How to replace a bent wheel rim?
October 11, 2009 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Where can I get a wheel rim (new or used) to replace one I bent while driving with a flat? I don't even know how to figure out what size I need. Details below.

The car is a 2003 VW GTI, 1.8t. The rim cannot be fixed per my mechanic. The wheels are custom alloys that came with the car when I got it used in 2008. I live in the Twin Cities and the only mechanic recommendation I've gotten is S(vowel)(vowel)rs Auto and they seemed expensive and less than helpful when I called. Local stores or online recommendations are welcome.
posted by ShadePlant to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The first place I'd check is your local VW dealer. If they're more expensive than $180, go to ebay and use "2003 VW GTI wheel oem" as the search. There are a few used wheels available there at that price from a seller with a decent rating. Once you get the tire you can take the wheel to a tire shop - Sears will be okay - and they should be able to mount the tire and put the whole thing on the car for you.

Alternately, you could check with a local parts recycler (or junkyard), odds are slim, but they might have your wheel.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:56 AM on October 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: There was drama in an old question I asked because I put a company name in it. The owner found out and threatened our noble MeFi leaders. Now I avoid specifics. But it's a nation-wide department store chain with an auto center. I bet you can figure it out. S_ _ RS.
posted by ShadePlant at 8:59 AM on October 11, 2009

I don't get it. Go to a VW dealer and order the wheel. What could be simpler. I bend the wheels on my SAAB all the time. The dealer either has them or can get them within days.
posted by Zambrano at 9:02 AM on October 11, 2009

Response by poster: I hate dealers, so I try to avoid them. Was just down there for a check engine light issue. $60 for parts, $400 for labor.
posted by ShadePlant at 9:04 AM on October 11, 2009

he wheels are custom alloys that came with the car when I got it used in 2008.

Well. Are they custom alloys, or are they OEM (as everyone else seems to be assuming).

If they are OEM, then ebay or a VW tuner forum (from people putting aftermarket ones on and taking your style off) will be your best, non-dealer, method.

If they are custom (ie not original manufacturer fit) then you need to know which manufacturer they are and search all the VW tuning type websites for the best price.

Basically, the answer is find what it is you want to buy and then go and get it. I am assuming that you want to match the other three wheels, so you need to find out what MAKE they are, never mind the size - that's relatively easy after that stage.

Also - is the spare a matching alloy? It'd be perfectly acceptable to use the spare on the car and use a steel wheel as your spare ( as long as the wheel stud length is compatible between the two types of wheel). That'd be a cheaper way of getting a replacement wheel.
posted by Brockles at 9:26 AM on October 11, 2009

This doesn't require a mechanic. Once you find the rim, any old service station can mount the tire onto it for you.
posted by desjardins at 9:29 AM on October 11, 2009

Best answer: It would be helpful if you post a foto of the wheel. Even more helpful if you post it to a tuner forum, rather than here. Likely someone could ID it for you within hours.
posted by randomstriker at 9:36 AM on October 11, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all. The customization bit makes it tricky but I have stuff to go on now.
posted by ShadePlant at 10:21 AM on October 11, 2009

Response by poster: Link to pic below. I'm still not sure of the style or size. Am guessing it is 17" and I have been told repeatedly the rims are an aftermarket thing but I wouldn't know. The dealer never mentioned them being factory or not.
posted by ShadePlant at 4:27 PM on October 11, 2009

Easy. Those are the 16-inch "Montreal II" wheels. Factory equipment. Every 2003-2004 GTI with the 1.8T was equipped with those, unless the buyer opted for other wheels/packages.

They should be plentiful on the used/recycled scene. Check with AAA Parts near Lakeville to see if they have one.

That said, single wheels are never cheap, and you might find it more cost-effective to just buy a complete SET of used wheels on Craigslist. Yes, really. People are always dumping the standard OEM wheels for bigger/lighter aftermarket wheels. Anything off a MkIV (1999.5-2004) Jetta, Golf, or GTI will fit.

For what it's worth: last summer, I bought a set of wheels off a 2002 Jetta VR6--with good tires--for $200 cash via Craigslist.
posted by bhayes82 at 7:16 PM on October 11, 2009

Oh! and--some local garage suggestions, should you need them:

Good Carma and Volkswagen Man, both located in Northeast Minneapolis. And yeah, I try to avoid dealerships too, but I've had great service at Westside in St. Louis Park, the few times I've needed it.
posted by bhayes82 at 7:23 PM on October 11, 2009

Response by poster: Gracias, HiveMind! My gimpy tin can VW and I thank you.
posted by ShadePlant at 7:23 AM on October 12, 2009

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