel Worx in MD is another good place that isn't too far away. We've used them in the past with good results. (410-969-7301 8213 Front Cloverleaf Drive, Millersville, MD)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the suggestions, all. Turns out Criswell uses the Wheel Doctor in Gaithersburg. I bring the car to them, and they have him come in to do the repair. I spoke to him directly, and he seemed to know what he was doing.

I like the idea of going thru Criswell, so if there's a problem, I know they can help straighten it out (pun intended). Besides, he said he generally only works thru the dealer, so I can't go to him directly anyway.

Normal charge is $150-$200.

I'd be tempted to get a new one, so I could have it taken care of while I wait, but they're not in stock -- have to be ordered from Atlanta. So I guess I'll save some money and go with the repair. Everyone I've spoken to says the quality of these repairs can be good.

Not sure if I need a tire, but here's good news about Lotus prices: the price they quoted me was only about $1 more than Tire Rack! $205. That's pretty impressive -- last time I checked on a tire for my Toyota, the Toyota dealer wanted nearly twice as much as Tire Rack.

Unfortunately, Lotus would have to order it from England -- Tire Rack has it in stock.

As for alignment and bent rear suspension -- thanks for the head-up. Yep, I'll have the dealer check all that. That was ONE EXPENSIVE CURB!
 

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LNZ_YELO said:
Wheel Worx in MD is another good place that isn't too far away. We've used them in the past with good results. (410-969-7301 8213 Front Cloverleaf Drive, Millersville, MD)
I heard about this place. You know it has to be good (or really bad) if I've heard about it and it's that far away!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
rob said:
How hard did you clip it?
How does one answer that? I was in a garage, going pretty slowly. The curb was VERY high. Not terrible, but enough to make the car hop a bit. :(
 
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