Auto Parts,  Cars

Prevent and Remove Rim Scratches

When I am parking my truck, it isn't always easy to judge how far I am away from object. I have on occasion bumped into the curb and other things from time to time. Once in a while I scratch my rims on the curb. Even when I think I'm parking well, misjudging distant has happened.

To prevent your vehicles rims from getting scratched you'll need to practice parking, adjust the mirrors, use sensors and various products to help you keep a safe distance from the curb. 

The method that has worked best for me so far is using my mirrors. I make sure they are adjusted exactly how they need to be so I can see cars on the passenger side and be able to clearly see the curb and judge it's distance to my rim. 

Are Your Rims Protected?

The rims on your car can make the difference between your car looking nice or not. Too many scratches and bumps can impact the atheistic beauty of the car and some may create problems for your tire.

Most budget rims will have a rim cover which can be helpful for getting your rim looking good quickly. All you need to do is replace the rim cover and your car looks nice again. 

Car owners with rims that have no covers need to be extra careful when parking because once a scratch is made, it may never be able to be removed. There are ways to get some scratches out, but deep scratches will leave a permanent mark.

To protect your rims you can do a variety of things, but the first one is always to be cautious while driving and parking. 

Parking and Maneuvering Safely

You going about your day and your mind if focused on all the tasks that need to get done. You start to park while looking at your shopping list... Bang! You just bumped in the curb. Has this ever happen to you?

Being aware while driving is critical, even if everything seem fine, no one's around and you have plenty of room. I've had my fair share of driving and parking while being distracted. It can happen so easily.

In order to keep your rims scratch free, you will need to adopt a new attitude while parking. All that you may need to do is put up a post it note on the dash board or create a mental note. Once your in the habit of parking and maneuvering carefully, you've all of a sudden reduced your chances of getting a scratch by 99%. 

But, we all have off days when were distracted and busy, so we just don't take the time to park with as much care as we need to. What should can we do to protect our rims on days like that?

If you have been parking in the same place for a while and all of a sudden find that you need to park in new places, it might help to go over the procedures for parallel parking. Getting use to new situations can take some practice, so taking it slow is a helpful idea.

Parallel Parking


Check the Fit

Will your car fit into the area of the space you want to park in. To determine if you can fit pull up next to the space and make a stop when you can still see the bumper of the car in front of you or maybe it's wheels, depending on how tall your car or truck is and its turning radius. 

If there is still at least 1-2 feet of space between you and the vehicle behind you, then this might be enough space for your car.

Having about 3 feet in front and behind you is a good way to ensure you can comfortably maneuver into and out of a park space.



The easiest way to parallel park when you have a car in front and in back of you is to first pull up next to the car (about 2 feet away) that is in front of the space that is available. 

Next, place the car in reverse and try to angle the car at about 25-45 degrees into the space and turn the wheel when your about a foot away from reaching the curb. (This all depends if your angle is correct.) Make sure you watch carefully in the mirror and by turning your head over your right shoulder.

Then, straighten out the wheel when both tires are parallel to the curb at about the same distance, and before getting too close to the vehicle behind you.  

Last, you'll likely need to adjust the car a bit more if the space is tight or your angle was off. Slowly adjust your car so the wheels are about a foot away from the curb. 


Check Your Space

Try not to get to close to the curb or too far away. Any to ensure that you can get out of your parking space back up until you can see the bumper of the car in front of you. Then you usually have enough space to maneuver out if someone pulls to close behind you.

If you've parked in a space with little room and find that you've trapped the car in back or in front of you with no space to maneuver out of their parking space, try to find another space.

 It's not safe, respectful, or responsible to trap another car, even if there's no other space available. You will likely be towed away when someone can't move their car out of a parking space.

Get Rim Protection

If you have nice rims, you might take some pride in making them look their best. in order to protect your rims you can find various ways to help you met your specific needs.  

