Thanks to a combination of shitty Wisconsin roads, and Obama my limited-travel, stiff suspension, I found myself with a bent wheel. I had this wobble-wobble-wobble noise I thought was in the driveline, but after my mechanic checked it out, all he could find was that bent-ass wheel.

This puzzled me, because I had the noise on both my winter and summer wheels, coming from the same corner of my car. But most of the not-quite-pothole road imperfections around here are shitty sunken-down manhole covers which are most often in the right lane. Well, most of the year-round ones. In the middle of winter right now there are also plenty of spots where the roads have crumbled beautifully.

My mechanic swapped the bent wheel over to the driver side to have me see if the noise followed to that corner, and oh boy it did. It was much more annoying being right in front of me. He recommended Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists to fix the wheel.

Today, a guy from Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists met me at work to repair the winter wheel. I thought about having him also do my summer wheel that might be bent at the same time, but I decided I’d rather have him fix only the winter wheel for now, and drive around on it to confirm there’s no driveline noise.

So, I brought my handy-dandy jack pad for him to use, and he straightened out the wheel as best he could, pretty damn quickly. There’s still a slight bend in one spot but it had been very bent in two spots, so this was a huge improvement. Took the car for a quick drive up the road, not up to highway speed, but no noise yet!

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Next stop is Discount Tire to have that wheel re-balanced to get it as smooth as possible. I definitely will have AWRS fix up the summer wheel once it’s getting a bit closer to the time where I’m going to take the winter tires off.

I’m actually kinda annoyed at Discount Tire because I’m pretty sure this wheel was already bent when they put my snow tires on a couple months ago. That’s also why I thought the noise was a driveline issue, because it was the same with both sets of wheels & tires. You’d think they’d at least tell you your wheel was super bent when they tried to balance it, but they didn’t mention it at all. On top of that, I looked at the invoice and their tire pressure does not match what’s on my door jamb. The factory tire pressures are 35/39 but Discount Tire had them at 30/37. I usually double-check my tire pressures but you’d think they wouldn’t be 5 friggin psi too low right off the bat.

My solution to hopefully avoid being a frequent Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists customer is to a) be extremely vigilant with my tire pressures and b) stay the hell out of the right lane as much as possible since that’s where all the damned sunken manhole covers are around here.