What is Curb Rash & How to Prevent it


Curb rash occurs when the wheels or rim of your car sustain damage after rubbing against a curb. Whether you did this by making a tight turn, avoiding a crash or even parallel parking, the protruding part of your wheel is, unfortunately, prone to damage. 

If you’ve recently purchased the car of your dreams, curb rash may soon come along and cause noticeable cosmetic damage. It could even have a dangerous structural impact on your wheels if you’re not careful. If you begin noticing scuff marks, scratches, bending or cracking, it’s time you find out what curb rash is and how to prevent it. 

Is curb rash dangerous?

Curb rash can be dangerous if left untreated. Over time, structural damage to your wheel creates problems with suspension alignment. Your tires may then wear unevenly and require premature replacement. Before you know it, you’ve thrown 20,000 to 40,000 potential miles down the drain. 

The rear suspension of your vehicle is similarly vulnerable: continuous knocks to the curb, even at a light speed, can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s undercarriage. Avoiding issues like transmission shifting require you to prevent curb rash as much as possible. 

Hard hits against the curb could damage the weakest part of your wheels: the sidewall. If you notice curb rash on your sidewall, it’s time to take your car into the shop. Avoiding blowouts on the road will help keep you and other drivers safe. 

To summarise, seeing signs of curb rash on your vehicle means you must take more care on the road. Take your car to a professional to check there are no outstanding issues with alignment, the cooling lines or brakes, and then read on to find out how to prevent curb rash. 

How to prevent curb rash:

Preventing curb rash is also a matter of knowing its causes. Follow our tips, and you can minimise the chance of cosmetic and structural damage: 

Drive carefully 

While this tip may seem obvious, it’s the most important. Practice makes perfect, and mastering your driving technique is a matter of time. Try to avoid the curbs and pay attention to your surroundings.

Install rim protection

Rim and wheel protectors are an excellent way to give you peace of mind. Investing in high-quality rubber rings that sit comfortably between the tire and rim will protect your wheels from curb rash. Plus, if you’ve loaned your car to a friend or family member for the day, you can rest assured their driving skills won’t have a knock-on effect on your wheels. 

Perfect your parallel parking

Parallel parking is notoriously hard to perfect: even the most seasoned drivers find it challenging, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the causes of curb rash.  When backing into an available space, knocking the curb can be frustrating. Tilting your passenger-side mirror to face the curb can help you evaluate the distance accurately. It’s always a good idea to park further away from the curb than you need, but not so much that it obstructs the road. 

Switch to winter wheels

Winter is the worst time of year for curb rash. You’re more likely to knock into the curb when the air is frosty and the roads icy. Drivers with years of experience may struggle to maintain the same control in winter conditions, making it more likely that curb rash will rear its ugly head. 

Salt is often dispensed onto the roads to melt the snow. While this increases a driver’s level of control, salt can damage your car’s rims! This two steps forward, one-step-back approach to crushing wintertime curb rash requires another solution: winter rims! Winter rims are a much cheaper investment than continually taking your car in for repairs. They can keep your wheels in better condition for longer and save you money. What’s not to love? 

How to Fix curb crash: 

Curbed wheel repair or fixing structural damage to your wheels or rims is best left to a professional. However, if you’ve noticed light cosmetic damage to your vehicle’s finish, you may be able to fix it at home. 

First, evaluate the extent of your damage: decide if this is a small task that you could accomplish yourself or if you’d rather pay a small fee for a professional fix. Once you’re settled, grab the following pieces of equipment: 

  • Spray Paint
  • Protective Gear
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper
  • Scouring Pads
  • Clear Coat
  • Putty

Begin by wearing your protective equipment, specifically goggles and gloves. Give the damaged area a thorough clean to remove dirt or grime and cover any exposed areas surrounding the defects, including the wheel itself. Grab your sandpaper and begin sanding the damaged area. Once satisfied, apply the putty and give it thirty minutes to dry. Following this, you can smooth out the damaged area with your scuff pad to create an even surface. Shake the primer rigorously before application. Standing six inches away (and whilst wearing protective equipment!), use a consistent back-and-forth motion and begin the process. Wait for this layer to dry, then apply a second coat. 

Grab the paint that most closely matches your finish and repeat the same used to apply the primer. Sand it down between layers, and after twenty-four hours of drying, finish your repair with a clear coat.

Curbed wheel repair can be time-consuming, so Alternatively, get in touch with the experts at Customise Your Wheels for perfect alloy wheel refurbishment and repair every time. Give us a call at 07966795444 or email us at info@customiseyourwheels.co.uk today!