Car rims. A good set of them can transform even a moderate-looking vehicle into an eye-catching beauty! Petrolheads all over the world buy, sell, paint, and look for the best set to complete their project car. From genuine lightweight motorsport expensive ones to cheap but flashy second-hand sets, they have one thing in common–looking fresh and clean is mandatory. That’s why every picture you’re going to see in this article can cause you emotional pain, nightmares, and a bad mood.
All of the rims took some damage, and many of them are nothing but garbage! We certainly don’t want any of these accidents to happen to us or our friends and fellow gearheads. What can you do to prevent wheel damage? Watch out for potholes, check the condition of your rims regularly, and avoid buying damaged ones.
That’s the only piece of advice we can give to save you from these truly horrible-for-every-gearhead events. Broken rims aren't only ugly; they can also be dangerous for you and other people out there on the road. So, be careful! And now… well, enjoy the collection!
16 Like a Knife in Hot Butter
Ouch! This BMW owner has had better days in his life. A cracked wheel is one thing; scratched, another one. But this kind of fracture leaves us in misery. How did it happen? According to the owner, by hitting a road dip in NJ while going 90 mph. That’s not the speed your grandmother’s going to drive with! For sure, driving within the speed limit will protect you from accidents like this.
We’re not sure it's possible to do anything more–a big road dip is a challenge for both wheels and the suspension components. Even great genuine brand-new wheels fail under a certain amount of stress. Always keep your eyes on the road for unexpected obstacles, and try to avoid them. And one more thing–don't step on the brake pedal when entering a pothole! When braking, all of the kinetic energy is transferred to the front axle. That's why braking when entering a pothole is only going to make things worse!
15 The Canyon
We don’t think it can be repaired. But even if someone manages to do that, we don’t recommend using this rim anyway! Just think of this—if an undamaged wheel cracks like that, what will happen in case of a second accident? According to the owner, the event happened while driving to the supermarket. He didn't see a big pothole because the street was dark, and this is the result. The tire is also gone–a pity because it was a brand new set.
Driving a Jaguar isn't a cheap pleasure, but paying attention to the road can make you pay less in the shop.
But hey–maybe it’s time for a nice aftermarket set of BBS wheels? Jaguar rims must be harder to find and may be too expensive. Just sharing some ideas right here! We love the looks of a Jag with dope wheels and lowered suspension. Who needs stock-looking cars anyway?
14 Blown Out
This Kia Optima owner has had some really bad issues with the wheel. Hitting a softball-sized rock even while going only 20 mph can cause a lot of damage! Where do you find a softball-sized rock on the road? Fallen from a truck, of course! In this case, the tire and the suspension are fine, but the wheel is completely broken. Or, as the owner wrote, blown up. Is it a casting issue? According to the owner, yes.
It’s strange how the tire can withstand more force than a rim. In the majority of cases, the tire goes first, then the rim–and not with that much damage!
The Kia dealership’s official response to this case was “damaged due to outside influence”. Of course, that's right, but shouldn't the wheel be stronger? We'll let you answer that question for yourself. The dealership has not only refused to replace the wheel but also charged the owner $125 for reprogramming the tire-pressure monitor. Ouch. Maybe it’s time for some aftermarket wheels?
13 Factory Defect
Nobody’s perfect. Even the best carmakers have problems or install a defective component every now and then. What happened to this Corvette C6 owner can involve nothing but a defective component. The rear wheel just broke, hopefully not causing a big accident. We don’t know how this whole thing happened, including when, where, or the speed of the Corvette. Some people say it’s the heat from big brake rotors that causes rims to crack, but we feel a little skeptical about that. There are a lot of sports cars with big brakes out there! Imagine the mayhem if that was true! Broken Porsches and Ferraris everywhere! All of the 5 spokes are broken, and it seems like the brake rotor and the caliper hit the inside of the wheel. Some Corvette owners report problems with front rims also. Do Corvettes suffer from defective wheels? Probably not. Occasional defects are part of the industry, and nobody has found a way to fully avoid them. Such severe damage surely is an exception, not a rule, and Corvettes are pretty reliable for sports cars.
12 Italian Job
OZ is a great brand. They specialize in manufacturing lightweight wheels used both for race and road cars. They have a simple, multi-spoke design and are being used by many companies, including Novitec. Novitec is a specialized tuner for Italian cars, including Ferrari! So, it’s reasonable to believe that OZ makes quality products. There are exceptions, though, as we can see from this ripped OZ Superleggera. Superleggera is one of OZ's most distinctive models, recognizable from a glimpse. As the name says, the model is super light ("Superleggera" means "super light" in Italian) with a weight of only 8.6 kg (19.1 lbs) for an 18-inch wheel. This model is well known as good value for money and for providing good performance and a timeless design.
