What Are Wheel Rim Protectors and How Do They Work?

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Each year, your average American car owner will spend about $400 on various automotive repairs and maintenance. It’s unavoidable with things like oil changes, replacing windshield wipers, and the inevitable burned-out light on your vehicle. Responsible vehicle owners do these things for the very sensible end of extending the working life of the car.

After all, even an inexpensive new vehicle will run you anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000. You want that investment to last. Yet, most people don’t give much thought to things like wheel rim protectors.

Wondering what wheel rim protectors are? Keep reading to learn what they are and how they work.

What Are Wheel Rim Protectors?

In essence, a wheel rim protector is a hard plastic or rubber strip that fits around the rim edges of your wheels. Depending on the design of your rim protectors, they may fit over the rim itself or protrude beyond the edge of the rim.

These types of protectors are most commonly seen on alloy wheels that may project a little beyond the tire itself. That slight projecting makes the rims more vulnerable to debris kicked up from the road or curb contact.

How Do Wheel Rim Protectors Work?

An alloy wheel rim protector or rim protector on a standard wheel takes the hit, quite literally, if the rim comes into contact with a foreign object. This means the protector gets scraped up instead of your rim if you get too close to the curb or a pebble kicks up from the road.

Types of Wheel Rim Protectors

There are two main types of rim protectors. There are slotted rim protectors that fit between your tire and the wheel. You’ll need a professional to install these.

The other main type of wheel rim protector is self-adhesive. You can install these yourself, but they typically provide less protection.

Do I Need a Wheel Rim Protector?

In that case, you will probably want an alloy wheel rim protector for each of those wheels. It’s another way of protecting your investment.

If you own an inexpensive car with factory wheels, it’s likely less pressing. Even then, however, you may still want them to extend the life of those wheels as well.

Wheel Rim Protectors and You?

While wheel rim protectors may not jump to mind when you think about car maintenance and repair, they are worth considering. They can protect your rims from cosmetic damage that makes your wheels unsightly. They can also help prevent more serious damage by taking the hit in place of your wheels.

You even get some options with professionally installed slotted versions or DIY-friendly versions that you install at home. While not an absolute necessity, they help a little peace of mind about your wheel health.

Looking for more car tips? Check out the posts in our Automotive section.

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