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Pelican Technical Article:

Wheel Curb Damage Repair

Nick Czerula


2 hours2 hrs






Sand paper, spray paint, masking tape, masking paper

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 3-Series (1999-06)

Parts Required:

Sand paper, spray paint, masking tape, masking paper, wheel cleaner, tack cloth, spot putty

Hot Tip:

Use high quality paints and primers

Performance Gain:

Refreshed wheels

Complementary Modification:

Give your car a good wash

Curb damage on wheels ruins the appearance of the wheel and is quite the eye sore. This can happen from making contact with a curb or median and scratching your rim. In this tech article I will go over how to repair and refinish curb damage.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Lift the axle of the vehicle you are repairing the wheel damage on. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the wheel.  You could leave the wheel on the vehicle, but you run the risk of getting overspray on your BMW.

Located areas of damage (green arrows).
Figure 1

Located areas of damage (green arrows). These areas will need to be sanded. You will choose your sanding device depending on how deep the scratches are. You may want to use a dremel tool if the scratched are deep and rough or just 320 grit sandpaper if the scratched are not that bad.

Then tape wheel very tightly around tire.
Figure 2

Then tape wheel very tightly around tire. Cover tire with masking paper and be sure it is protected from overspray. Once sanded, clean wheel again to remove any debris left from sanding. Use a tack cloth if available; these work great for pre-paint prep. Fill area with spot filler and sand again. Do this a few times until wheel surface is smooth and uniform. The good thing about working with spot filler is that you can apply or take it away as needed. So if you mess up, just sand it off and start again. Clean wheel again to remove any debris left from filling and sanding. Spray wheel with very short bursts of paint. Moving back and forth, do not stop or spray in one area. Move the can to keep the application light and avoid build up. You can choose to paint the entire wheel or only the repaired spots. This depends on the paint you chose and how well it matches the factory color. If you decide to paint only the repaired areas, once paint is dry clean areas covered with unwanted paint using paint thinner. After the paint has cured for a few hours and you are happy with the result, clear coat the wheel a few times then reinstall on your vehicle.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:21:03 AM