There’s no shame in admitting it—it’s all but guaranteed that nearly every single one of you reading this has accidentally hit the face of a curb with one of your car’s wheels. It’s that nails-on-the-chalkboard sound accompanied by the queasy realization that your vehicle’s rims now possess the civilian equivalent of the Darlington Stripe.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent this ohmygod moment from occurring. The first one, naturally, is to learn how to parallel park, since that’s when the majority of kerbing calamities happen. The second is to take proactive steps to protect yourself, and your car, from this metal-on-concrete marriage doing damage the next time the aforementioned scenario occurs via a set of rim protectors.

Enter Alloy Wheel Rim Protectors

Designed to fit the lip of a car wheel and guard it against the inevitable curb rash, these dandy slivers of plastic were created to deflect brushes with that infernal concrete curb, resulting in nothing more than a slight bump instead of day-ruining scrape on your 20-inch chrome blade.

RimSavers Rim Protector

One such company behind these clever wheel-saving miracles is RimSavers, a UK-based brand first established in 2015 by the design team behind Rimblades, who saw an opening in the market for a new rim protection system and pounced. After examining a wide array of materials and adhesives, they’ve successfully created a product that will literally pay for itself – several times over – the first time your concentration lapses while parallel parking. That’s why we’ve partnered with the company for a closer look at how rim protectors can help safeguard your pride and joy.

What is a Rim Protector, Exactly?

Think of them as skid plates for your wheels. Any off-roaders out there will already be familiar with the need to add a bit of armor to the bottom of their rigs before hitting the trail. In doing so, they cover exposed “expensive bits” that may suffer damage from rocks or other obstacles with a thick metal plate that’s easier (and much cheaper) to replace than, say, a gas tank. It’s the same idea behind rim protectors like RimSavers: invest a few bucks into some stylish protection to save yourself from having to shell out for a whole new wheel.

Rim protector RimSavers

Most rim protectors are of the stick-on variety. Good ones are kept in place with the combo of a tight-fitting stiff lip and a strong adhesive bond—in RimSavers’ case, that means a cold weather VHB (very high bond) tape from 3M, since not everyone lives in the Sun Belt. The vast majority of modern factory-style wheels have an edge on their lip – look closely the next time you’re checking your air pressure – but options are also available for those of you who run wheels that have a slight curve on their leading edge.

Quick-and-Easy DIY Install

If you’ve ever tried to get any sort of adhesive to strongly bond with a flat surface, you’ll know that proper preparation is key. (No, we’re not talking about doing stretching exercises before leaning down to install these things.) That’s why it’s important to look for a rim protection kit that includes an applicator. RimSavers includes an easy-to-use sachet of 3M Adhesion Promoter, to add an extra layer of sticky stuff to make the bond that much stronger.

RimSavers joining clip

And, since there are approximately eleventy billion different wheel diameters rolling on our nation’s highways, many rim protectors come in long strips, ready to be trimmed to the size you need. Designed to fit wheels up to 24”, RimSavers kits come with a small injection-moulded joining clip to both seal the tape from the elements and give the end result a seamless, professional look, no matter your level of DIY skills. All told, the whole process takes no more than 10 minutes per wheel.

Safety Meets Style

Considering the whole point of purchasing a rim protector is to save your car from unsightly curb rash, it doesn’t really make sense if the cure is worse than the disease, right? That’s why RimSavers are available in 12 different colors, so drivers can choose to match their paint job or go for a more eye-catching, adventurous look. And yes, stealthy options, like black or sliver, are also available for the wallflowers who prefer a subtler style.

Easy On, Easy Off

Like welding gloves in the garage or fireproof skivvies on the track, think of rim protectors as a sacrificial barrier of sorts, intended to absorb the impact of unintended direct contact. So if you do happen to have one of those nails-on-chalkboard moments we mentioned earlier, the idea is to ensure that the damage is confined to an easily replaceable plastic protector.

It’s also why it’s key to find a stick-on solution that won’t leave behind any unpleasant residue when it comes time for a replacement. Just use RimSaver’s handy remover solution (available via their website) and the 3M tape will melt away, leaving your wheel looking as fresh as the day you first put it on. After all, that’s the whole idea here, right?

For more on RimSavers rim protectors, click here.

Main photo credit: Ray Dukin / Shutterstock.com