Wheel Bent Inwards After Hitting Curb: 7 Causes Explained

wheel bent inwards after hitting curb

Driving home after a long day, you misjudge a tight parking space and hear the unsettling scrape of your wheel against the curb. Initially brushed off, you later notice your car pulling oddly to one side. A quick check reveals a wheel bent inwards, the aftermath of your parking mishap.

We understand – seeing a bent wheel is not easy, especially when concerns about safety and repair costs quickly come to mind. Figuring out exactly how to fix this might still be something you’re trying to determine.

That’s why we’ve created this guide. It’s a straightforward approach to your wheel-bent issue that will get you back on track in no time.

Why Is My Wheel Bent Inwards After Hitting the Curb?

A wheel bent inwards after hitting a curb is usually due to damage in the suspension or steering system. Common causes include bent control arms, damaged suspension springs or shocks/struts, and misaligned tie rods. 

With that said, let’s take a look at the most probable causes of why your wheel has bent after hitting a curb: 

1. Control Arm Damage

The control arm, especially in cases of a severe impact, can be bent or broken, leading to a change in wheel alignment.

How to Check

Inspect the control arm for any bends, cracks, or signs of stress. Compare its shape and condition to the opposite side for discrepancies.

2. Suspension Springs or Shocks/Struts Issues

If the springs are broken or the shocks/struts are damaged, this can cause the wheel to slant inwards. These components are essential for absorbing shocks and maintaining vehicle stability.

How to Check

Look for broken springs or leaking struts/shocks. Check if the vehicle sits unevenly when parked. Bouncing the car can also reveal issues with these components.

3. Tie Rod or Tie Rod Ends Damage

Damaged tie rods or tie rod ends can cause the wheel to move abnormally and lead to misalignment. This is part of the steering system and is crucial for vehicle safety.

How to Check

Perform a wiggle test on the wheel to see if there’s excessive play. Check the tie rods for any visible damage or bending. Misalignment or unusual steering behavior can also indicate tie rod issues.

4. Wheel or Rim Damage

A bent or damaged wheel or rim can cause the wheel to appear bent inwards, and might also affect the vehicle’s alignment.

How to Check

Visually inspect the wheel and rim for any bends, cracks, or warping. A damaged rim can often be seen while the wheel is spinning.

5. Alignment/Camber Problem

The impact can knock the alignment or camber off, causing the wheel to tilt inwards.

How to Check

Check if the wheel tilts inward at the top or bottom. A professional wheel alignment check is necessary to confirm and correct these issues.

6. Wheel Bearing Failure

A severely damaged wheel bearing could cause the wheel to lean, though this would typically require the bearing to be in an advanced state of wear or damage.

How to Check

Listen for grinding noises while driving, which can indicate a bad wheel bearing. Check for excessive play in the wheel by rocking it back and forth with your hands.

7. Loose Lug Nuts

While less common, loose lug nuts can also cause wheel misalignment. This is more likely to be noticed if the issue is present in one wheel only.

How to Check

Use a wrench to ensure all lug nuts are tightened properly. Loose lug nuts are often an easy fix but can cause significant alignment issues if left unchecked.

Can a Bent Wheel Caused By a Curb Be Straightened?

a wheel that's being bent overly inwards

Yes, a bent wheel from hitting a curb can often be straightened, but it depends on the damage’s severity and type.

Professional services can usually fix bent wheels or rims unless the damage is too severe, such as in cases of cracked alloy wheels where replacement is necessary. However, for damaged suspension parts like control arms or tie rods, straightening isn’t viable, and replacement is required for safety.

Thus, while wheel or rim straightening is possible, underlying structural damages typically demand replacements.

How to Fix a Wheel That’s Bent Inward After Hitting a Curb

A person who is checking a car's wheel rim

Now that we understand the implications of having a bent wheel due to hitting a curb, let’s focus our attention on how we can resolve this issue:

Initial Assessment and Check

Conduct a thorough examination of the wheel, tire, and suspension components based on the previously discussed ‘How to Check’ steps. Look for visible damage to the wheel, rim, control arms, tie rods, struts, shocks, and any other relevant parts.

Consult a Professional Mechanic

Given the complexity of suspension and wheel systems, it’s advisable to seek a professional mechanic’s opinion, especially if you’ve identified potential damage or are unsure about the severity of the issue.

Repair or Replacement of Damaged Parts

If the wheel or rim is damaged, decide between professional repair (for minor bends) or replacement (for severe damage or cracks).

Replace damaged suspension components, such as control arms or tie rods, as these cannot be safely repaired if bent or broken.

Wheel Alignment

After repairing or replacing any parts, have a professional wheel alignment done. This is important to make sure that your car handles properly and to prevent uneven tire wear.

Final Check and Test Drive

After the repairs and alignment, perform a final check and a test drive, making sure that the problem is resolved and the vehicle drives smoothly without any unusual noises or handling issues.

Regular Monitoring and Maintenance

Keep an eye on the vehicle’s performance after the repair. Regular maintenance checks are recommended to ensure ongoing vehicle safety and performance.

Final Thoughts

If you want to check more topics similar to this one, consider reading through our blog, where we touch on topics like ‘Does parking on a curb damage tires?’ or ‘I hit a curb with my front passenger side‘, and much more.

Smooth Curb is a brand that prioritizes your well-being by promoting awareness of what curbs can do to you and your vehicle. Our premium driveway curb ramp acts like a guardian angel for your wheels.

Parking on a curb? We say, ‘Not a problem.’ We’re talking about a driveway experience that’s 80% smoother, like butter on a hot skillet. So do check it out.

In conclusion – It’s crucial to address these issues promptly to maintain your vehicle’s safety and functionality. Regular maintenance and cautious driving are key to avoiding such incidents.

We hope that we’ve helped you with your wheel-bent problem, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in our next post.


We know that we haven’t discussed enough, so let’s talk more about how you can tackle this problem in our FAQs section.

How much does it cost to fix wheels that are bent inwards?

The specific cost depends on the extent of the damage, the type of wheel, and the vehicle model. The cost for such repairs can range broadly, typically from about $75 for basic alignment fixes to upwards of $5,000 for extensive damages involving suspension or frame repairs. 

How can I tell if the damage is severe enough to require professional help?

If you notice significant bends, cracks, or breaks in the wheel, rim, or suspension components, or if the vehicle’s handling feels off, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic. Subtle issues like alignment problems also warrant professional assessment.

What are the risks of driving with a bent wheel?

Driving with a bent wheel can lead to further damage to the suspension system, uneven tire wear, and potentially unsafe driving conditions due to compromised vehicle stability and handling.

Is it more cost-effective to repair or replace a bent wheel?

This depends on the severity of the damage. Minor bends in the wheel or rim can often be repaired cost-effectively, but severe damage, especially to alloy wheels, usually requires replacement.

What preventive measures can I take to avoid wheel damage from curbs?

Drive cautiously near curbs, especially in tight spaces or unfamiliar areas. Regular vehicle maintenance, including suspension checks, can also help identify and prevent issues that might make your car more susceptible to curb damage.

Read our guide on How to Avoid Hitting a Curb so that your chances of this issue happening will become less likely.

Will insurance cover the cost of repairing a wheel bent by a curb?

Coverage depends on your insurance policy. Some comprehensive policies might cover such damage, especially if it’s part of a larger accident, but it’s best to check with your insurance provider for specifics.

Check out our guide on ‘Insurance and Hitting a Curb‘ to make sure you don’t miss any important details.