Q: Can a mechanic crack a rim while changing a tire?

asked by on September 03, 2017

I took my car for a car inspection and was told that I needed 4 new tires. OK, no problem. A few days later, front passenger tire is flat. I put the spare on and took it back to the garage. I am told the rim is cracked. The rim has been fine for the past 5 years and suddenly it's cracked. I did NOT hit a curb or pothole. My question is: can a mechanic crack a rim while changing a tire?

Thanks!!

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Adeline. Thanks for contacting us tonight. With today’s tire changing machines, cracking a rim during removal and installation is incredibly difficult to do - however, it is possible. If the tire is busted off the bead (which is a technical term, not an indication of damaging anything) and the ram is accidentally placed on the wheel and not in between the bead, it’s possible to cause a crack on an alloy wheel. Proving whether the tire shop created the crack would be very difficult. In all honestly, if the wheel was cracked prior to entering the facility, the existing tire should have been going flat before the tire change. It is possible however, for the wheel bead to have been slightly cracked prior - even if you haven’t hit a pot hole or curb, especially if a vehicle drives over speed bumps frequently.

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