Giving your car a custom look and a smoother ride doesn’t always mean having to spend big bucks on new rims. With a little searching, you can often find these parts in excellent condition at a salvage yard for an attractive price. But since used rims can carry a hidden history, you have to take extra steps to ensure they’re right for your vehicle. If you’re looking to give your wheels a makeover, here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying used car rims.  

How to Buy Car Rims From a Salvage Yard

1. Find the Right Size

Look at your vehicle’s manual to verify the size of the recommended OEM rims. If the used rims don’t match these dimensions, they can cause considerable instability or vibrations while driving. When they match the specifications, you’ll enjoy a smooth and safe ride.

2. Inspect for Imperfections

salvage yardA rim that has cracks or corrosion has a higher risk of losing its integrity and possibly causing a tire blowout. Bent lips, on the other hand, can impair braking performance and cause drops in tire pressure. If the damage is small enough, a skilled professional may be able to restore the rim, and the investment in the used part may still be worth it.

3. Look at the Bolt Pattern

The bolt pattern refers to the arrangement of lug holes on the rim. These patterns tend to vary depending on the automaker. Make sure the used rims match the ones on your current car.

4. Roll the Rim

Even if a rim looks to be intact and free of damage, some issues may still be tough to spot. To check for hidden problems—such as bending—roll the rim on a flat surface.

If it wobbles, you’ll want to look for another option to save your car from potential damage down the road. If it rolls smoothly, it’s in working order. 

5. Stay Mindful of Discoloration

If the rims look off-color, faded, or spotted, there’s a chance that the wheel’s clear coat was compromised. When this happens, the metal will be exposed to moisture, dirt, and road salt, which can result in corrosion. If the color appears like new, the rims are likely well-protected from these potential causes of damage.


Finding reliable pre-owned rims is easy when you buy from Stewart’s Used Auto Parts in Barkhamsted, CT. This salvage yard sells a variety of parts that have been thoroughly checked and priced competitively. If you’re not happy with your purchase, they’ll replace the part with one that better fits your needs. Visit this licensed auto recycler online to learn more about their services. Call (860) 379-7541 to inquire about part availability.