A Physical Barrier

There are some ways to physically protect our rims from scratches. One of the best ways is to get a hub cap. Another option is to use a rim trim protection. This is a good option for card with Aluminum alloy rims.

(click on pictures for to learn about products on

Protective Rim Cover

Not all rims can accommodate a wheel cover, but many can. A rim cover will work with most factory standard steel rims.

If your car has aluminum alloy rims, you will need to search around, but may find ones that attach to the lug nuts or will fit your style of rim edge.   

Rim Trim

When you apply a rim trim, it help prevent scratches from occurring along the outer rim. 

This thin layer of material will be enough to save your rim from minor scratches should you bump the curb.  


The Mirrors

Another way to protect your rims is using your mirrors effectively.

If you use your mirrors when parallel parking, you'll need to make sure they are adjusted the same each time to prevent mixing up your perspective. As you adjust your mirror, ensure you can see both cars and the curb clearly. 

If you find it difficult to see objects behind you as you drive, consider getting a blind spot mirror. It can help you see a wider angle of view behind you.  

Adjust the Mirror

Sometimes a small adjustment is all you need to do to get a good perspective when backing up. 

If you can see the curb clearly, then you can likely carefully backup and see when you are close enough to the curb.  

Blind Spot Mirror

When you back up, you may not see everything clearly. The mirrors or your viewing angle could cause issues.

Some people find that a blind spot mirror is very useful when backing up to park.

Use a Backup Camera

A backup camera can help guide you as you try to parallel park. Once you learn where the curb is in relation to where it is showing up on the backup camera, you can back up next to the curb without bumping into it.

The first few times using your backup camera you can ask a passenger for help to look out for you and guide you regarding how close you are to the curb. You may also want to get out of the car and look at the distance between the tire and the curb, and reference what the camera is showing when you are parked just right. 

If your car has a stereo with a backup camera option, all you'll need is the camera itself. Otherwise, you will need the camera and the monitor

Just the Camera

Installing a camera is fairly easy, although wiring the cable may take a long time. 

A good camera will be able to help you see a wide angle and have lighting to see at night. 

Camera and Monitor

Getting a camera and monitor may be a bit easier than just getting a camera because you won't need to take that stereo out for wiring. 

Many of these systems work great at providing clear views of the area behind the car.

In some cases you already have a system that works to help you park easier. Some cars have parking assist, while others have sensors. You can even buy some sensors that may be able to be installed on your car to help guide you when parking. 

Can I Get Rid of Scratches?

Many rims that have no rim cover are made of aluminum alloy or chrome plated aluminum. These metals can be sanded and buffed to help reduce and get rid of scratches. It will take some time, but your rim will likely look like new if you do it right.

Here's a good video that will help you take the steps you need to get your rims looking great again.

As we see in the video you will need to have some patience and go through several steps to make sure your tire looks like new. It will cost less than buying a new rim, but it depends on how interested you are in restoring your rim to look brand new again.

Another option that might work temporarily is to thoroughly clean the rim, especially the scratched areas. Any grim that has gotten into the scratches will be removed and the scratches will not be so apparent. Unfortunately it only last as long as your rim is clean.

Here's a before and after shot of a scratched rim. It just take a minute to clean and from a distance, the rim looks OK. 

If your rims are painted, you can try a scratch and swirl remover product. These work well up to a certain point when trying to remove scratches, but if the scratch is too deep, you may want to try to get some paint to fill in the scratches. 

One more option is to sand, fill in the scratches, and paint over everything. This can give you good results and will likely take you less time than what was required by the video above about removing the rim scratches. 


When we take our time parking, we can prevent most of the scratches that occur on our rims. It can take practice parking in new areas and getting use to new equipment we use to make our lives easier when parking, but with some patience we choose a technique that works for use in order to park almost perfect each time.

If you want to remove your scratches after scraping into the curb, you can choose a method you feel best works for you. Getting good results can be a matter of patience, but it may be worth it for those who enjoy keeping their car looking its best.