Aluminum Wheel Care Tips

Aluminum Wheel Care Tips

Caring for Custom Alloy Wheels 

Custom alloy wheels represent an investment in your vehicle and require care to maintain their factory finish.

Preserving the appearance of the wheel requires ongoing and regular maintenance.

Typical road soils trap moisture, which can cause corrosion over a period of time.

Brake dust, caused by friction of your vehicle's braking system, is itself corrosive and can cause pitting of the wheels finish.

These soils must be removed regularly, possibly weekly, depending on your driving habits.

Your wheels finish should be treated as you would treat the finish of your car. 

Mild dish soap and water is all you need to properly clean your wheels. 

Other household cleaning agents are too harsh for the finish on your wheels and must be avoided.

There are also a vast number of commercially available wheel cleaners on the market today, but we urge extreme caution regarding their use, since they tend to be acid or lye based.

We suggest staying away from wheel cleaners all together as a general rule of thumb. 

ADDITIONAL TIPS - Never clean aluminum wheels of any finish when they are hot. 

Never spray cold water on extremely hot wheels.
Always allow time to cool before cleaning with soap and water.

To prevent scratching of the wheels' finish, never clean your wheels with scouring pads.

If you use automatic car washes, tell them not to use steam cleaners or strong chemicals to clean your wheels.

They can cause permanent staining or corrosion. 

Use caution when cleaning tires with steel wool or a bristle brush.
These types of abrasive materials must not come in contact with the wheels.

Never allow any harsh chemicals or tire cleaner to come in contact with the wheels, as they can damage the appearance of the wheel permanently. 

Wheel Finishes and related care tips

Chrome Plated Alloy

Chrome does not tarnish and only pits if it is beginning to rust.

Chrome plated alloy wheels need to be washed with mild soap and water.

To maintain the finish, use car wax or an instant detailing product.

Polished Alloy 

Polished Aluminum Wheels
(The finish on Polished Wheels is not covered under any warranty).
This type of non-clear coated wheel finish may tarnish and requires additional care and maintenance to keep the factory shine.

The finish will diminish naturally without proper and constant maintenance.

Polished wheels should be cleaned only when cool with mild soap and water and dried with a soft cloth. 

Then use a good quality custom wheel polish specified as safe for bare Aluminum Wheels
 (We recommend Mother’s BILLET polish) and a good metal sealant (We recommend “Shine Seal” or “RejeX”). 

A good metal sealant will reduce the frequency in polishing, and help to repel brake dust build up and water spotting.
(Do not use on clear-coated wheels!) 

Polished alloy wheels (non clear coated) should be washed and polished several times a year.

Painted / Powder Coated Alloy 

Painted or Powder coated alloy wheels can be washed with mild soap and water.

If brake dust is built up on the wheel and is extreme, use a heavy metal tire and wheel cleaner.

Machined & Clear Coated 

Machined and clear coated alloy wheels can be washed with mild soap and water.

If brake dust build up is extreme, use a heavy metal tire and wheel cleaner.

Care For Custom Wheels During Winter

Custom wheels can provide years of pleasure and service with the proper care.

The best possible option for custom wheels in severe winter climates is the use of snow wheels with winter tires.

If you choose to run your custom wheels through the winter months, it is very important to exercise a regular maintenance program.

Many of the communities in the Northern United States use salt or strong chemical deicers during snow and icy conditions.

These elements can be very caustic and can corrode the metal parts on your vehicle, including the wheels.

For best winter protection against corrosion, rinse your vehicle and specially the wheels daily and wash them thoroughly once a week.

This simple practice will aid in the prevention of premature wear on the vehicle's finish and your custom wheels.

Things You'll Need to Clean Your Custom Wheels

• Water hose

• Chrome cleaner

• Micro Fiber Towel

• Sponge

• Wheel brush
• Wax (We recommend a product called Wheel Wax)

• Water

• Auto wash shampoo

• Wheel polish 
  (Regular Wheel Polish for chrome and painted wheels and Bare Aluminum Polish for non clear coated Polished Wheels) 
 (And also a Metal Sealant for bare aluminum, non clear coated polished wheels)

• Bucket

Wheels should be cleaned when they are cool to the touch.

 1. Fine spray rinse wheels/spinners off with water.

 2. Mix car shampoo wash & wax with water in a bucket and wash wheels with sponge.

 3. Rinse the wheels with clean water. Use a hose with a sprayer attachment for the best results.

 4. If wheels are still stained, use a chromed wheel only cleaner.
     Spray it on a, lightly scrub with a sponge if required and hose it off.

 5. Spray chrome wheel cleaner on any remaining stubborn spots, lightly scrub and rinse.

 6. Sponge-clean the wheels with a mixture of auto shampoo and water.

 7. Rub on wheel polish after cleaning.

 8. Buff to bring out the shine.

 9. Use a car wax to add a protective layer. Wax helps to protect the chrome finish by adding a protective layer.
     Dirt and brake dust will stick to the wax rather than the chrome finish making cleaning a lot easier.

10. Moisture in the climate reacts with the chrome plating.
      Cleaning your wheels regularly will keep brake dust, salt and dirt from pitting the finish. 

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