Curb Rash: What is it and How to Fix It? All You Need to Know

curb rash

So, you’re out there giving your car some TLC, maybe it’s your usual weekend wash and wax ritual. While you’re at it, giving those wheels a good scrub, something catches your eye. There are these odd scrapes and scratches around the edge of your tire’s rim. 

It’s a bit of a head-scratcher, right?

You think back to that one time you had to squeeze into a really tight parking spot next to a curb. Could that be the culprit? Curiosity piqued, you decide it’s time for a bit of online detective work. 

Not exactly sure what to call this kind of wheel ouchie, you hit up the internet with a search: “what is a curb rash.” You’re hoping to figure out if these marks are what they call ‘curb rash’, how it might have happened, and if there’s a fix or a way to avoid it next time.

Well, if that search led you to this guide, then you’ve come to the right place. 

We’ll provide you with everything you need to know about curb rash. Once you’re done reading, you’ll be well-prepared to deal with them moving forward.

What is Curb Rash?

curb rash

Curb rash refers to the damage on the wheels or rims of a vehicle, typically caused by scraping against curbs. It can result in scratches, scuffs, chips, or even bends on the wheel’s surface.

How Does It Occur?

It usually occurs due to accidental contact with curbs while parking or driving, hitting potholes, or scraping against other hard objects. Poor parking habits or misjudging distances can also lead to curb rash.

Different Types

Curb rash can manifest in various forms, depending on the severity and type of contact with the curb. Here are the different types of curb rash:

Surface Scrapes or Scuffs

Superficial damage to the wheel’s outer coating, typically affecting only the paint or clear coat. 


Deeper damage removing material from the wheel, often reaching beyond the outer layer to the metal or alloy. 

Dents and Bends

Physical deformations of the wheel caused by harder impacts. More serious, potentially affecting the wheel’s structure, and usually needing professional repair.

Chips and Cracks

Severe damage resulting in parts of the wheel being chipped off or cracked. Cracks, in particular, can compromise the wheel’s integrity and might necessitate replacement.

Combination Damage

A mix of various damage types like scuffs, gouges, and dents.

Can Curb Rash Be Repaired?

a person thinking and putting their finger on their head

Yes, curb rash can be repaired. The method of repair depends on the severity of the damage. Minor scratches can often be fixed with DIY methods, such as sanding and repainting, while more severe damage may require professional repair services.

What are the Risks of Not Repairing Curb Rash?

If curb rash is not repaired, it can cause additional damage to the wheel, such as rust and structural vulnerabilities. Additionally, it can have a detrimental effect on the vehicle’s aesthetics and potentially decrease its resale value.

How to Inspect Your Car for Curb Rash

person looking through something

Inspecting your car for curb rash involves a thorough examination of your wheels and rims for any signs of damage. Here’s a brief guide to help you identify curb rash:

Visual Inspection

Examine each wheel closely, looking for scratches, scuffs, chips, or bends on the surface of the rims.

Touch Test

Run your hand along the rim to feel for any irregularities or rough spots that might not be immediately visible.

Check for Deformations

Look for any dents, bends, or misshapen areas on the wheel, especially around the edges that are more prone to curb contact.

Identify Extent of Damage

Determine if the damage is superficial, like paint scuffs, or more severe, like deep gouges or cracks.

Safety Assessment

Assess whether the damage might affect the wheel’s structural integrity or driving safety, especially if there are deep cracks or significant bends.

How Can You Fix Curb Rash?

Here are two ways that curb rash can be repaired:

DIY Kits

A person who is checking a car's wheel rim

For minor curb rash damage, such as light scratches and scuffs, DIY repair kits are a practical and cost-effective solution. These kits typically include all the essential materials and tools needed for a basic repair process.

Professional Repair Services

a car owner who is talking to a mechanic about their tire

For more complex or severe curb rash damage, such as deep gouges, dents, or combination damages, it’s advisable to seek professional repair services. Professionals have the expertise, tools, and materials to handle more significant repairs that go beyond cosmetic fixes. 

Let’s address some questions that you may have as we conclude our discussion on the topic of curb rash.

Is it expensive to fix curb rash?

The cost of repairing curb rash varies depending on the extent of the damage and whether you opt for a DIY fix or professional repair. Professional repairs can range from $50 to $500 per wheel, based on the type of wheel and the severity of the damage.

How long does it take to repair curb rash?

The duration of curb rash repairs can vary. DIY repairs can take a few hours, while professional repairs can range from a day to a few days depending on the severity of the damage and the chosen repair method.

How do I choose a professional for curb rash repair?

When selecting a professional for curb rash repair, consider their expertise, experience with wheel repairs, customer reviews, and the warranties or guarantees they offer.

Can curb rash affect driving safety?

Severe curb rash can affect driving safety, particularly if it leads to structural damage of the wheel. It can cause vibrations, uneven tire wear, and potentially compromise wheel integrity.

Is curb rash repair covered by car insurance?

Curb rash repair is usually considered a cosmetic issue and might not be covered by standard car insurance policies. However, it’s best to check with your insurance provider as coverage can vary.

CONTINUE READING:If I Hit a Curb Will My Insurance Cover It?

Are there any quick fixes for curb rash? 

While there are no permanent quick fixes for curb rash, temporary solutions like touch-up pens or stickers can be used to cover minor scratches until a proper repair is done.

Can curb rash affect the resale value of my car?

Yes, curb rash can affect the resale value of a car. Wheels in good condition are a sign of well-maintained vehicle, so repairing curb rash can help maintain or even increase your car’s resale value.

What is the difference between curb rash and wheel scuffing?

Curb rash and wheel scuffing are often used interchangeably. However, scuffing generally refers to lighter, more superficial damage, while curb rash can include more severe damage like dents and gouges.

How can I tell if curb rash has caused structural damage to my wheels?

Structural damage from curb rash may not always be visible to the untrained eye. If you suspect structural damage, it’s best to have the wheel inspected by a professional.

ALSO READ:Can Hitting a Curb Damage My Tires?

How Do You Prevent Experiencing Curb Rash?

To prevent curb rash, be cautious when parking near curbs, avoid hitting potholes, use parking assist technology if available, and consider installing rim protectors for additional protection.

For better prevention methods, you can read our guide on how to effectively avoid curbs to help you figure out how to finally avoid hitting curbs altogether. If you prefer adding another layer of protection to this issue, then try checking out our product, Smooth Curb – Driveway Curb Ramp, as it’s specifically designed to help avoid curbs and support car owners with their driveway and curb-related needs.

Both article and product can and will help you avoid and prevent experiencing these darn curb rashes. If you need more information regarding this, be sure to check our blog.

We’ve covered extensive topics related to curb rash, such as ‘How to Drive a Lowered Car Into a Steep Driveway‘ and ‘How to Fix a Sloped Driveway‘, both of which are relevant to experiencing curb rash.

We hope that we’ve helped you with your curb rash concerns, and if you need any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Smooth Curb.

We’re committed to helping you with your curb-related issues and look forward to seeing you in our next post.

Take care!