LowCountry Blog

Wheel Care Tips

Whether you’ve just completed your project vehicle, or finally purchased that AMG you’ve had your heart set on, you’ve got to have wheels that set your car or truck apart from the rest. Let’s face it- some wheels are more expensive than the vehicles wearing them. That’s why it is important that you care for your wheels in a manner that keeps them looking great for years to come! 

Brake dust is the number one factor in dull, unattractive wheels.  No matter the composition of your brake pads, or your driving habits, brake dust is inevitable. Other factors include road debris, tar, and the wandering dog or cat.  In some locations, salt from the ocean or preventative measures on icy roads may also cause a buildup on your wheels that can damage the finish. Below are a couple of tips to maintaining the luster of your new wheels.

Wheels are made available in several different finishes.  Make sure that your wheel cleaner is intended for your particular finish whether your wheels are chrome, painted, hypersilver, polished, or a machined surface. You will also need towels, scrub brushes, a bucket of warm soapy water, carnauba wax or similar, a hose and spray nozzle.  

Before cleaning your wheels, be sure to allow time for your wheels to cool to the touch.  You can aid in the cooldown process by hosing the wheels off with cool water from a garden hose. It is best to park your ride in the shade before getting started. 

Just like the body of your vehicle, most wheels are painted and clear coated. Never use harsh cleaners or soaps to clean your wheels. Lightly dirty wheels can easily be cleaned with quality car wash soap and water, but if there is extra build up of brake dust and road grime a very soft bristle brush will help take it off after washing with soap and water. Regular weekly cleaning of your wheels will help with brake dust ever building up and giving you cleaning issues. After cleaning, applying a light coat of wax will protect your wheels and aid in brake dust or ride grime sticking to your wheels.  If cleaning chrome rims, do not apply wax, as the chrome needs to breathe.  Instead, use a cleaner intended for chrome surfaces. 

Removing the wheel and cleaning the backside can increase the amount of light reflected through the spokes, thus making the front shine more brilliantly. To remove years of buildup, you may have to use a brush to scrub until the surface is clean of all dust. 

When detailing your wheels, you may come across chips and scratches caused by kicked up debris or perhaps your neighbor got careless with this lawn care techniques, blasting your beautiful wheels with sand and rocks.. You may have misjudged a turn or entered an area downtown where you should have brushed up on your parallel parking skills.  Curb rash is what happens when your wheel comes in contact with a curb, leaving some unsightly scars on your cherished wheels.  This is not something, unfortunately, that any amount of wax, or polish with “buff out”. 

Contact the team at Low Country Wheel Repair for all of your wheel refinishing and repair needs!