Fixing A Wheel Pushed Back Into The Fender (Detailed Guide)

Before going for a drive, it’s advisable to always check the condition of your wheels and be on the lookout for issues such as the wheel being pushed back into the fender. Yes, you read that right.

Sometimes, one or two of your wheels can be pushed from its original position back into the fender. Today, I’ll be sharing a detailed guide about this problem, what causes it, and how you can fix it.

Wheel pushed back into fender

How Do You Confirm that Your Wheel is Pushed Back into the Fender?

Before you start exploring the causes and remedies, you need to confirm that your wheel is pushed back into the fender. And the best way to make such a diagnosis is through a visual inspection.

Park your car in a level area, and check the distance between all your wheels and the fender. You can even use a tape measure to confirm.

A visual inspection is usually enough to diagnose a wheel that has been pushed back into the fender. However, there are other warning signs such as; the affected wheel will be rubbing into the fender when turning.

As that happens, you’ll hear some strange noises caused by the friction. Also, if your wheel is pushed back into the fender, its alignment will be very off. So, you’ll notice signs such as uneven tire wear or the car leaning to one side.

After confirming that your wheel is indeed pushed back into the fender, please don’t drive it until you fix it.

What Causes a Wheel to Be Pushed Back into the Fender?

There are many reasons why your wheel might be pushed back into the fender. I’ll go through the most common ones so that you can know what caused this problem.

• The impact from hitting a curb – From my professional experience, hitting a curb is the most common reason behind wheels being pushed into the fender.

The impact from hitting a curb can yank the wheel components from their original position and send them back into the car frame. And it’s not just a curb, anything you hit both on and off the road can lead to a similar situation.

• Car accidents – This is the same thing as hitting a curb. Any sort of impact that touches your wheels can offset its original position.

• Damage to crucial components such as the control arm or strut – If the parts that hold the wheel are damaged, then it can assume an odd position such as being pushed back into the fender.

It’s not just the control arm or strut, but if any part of your suspension is damaged, you might find yourself in a similar ordeal.

• Poor towing techniques – If your car was recently towed and it wasn’t properly attached, there is a huge chance of one of your wheels being pushed away from its original position. This is why it’s crucial to adhere to proper towing techniques.

How to Fix a Wheel that’s Pushed Back into the Fender?

Step 1: Diagnose the Affected Wheel

The main aim of a diagnosis is to identify the component that has been damaged. You can compare both sides of the car to check which part seems bent or misaligned.

Step 2: Remove the Wheel and Surrounding Components

After figuring out what is wrong, next you can proceed to remove the wheel and surrounding components such as the hub. Doing so gives you better access to the affected components.

Step 3: Replace or Repair the Damaged Part

If it was the control arm, the struts, or another part of the suspension, remove and repair or replace it. The latter choice will be decided by the extent of the damage. You can then return it to its original position.

Step 4: Repair the Fender

When a wheel is pushed back into the fender, it usually rubs into it and this can cause some slight damage. To ensure your car looks as good as new, it’s a good idea to repair the fender as well. You can then reinstall the wheel or replace it with a new one if it’s damaged or worn out.

Step 5: Perform Wheel Alignment

After repairing what was pushing their wheel back into the fender, most people assume that everything is okay. But it’s not. You have to do wheel alignment after such a repair.

Such problems often affect the camber, caster, and toe of a wheel and these need to be rectified before the vehicle goes back to the road. So, a wheel alignment is a must, and then your car can resume its normal operations.

What are the Effects of Driving a Car with the Wheel Pushed Back into the Fender?

I can’t emphasize enough how wrong it is for you to drive with a car whose wheel is pushed back into the fender. Here are some of the side effects of driving a car with the wheel pushed back into the fender;

• It is a safety hazard. A car whose wheel is pushed into the fender won’t be stable when driving at high speeds.

• Such wheels are often misaligned and that causes uneven tire wear. The more you drive with such a wheel the more you’re damaging it. Don’t forget that a tire that is unevenly worn out can blow out at any time.

• Wheels that have been pushed into the fender put more strain on your car’s suspension. If you keep on driving it, you may end up damaging other parts of your suspension and the repair costs will be hefty.

It’s not just the suspension that’s at risk, you could also damage the steering.

• If caught by law enforcement, you can be fined or penalized. Even though the laws differ from one state to another, we can all agree that knowingly driving with a wheel pushed back into the fender is a chargeable offense.

Do You Need Professional Help in Fixing a Wheel Pushed Back into the Fender?

I know that most of you are big fans of fixing automotive issues by yourselves. But it’s a good idea to always know when to draw the line.

Unless you have vast experience in car wheels and suspensions, it’s best to leave such a job to an expert mechanic.

They will diagnose what’s causing the wheel to be pushed back into the fender. They’ll also repair the affected parts and finish up with a wheel alignment.

Pulling off such a job by yourself is hectic, time-consuming, and needs professional mechanic skills which you may not have.

If the solution was as simple as a tire change, I’d give you the green light. But matters related to damaged control arms or suspension need a professional touch.

How Much Will It Cost to Fix a Wheel Pushed Back into the Fender?

The cost varies depending on the part that has been damaged and the extent of the damage. Don’t also forget that the model of the car will determine the prices as well after you’ve factored in the labor costs charged by the mechanic.

From a rough estimate, you can spend anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 to repair a wheel that has been pushed back into the fender. To ensure you are not overcharged, request quotes from multiple shops.

How to Prevent Pushing Your Wheels Back into the Fender?

The answer is pretty simple – embrace safe driving habits.

The main cause for wheels to be pushed back into fenders is hitting curbs or accidents. If you can learn how to drive at safe speeds and avoid hitting curbs and potholes, then pushing your wheel out of its original position will be the least of your worries.

Another pro tip is to stay away from off-road driving if your car isn’t built for such terrains. Also, regular inspection and maintenance of your wheels and suspension can help avoid such scenarios.

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment