MAINTAINING YOUR WHEELS
If you are wondering how much time will be required to care for your wheels, the answer has lot to do with how they are maintained. Your local climate and road maintenance can affect the care required and life span of a wheel finish. For harsher climates, you should retain your original equipment wheels for optional use as wintertime equipment.
The first rule in caring for any automotive wheels regardless of finish is to keep them clean. Generally speaking, from week to week during your car wash cycle, it’s best to clean them with a soft brush, soap and/or mild degreaser or quality spray-on wheel cleaner.
For best results, it is important to keep wheels clean, not allowing road film, contaminants and brake dust (which retain moisture) to accumulate and sit on the surface. If you live in a harsh winter climate where salt and chemicals are use during the winter, regular cleaning is even more important. Be careful in selecting wheel-cleaning products. Select products that are safe for the finish of your wheels. Avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners. Some cleaners are harsh and could damage your wheel finish.
Also be aware that many car washes use strong chemicals to clean wheels and tires that could cause damage to your wheel finish or even your automotive paint. NEVER CLEAN HOT WHEELS. Allow wheels to cool or cool them with running water. Another important step is to seal your wheels with a sealant that will reduce static and resist brake dust; any automotive wheel wax will seal your wheels for a brief time.
Protect your investment. Clean your wheels regularly.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CARE FOR YOUR WHEEL FINISH
Your aftermarket wheels were manufactured in one of four finishes: Chrome (applied to either aluminum alloy or steel)
Machined/Polished Aluminum Alloy (no protective coating), and Clear Coated and/or Painted.
To better understand the specific care and maintenance of your wheels, determine which finish applies to your wheels from the list above. After determining which finish applies to your wheels, go to the section below for suggestions and instructions for the detailing, care, and maintenance.
Aluminum or steel wheels plated with chrome are beautiful and can significantly change the appearance of your car or truck by attracting light to base areas of your vehicle. If maintained, the chrome finish will produce a brilliant shine. To reflect light, which produces the attractive brilliant finish, the wheels must be cleaned regularly. It’s best to clean them with a soft brush, soap and/or mild degreaser or quality spray-on wheel cleaner. Rinse thoroughly. After cleaning your wheels, do not allow soap, chemicals or water sit on the surface and produce water spots-dry your wheels with a soft, non-abrasive towel.
As stated above, it is important to keep wheels clean, not allowing road film, contaminants and brake dust (which retain moisture) to accumulate and sit on the surface. If you live in a harsh winter climate where salt and chemicals are use during the winter, regular cleaning is even more important. For best results and to reduce cleaning efforts in the future, after polishing and/or cleaning, apply Wheel Wax or car wax to seal the surface-this should help avoid problems in the future and will reduce static so that your wheels are more resistant to brake dust.
MACHINED / POLISHED ALUMINUM WHEELS
Polished aluminum alloy wheels require the highest degree of maintenance and a certain amount of oxidation is to expected as the wheels naturally oxidize with age. Polished wheels can be re-polished commercially or by hand after many years of use, effectively restoring them to an almost factory original condition.
When new, coat your polished wheels with a quality, hand-applied sealant product such a car wax. This coating will assist in preventative maintenance by resisting brake dust and other contaminants. When your polished aluminum wheels begin to lose their shine or are dirty with road film or brake dust, begin by cleaning them as instructed above. If you use a brush, be careful to avoid scratching the uncoated, polished aluminum alloy by using only a SOFT brush. Follow up by polishing them by hand with Mothers Metal Wax or another quality metal or wheel polish.
After polishing, coat them with car wax according to instructions. If they are in bad condition, this will take some time, and polishing wheels is never an easy task. Polished wheels look great, but do require regular maintenance.
CLEAR COATED / PAINTED WHEELS
We manufacture many styles that are permanently coated with a clear protective coating, essentially a non-pigmented, clear paint. The clear coating that we use is the same material that we use for the original equipment wheels we manufacture for leading automobile manufacturers. Your clear-coated wheels should require only soap or a quality wheel cleaner product, water and a soft brush.
Once you have cleaned your clear-coated wheels, a coat of hand-applied Wheel Wax or a quality, non-carnauba, non-abrasive polymer sealant-quality wax will enhance resistance to brake dust and contaminants. Wheel Wax works well and will save you time in the future.