Repair or replace cracked rim on BMW lease?

I’ve got a 2021 i3 lease. Took it in for seasonal tire swap at a local tire shop and the technician found a small crack on the inner lip of one of the front wheels. The crack does not extend into the barrel and can be repaired (welded) for around $100 from a local shop.

Based on prior experience, the weld will be easily spotted once the vehicle is up on a lift, so I’m assuming BMW will catch it at least end inspection. I’m wondering if having the wheel repaired is acceptable, or if BMW will require the wheel to be replaced. I hate to pay for a repair if I then have to pay for a new wheel at lease end.

Does anyone have any experience returning a car with a wheel that has been repaired like this?

Thanks Hackrs!

Get a pre-inspection. The inspector isn’t putting your car on a lift during their visit to you.


@jon - even if I get a pre-inspection, they still do a final inspection at turn-in, no? Or do they just take the pre-inspection results?

I think you’re assuming BMW’s lease return inspection is more thorough than it is.


I have never had a BMW inspection on lease turn in with anyone putting the car on a lift or even getting under it.

1 Like

I had that on my 320xi lease. It’s not a big deal if they can’t see it. Just get the pre-inspection done and see if they find it. If not then don’t worry

1 Like

Worse come to worst, eBay or Craigslist a wheel. But, highly doubt it’ll come to that

Have it professionally welded.
The inspection company is not putting your car on a lift.

It appears some dealers are more through than others but last BMW I turned it, the manager check for tire depth with his hands and did a 45 second walk around.
I should say that I got another car from them so maybe there was some leniency there

You won’t need to do all that. They just going to look visually and if your getting another care they wouldn’t care too much

I agree with the other replies that the repair will be fine. While not direct BMW experience, I returned a MB lease that had two repaired wheels and it wasn’t an issue.

1 Like

Awesome. Thanks all. Appreciate the responses and 1st hand experience.

Returned four leased BMWs in the past 5 years. Every time the inspection was literally checking the odometer and dashboard lights, then walking around for 30s. With that said, if this were my leased car, I would get the wheel repaired properly.

1 Like

Figured I’d ask on this thread rather than creating a new one. BMW lease is up soon and I have a dented front fender I’ve been putting off getting fixed.

Can I schedule a pre-inspection at the local dealer and they’ll come up with a cost on what it is to repair? Compare that to body shop cost and then call it a day? Not sure how quickly they come back with the report/costs

You can schedule a pre-inspection with AutoVIN (not dealer) to get an estimate before disposition and then decide, yes. Contact bmwfs and tell them you want to do your pre-return inspection and they should give you the information.


How bad is the dent? If the paint isn’t chipped or creased, you would be amazed at what a competent PDR outfit can do. I had a huge dent on the back of my truck that I thought for sure would require a new tailgate and painting, but it came out 100% with PDR.

Not quite as bad as this, but this will give you an idea at how great some of these people can be:

I actually went to a PDR guy and was hoping I could get away with it, but unfortunately it is in a peculiar spot on the front fender above the wheel well. He said he could get it but not 100% there is also some paint that needs to be touched up. Someone bumped into me on the road merging across the lanes and just clipped me. Got quoted for about $1,500 - $2,000 so if BMW charges near that I’ll just send it off with them

1 Like

Unless it’s really bad BMW will probably ding you $250-$500 or so.

Just get the inspection done and see what they say, 9 times out of 10 the damage charge from the inspector/bank will be way more favorable than fixing it on your own.

That’s what I’m hoping, but then you hear of horror stories where people get a $25k bill in the mail. I don’t want them holding my MSD hostage either. Got it scheduled for tomorrow so keep you all updated!

Those are usually because they drop them off at the Dealer uninspected and let the Dealer ‘inspect’ them.

1 Like

Yea, I’m not aware of one horror story of anyone getting their car inspected by AutoVIN or another one of the 3rd party services and not being pleasantly surprised by the results