The owner of this particular set had a diff replacement on his car.
He went for testing and ran through а metal plate in a construction zone. The result, as shown in the picture, doesn't look good! Lucky for him, there was no other damage or other people around. For sure, he won’t buy from OZ again, and we can’t blame him. It looks scary! But maybe the speed was too high? We don't know!
11 All The Way Down
This picture comes as a warning from the ClubLexus forums. The message is “Don’t buy cheap wheels!” And regardless of what many people say, there's a point. Surely, as seen in this list, you can rip off and break every brand or type of wheel, no matter the price! The chance of doing this with a cheap set surely is bigger, especially if doing track days or just living in a place with very bad roads.
Always be sure to inspect second-hand wheels and don’t go just for the looks!
It's very important what type of metal is used for a wheel. Manufacturing method and quality control are also critical for your safety. Wheels are so much more than four round pieces of metal! Years of research and know-how, as well as factory equipment, divide good and bad brands. Don't underestimate these factors!
10 On The Limit
Being on a track is something every petrolhead loves. Pushing your car to the absolute limit, going for the best possible line, and finding all the available grip is exhilarating. It’s pretty obvious that you have to be well prepared, though—your car must be fully inspected, your tires and brakes must be as fresh as possible, and not even the slightest doubt in your suspension is acceptable! The same goes for the rims.
When building a car for the track, it's very critical to use only top-quality components from well-known brands.
In the best scenario, you're going to put slick tires on super light forged wheels. As seen in the picture, this guy drove Toyo Proxies semi-slicks on genuine Enkei wheels. He didn't regret it. He was trying to beat his best lap time at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when something went wrong, and he crashed at 110 mph. That's serious speed! Luckily for the driver, it all ended up well with only that much damage! We don’t even want to imagine what could happen if the wheel disintegrates or falls into pieces at 110 mph. We don't want to discount luck playing a part, but nevertheless, good job, Enkei!
9 A Missing Piece
Cheap wheels vs. expensive ones/replicas. Every car guy in the world has been in this discussion! It goes over and over forever, and no conclusion can be made. Yes, for sure, OEM or genuine aftermarket wheels are the better solution, but are they worth the money? The answer depends on the budget, the car's purpose, and many, many more.
The Internet is full of pictures of broken BBS replicas. This is a horrible one!
Half of the wheel is gone, and the other part of this scrap metal just lays under the car! The brake rotor and the caliper are also damaged. Yes, as we saw, even a genuine wheel can fall apart but not quite like this, and is it likely to do so? No! If you do track days often, be sure to avoid replica wheels. But if that's not your cup of tea and you use your car just to get from A to B with regular traffic, a set of replica wheels can serve you well. Or maybe not?
8 Crash Test
Yet another genuine vs. replica wheels argument... An EVO IX owner from Chicago had bought new XXR wheels, and a few days after, one of them just exploded on a flat road, leading to an accident. Good thing, it was only the metal that was broken! For sure, a nice design is something every gearhead wants for his wheels, but that’s not the price to pay. Buying even a cheap, basic model from a certified brand can save you a lot of trouble. Some people say “real wheels bend, fake wheels crack.”
There are a lot of exceptions, of course, but fixing a bent wheel is better than repairing a broken car. Rim failure, as seen in the picture, can lead to a whole list of things to change: tires, brake rotors, pads, calipers, side skirts, the bumper, and maybe even more! And just imagine what the consequences may be if there's another car on the road! It isn't worth it at all.
7 Cracked Mag
Bad tires can also lead to wheel damage. They're all parts of the same system. A failed component will affect the whole package, so be sure to monitor tire pressure! Driving with a flat tire can bend the wheel, and in some situations, crack it. Here we see a (very) bad case of falling into a pothole with under-inflated tires.
The damage isn't only radial but also axial. Is it possible to repair? Maybe. Do we want to drive on these wheels? Surely, no! Maybe if there was only 1 crack, yes. However, if a wheel in good condition can crack like that, what will happen with the fixed one? We don’t want to know! Always check your tires and avoid using very old ones. Rubber structure changes over time, leading to reduced grip. Popular opinions say a tire's life is up to 5 years or 15,000 miles.
Doesn’t it look like someone sent this wheel and tire to the guillotine? What can cause that? A very big stone? A curb? It's like some kind of crazy samurai just chopped the wheel with his sword! These aren't some fake cheap wheels; they're proper racing lightweight BBSs! The driver must've hit something very sharp while stepping on the brake pedal to achieve this. Racing is a dangerous sport, and rally maybe takes the crown among all race series! Sometimes, you blow your tire/destroy your wheels, and sometimes, you just jump off the road and hit a tree. That’s why it’s so tense and entertaining! Rally drivers must be very brave, and some of them pay such a high price after an accident like this! The driver who owns this wheel wasn't leading the race after the accident. The good part is that the car looks whole and OK. A new set of tires and some suspension adjustments, and he's ready to go again! Some of these rally incidents end up really messy with a lot of damage to both the car and the driver.
