How to Fix Curb Rash on Polished Wheels: DIY Guide

how to fix curb rash

It looks awful!

On a sunny morning, you look at your car, resting like a beautiful tiger on one corner. You appreciate its glamorous look, thanks to the awesome paints and everything.

Like a bolt from the blue, you notice a curb rash on wheels. And it looks horrible!

Now, what is curb rash?

Curb rash is a kind of damage that looks like scuff marks or scratches or gouges in your tire or rim.

You might wonder, how does curb rash happen?

Well, this happens if your tires or rims hit curbs or other obstacles.

However, you can fix curbed wheels.

And we’re here to guide you towards how to fix curb rash on this DIY fix process in a step by step method.

So, let’s dive right into the details without hitting any other curbs-

How to Repair Curb Rash on Polished Wheels?

It’s a pretty long process and for proper success, you need to be extremely cautious.

But you’ll feel relieved to see your hard work paid off as your wheels will shine with a brand-new look.

Things Needed!

There are a couple of things that you’ll need in this repair job. Order these up and don’t forget to double-check your items.

So, here goes the list-

  1. Power rotary tool [While ordering, make sure your tool has various speed settings]
  2. A rotary tool accessories kit [However, if you don’t want to buy the whole kit then you can get a Cone-shaped aluminum oxide grinding stone and sanding discs -240 Grit]
  3. Steel wool pads [Make sure it’s from superfine grade]
  4. Sand Papers [Get three different types of papers. 400 Grit, 1500 Grit, and 2000 Grit. The size of the papers depends on the size of the rash. If you have a big one, then you’ll need 4×4 ones. If small, then 2×2 papers would do]
  5. Aluminum Wheel Polish
  6. Microfiber Cloths

Step 1: Grinding

The first step is to use your power rotary tool to grind down the burs.

For doing that, take your power rotary tool and set it to the lowest speed setting (Lowest RPM possible).

Next, you have to attach that cone-shaped aluminum oxide grinding stone to your tool.

After that, start grinding. Smooth those burs as much as you can.

Finally, use the sanding discs to round it out to an almost perfect shape.

Step 2: Fine Detailing

Your rim won’t shine just after the grinding. Now you’ll need to do some detailing to restore its beauty.

So, take your 400 Grit sandpaper and start grinding.

Then eventually finish off the grinding with 1500 grit and 2000 grit sandpapers.

Now, the next steps are depending on the following question.

Are you happy with the outcome?

If yes, then rub it with the steel wool back and forth. In no time you’ll get a shiny look.

If no, then repeat the process starting from the sanding disc step.

Step 3: Polishing

Take a microfiber cloth and use an aluminum wheel polish. You can do it either by yourself or by an expert.

Once you’re done using the polish, you can hit the gas and flex with your good as new wheel rims.

Is Curb Rash Dangerous?

Yes. If it’s not fixed, then the curb rash can be hazardous. You may have seen your car has tiny rust spots which are also a similar issue!

Curb rash happens because your rim got a hit from the outside. It might not bother you now but wait until another hit and you’ll understand.

Here’s the thing-

Your car might not be able to handle another hit and there are two possible outcomes for this:

Tire Damage

It’s possible for you to end up with a deformed tire after a second hit.

The sidewalls of a tire are its weakest spot. And with an unprotected hit, there’s a high chance that you’ll get a bubble on the sidewall.

This happens if the steel cords inside the tire get damaged and its inner protective layer is compromised.

You might change your tire this time. But the same thing will happen to your next tire in no time.

Rim Damage

Other than this, your rim might get bent or worse broken. With an imperfect rim, you can say goodbye to comfortable rides.

Even if your rim is perfectly round, your tire’s bids will face difficulty to seal on the rim.  

Bent or deformed rims are super hard to fix. Moreover, there’s no guarantee for this solution. So, most tire shops don’t like to fix a damaged rim.

How to Avoid Curb Rash?

Just don’t hit any curbs. Then again most of the curb rashes happen during the parking process.

So here are a few ways to avoid curb rash.

Care for Your Rim

Yes, your car is able to handle bumps and potholes. But that doesn’t give you the right to check every pothole out there.

So, it’s better that you avoid some of them and drive a bit slow around those. Keep your eyes open to avoid any obstacles.

Do Parallel Parking

While parking some people forget to keep the wheels parallel. Moreover, some cannot do it properly.

If you don’t park parallelly, then your tires and rims become open to damage.

So, go through internet lessons to know about parallel parking.

Use Physical Protection

Use rim protectors or wheel bands.

Some say that rim protectors are a bit inefficient. So, as an alternative, you can try out wheel bands.


Driving with a curb rash is more like a gamble. It seems innocent and harmless but has the capability to finish off your tire or rim.

Curb rash is a common problem for cars with polished wheels. When curb rash occurs, it can be difficult to remove the scratches and they often look unsightly on your car’s shiny rims.

There are some ways you can try to fix curb rash at home before taking them into a professional cleaning service or auto repair shop. If none of these methods work, then take your vehicle in so that professionals can help get rid of those ugly scratch marks from your polished wheel surfaces!