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Slid while turning and hit a curb. I am pretty sure I shouldn't drive with this but wanted to get opinions.

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    Count your blessings that you were able to make it home on that thing after hitting the curb. Now get that rim replaced for the sake of everyone's safety. – MonkeyZeus Nov 12 at 20:07
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    That is an astounding picture. I have seen chipped rims but I have not seen a more catastrophic failure than this magnificent example. Cracked from spoke to spoke. That thing is liable to have multiple internal cracks and might just shatter like a vase. Please do not drive another inch, as everyone suggests. – Stian Yttervik Nov 12 at 22:35
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    Is the wheel itself damaged, or just the hubcap? – nick012000 Nov 13 at 7:50
  • How fast were you going in that turn?!? – Lightness Races with Monica Nov 13 at 12:16
  • I'm pretty sure this is just the plastic hubcap that's "chipped"; I don't see any damage to the rim. It's ridiculous that the answers are not addressing this (at least attempting to determine it, or explaining their reasoning for why they agree that the rim is damaged). – R.. Nov 13 at 12:39
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Do NOT drive this at all.

Change the wheel before driving it again.

That can cause sudden loss of control if the bead shifts.

  • Good thing I made right choice. – Ray Nov 12 at 12:37
  • 100% agreed. No driving at all. Until changed. – kyle_engineer Nov 12 at 18:47
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Well i am not sure this should be answered but in compliance with the site rules, DON'T. Also if i may ask back isn't your tire deflated?

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    It's a little flat. But not entirely. – Ray Nov 12 at 12:36
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    Amazing that it holds air at all . – blacksmith37 Nov 12 at 15:13
  • Might be a "run-flat" kind. – mustaccio Nov 12 at 21:46
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    "its only flat on the bottom...." – Criggie Nov 13 at 3:49
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The wheel is done, so you're better off just buying a spare.

You can buy matching OEM wheels online from a variety of web sites, and also through interchange amongst full-service scrap yards.

The wheel is made of aluminum and steel, and recycles nicely. Let the tire shop do it. If the tire is undamaged just have a tire shop transfer it to the new wheel.

Limping: Stay under 20 mph at all times. Expect a blowout!

  • You can venture around local streets in your neighborhood if you keep it below 20 mph or so. The general concept is don't drive it hard/"normal".
  • You can zigzag through side streets to get from your house to a wheel shop, Pick-n-Pull, what have you, again keeping it down to 20 mph.

Venturing out onto arterial roads should be kept to an absolute minimum, because you can't move fast enough to be safe -- a car going a dramatically different speed from everyone else creates a significant hazard to other drivers. If you have heavy commute hours, exploit them: for instance if I had to cross the Golden Gate Bridge I would do it in the thick of commute hour, where you'd be lucky to go 20 mph.

The freeway is out of the question.

A good way to find off-beat routes is to ask Google maps. One of the rows lets you select public transit routes, bicycle routes, walking routes, etc. You can browse those to see if they will put you on smaller roads. Many towns have a network of alternate smaller roads, and they designate them as official bike routes.

What's the deal with going so slow? Physics.

We're assuming there will be a blowout or wheel breakage, and moving so slow it's safe.

We're relying on one of the laws of physics, about kinetic energy. You have to spend energy to get your car moving, but once it is moving, it stores energy - it will coast for a distance, and you must use brakes to stop it. Right? That is kinetic energy.

The amount of kinetic energy decides how much mangulation will happen in a crash, how much forces will act on the car in a tire blowout, how much dynamic force acts on the wheel when you hit a bump, etc. It's impractical to move the car unless we can keep these forces VERY small.

Here is the formula for kinetic energy.

E = M V 2

Energy = Mass (car weight) x Velocity (speed) squared.

The squaring of velocity is what makes this possible. If you go 1/4 the speed, you have 1/16 the kinetic energy. Cars are designed for blowouts to be manageable by a competent driver at 80 mph. At 1/16 of that, they're so easy I have confidence anyone can do it.

At the low speed, things happen at proportionately lower speed (1/4 of 80 mph). But the main win is the massively lower kinetic energy, which does some things for us.

  • It lets the brakes stop in 1/16 the distance- less than the car's length!
  • A blowout may make the car swerve out of the lane (though I've blown out tires at 80 mph and it didn't do much of that). But where does the energy come from to swerve? The kinetic energy of the car - which we reduced to nothin'. So the swerve won't be hard or fast; you can easily counteract it with the steering wheel.
  • The car can't flip over; there's not enough kinetic energy to do that.

Keep in mind that while energy is 1/16 of 80 mph, speed is only 1/4. That means reaction time still matters - it will be 1/4 not 1/16 - so you must be fully attentive. As a limper, you have one job - to react promptly to the expected problem.

Why not just tow or use the spare tire, if a blowout is so certain? Tell you a secret, a blowout is rather unlikely at 20 mph. But we're gonna plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  • Rational answer. I love all the armchair mechanics with the "Don't even look at the car, you'll die instantly" responses. – glyph Nov 13 at 4:22
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    This is bad advice. 20 mph is well fast enough to kill a pedestrian on a footpath that you mount when that wheel catastrophically disintegrates. As for the digression into kindergarten physics - if the OP doesn't know that going faster means more energy, he shouldn't be driving a car. – Oscar Bravo Nov 13 at 7:04
  • @OscarBravo Either you arrived with your mind already set, or I failed to fully convey how much effect the physics have. I have edited to clarify, including the question of the swerve. As for "catastrophically disintegrates", you really do not understand the "kindergarten physics". What's that say about you lol! – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 13 at 17:38
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Yes, you should drive slowly, (not on the highway) and with the hazard lights on to the nearest wheel and tire shop and replace it.

Just kidding, you'd be safer putting a spare on, but if it holds air you could drive on it in an emergency.

Driving that at speed would be extremely dangerous due to increased risk of a blowout, which could send you into a telephone pole or oncoming traffic, or a pedestrian, roll the car etc.

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    I once took my flat car tyre to the auto shop on the back of a bicycle. Safer than driving, for me and for everyone else on the road. – Criggie Nov 13 at 3:48

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