5 Insurance Policy
Driving around the neighborhood seems easy and relaxing, but sometimes, it can be very stressful. This guy was cruising and minding his own business when he hit something. He didn’t even know what it was, but it destroyed one of his wheels and two of his tires. But why so much of a damage? Bent, broken wheel—and all this from a never-seen obstacle?
How fast was he driving? A mystery.
For his own good, the insurance company covered the damage as part of the contract. Some companies don't cover tire and wheel damage; others charge you extra, so be aware! Check exactly what's covered by your insurance company and seek the best offer available. There are a lot of companies; some favor experienced drivers, and others are more flexible with their policies. Sometimes, we don't read our insurance policies carefully and fail to ask for better terms. We should! Just ask this guy next time!
4 The Perfect Settings
Sometimes, the car is just right with a new, shiny, sporty set of genuine wheels, big brake rotors, and good pads. It looks sexy, it looks fast, and it drives sweet. But what's that vibration in the steering wheel? Of course, that’s the bend in the rim from the big pothole right next to your driveway.
To get the perfect driving experience from your car, all you need is a good setup.
That automatically excludes bent rims and worn-out tires, as they can make the car unstable through acceleration and braking. Check them out on a regular basis! This car rides on OZ's Superleggeras painted in gold. It looks so dope, we can almost hear the roar of the engine echoing through the mountain. If only someone fixed this giant ugly thing on the wheel... Please!
3 Crash Into Pieces
It’s not uncommon to be in a car crash. Accidents happen all the time to all kinds of drivers. New ones, experienced ones, and even professional racers aren't safe from crashes on the road. However, in most cases, the damage is cosmetic, maybe involving some suspension parts or the radiator. This guy wasn’t that lucky. His car took damage at the front, at the back, and on the wheels of his SRT Dodge. It’s strange to replace rims after a hit going at only 20 mph, but it happens. Does this mean Dodge’s stock rims are bad? Probably not. Maybe it was just a bad accident. Maybe there were some cracks before the accident. Maybe something else. We never can tell, but at least the driver and the passengers are fine! As said in srtforums, "You can see that whatever impact from the pothole/rock caused not only the wheel to break but part of the rotor to break as well, which leads me to believe that the force would have made any OEM wheel crack." Do you agree?
Sports cars are always more vulnerable to damage. They’re driven too fast, sometimes get keyed for no particular reason, or just fall into the wrong hands. Repairs are expensive! That’s why we don’t want to see any broken, cracked, or bent Porsche wheels. This guy was set back almost $3,600 for hitting a curb while doing 30 mph. Tires–gone, wheel–gone. Too bad because we dig this beautifully polished metal lip! It’s not exactly subtle. Many Porsche enthusiasts will say that it just ain't right. However, forged monolith lightweight rims are something every car enthusiast should at least appreciate.
This model is a Champion Motorsport's RS97 designed especially for Porsches.
According to Champion Motorsport, "Each RS97 starts out as a single piece of aluminum, heat treated to T6 standards, and then forged using an 8,000-pound press. The result of this process is a wheel that has an overall yield strength of 40,000 pounds per square inch, making it one of the strongest wheels available today." Too bad a 30 mph hit turned them into scrap metal. But hey—it could've been worse!
1 La Crash
Ferrari LaFerrari—one of the fastest cars in the world! It's a more than $2 million hypercar; it's exclusive, exotic, beautiful, fast, sexy, and many more! It’s one of the greatest Ferraris ever made. The one on the picture was in a major accident. Too bad because they've only made 500 of them. The accident took place in Budapest, Hungary in city traffic. The driver was too excited, floored it, and lost control of the rear end. Lucky for him, there weren't any pedestrians nearby! But looking at the crashed car is so unpleasant that it'll make you cry. The rim isn't broken; maybe it’s bent, but it certainly needs a paint job. Actually, the whole car needs some serious repairs. It’s going to be very expensive, but hey–it’s a $2 million-plus exotic car! What caused the accident partly was an uncleaned road and a relatively low temperature—not the perfect conditions for Pirelli's P Zero Corsa on the Ferrari. These tires need temperature and a clean surface to work properly. When driving a 963 hp hypercar, you definitely want the tires to do their job! Impatience is punished very badly!
Sources: Pinterest; Google Images; Wikipedia