Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail


Whichever crackpot invented the wheel had no idea what it would lead to. Land speed records. Plus one measures of gravity on a skidpad. Four-second quarter miles. 30-inch spinners! Multiple volumes of unmentionable bad craziness. And dirt crusted wheels. While filthy wheels may not be of great concern for ox-drawn carts or the old roto-tiller, shabby looking hoops can ruin automotive outward appearances. Rolling in a car with filthy wheels is akin to showing up to a job interview with scuffed-up shoes with holes in the soles.

Dusted Flakes

The majority of what ends up all over the wheels in normal driving is dust from the brake pads. Barrel-assing around will require more braking power to stop, and will create more dust. Switching brake pad compounds can help, but brake dust is inevitable. The rest of the crud can come from sources as common as road grime or nefarious as neighborhood cats and dogs. At best the wheels get filthy. In a very worst-case scenario the contaminants in the dust and grime can etch into the wheel finish or paint, and even the wheels themselves. Road salt accomplishes this task very well. Corrosion and pitting will require expensive wheel refinishing.

Brush Off

The procedure for cleaning and detailing wheels on an automobile varies with the type and finish of wheel. Before washing or detailing any wheels make certain they are cool to the touch. Brakes get hot, and so do the wheels. Hosing down hot wheels to speed things up will warp brake discs about as quick. While we know as well as you that there are scads of these bottled miracle spray cleaners, make sure the formula is compatible with the wheel finish by testing on a small area before coating the entire wheel. Some of these cleaners can cause damage to certain finishes. One-step cleaners are sometimes a good quick fix but where's the fun in that? Bring a bucket.

Stuff You'll Need:

· Dirty and/or Crusty Wheels
· Bucket of Warm Soapy Water
· All Manner of Scrub Brushes
· Towels
· Chrome Polish, Aluminum Polish, or similar
· Carnauba Wax, or Similar
· Hose and Spray Nozzle

Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail

Park the vehicle in the shade. Allow wheels and brakes to cool. Cold water and hot brakes make for warped rotors. Don't do it, man! Hose off dust and debris only after wheels and brakes are cool to the touch.

Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail

Painted finish wheels should be cared for in much the same way as paint on the car. Washing followed by a good coat of wax will help prevent brake dust from sticking to the spokes. Use soap, water and brushes to remove built up dust, grime, and debris.

Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail

Getting rid of stuck on dirt is easier with brushes. Make sure the bristles won't damage finishes before diving in too deep. Long-handled brushes can help prevent aching backs, and get in-between spots. Bottle-type brushes can help remove dirt from spokes and brake calipers.

Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail

Chrome finish and polished aluminum wheels look similar, but require different care. Don't apply wax to chrome finish wheels, as the chrome needs to breathe. Use a polish or cleaner made for use with chrome.

Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail

Polished aluminum wheels are a perpetual cleaning affair. The oxidation process begins as soon as shine is achieved. Magnesium in the aluminum alloy wants to turn dull gray. Be careful with one-step cleaners on polished aluminum.

Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail

One-step cleaners can be very effective, but test on a small area first before coating the entire wheel. Keep a hose nearby in case bad, corrosive things start to happen.

Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail

Removing the wheel and cleaning the backside can add a higher level of detail. Scrubbing will most likely be required to remove years of collected crud.

Wheel Cleaning Tips in Detail


A shining wheel backside can make the front side appear brighter by reflecting more light back through the spokes. Potrzebie!

Related:
Polishing Aluminum Wheels; And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Parts [Internal]