How To Detail Your Car Wheels

Cleaning wheels

Cleaning and maintaining the wheels of your car (AKA detailing) isn’t something that’s simply aesthetically pleasing—it can save you a great deal of money in the long run.

The problem with car wheels is that they’re constantly under attack from the villain that is brake dust. This debris is a combination of the carbon fibers and adhesive from the brake pads and minuscule metal shavings from the rotor. It settles onto the wheels of your car in a black layer and is subjected to some pretty intense heat during normal driving conditions. The combination makes for an extremely corrosive mix, one that can damage the wheels if allowed to remain for extended periods.

The best defense is a simple one: regular cleaning of the wheels. Not only does this ensure they remain in tip-top condition, but it massively improves the appearance of your car.

Easy Steps To Detail Your Wheels

When you wash your car it’s vital to clean the wheels first. This will prevent the grime from the wheels getting stuck to the panels of paintwork you’ve just painstakingly cleaned. 

Get all your kit together, including a wheel cleaner, wheel brush with feathered bristles (so it doesn’t scratch the metal), tire brush, and a microfiber towel. 

  • First, clean the tires: Spray with tire cleaner (many wheel cleaners can be used on the tires as well), let it sit for a minute or two and then scrub with the tire brush.
  • Spray the wheel cleaner onto the wheel: Using the sponge wash the worst of the grime and brake dust away.
  • Scrub the wheels: Now take the wheel brush, add more wheel cleaner and get scrubbing. Start at the top and work downwards.
  • Rinse: A pressure washer is great—failing this a hose will do fine.
  • Dry the wheel: Using the microfiber towel. This ensures a smear-free finish and the removal of every last bit of corrosive brake dust.

So…. That’s the hardest part over, but the finishing touches are just as important.

Next, you need to wax the wheels and dress the tires. Special wheel wax works in the same way as waxing the paintwork—it protects, keeping the wheels cleaner for longer, and, most importantly, helps slow the build-up of brake dust and grime.

The choice of tire dressing should be made with care because you don’t want one that contains silicon (it damages the tire and turns it brown over time). After application be sure to allow sufficient drying time before driving. Tire coating is also an option and looks great on whitewalls or classic cars that sport tires with raised white lettering.

Your ride’s wheels are vitally important and represent a significant amount of money.  Wheels Direct is the premier provider of factory wheels to suit all needs and budgets. When the time comes to upgrade your wheels their next-day service can save you many dollars, plus deliver directly to your home address. In addition, they’re always happy to answer any wheel-related query, ensuring that any expenditure is money well spent. 

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