Caring For Your Alloy Wheels
Spotless, shiny alloy wheels can look great on your car. However, ensuring they remain shiny needs regular upkeep and care, which starts with covering the alloy wheels with a coat of polish on either side of each wheel. The polish will help to stop tar, dust and grit from the road and brake dust from adhering to the wheels. Besides dirt picked up from the road, brake dust is the foremost reason for dull, stained wheels, and should be removed often so it doesn’t get baked onto the wheels by the heat from the brake disc. Brake dust is corrosive and can eat into the surface lacquer, creating blackened patches on the wheels.
Cleaning alloy wheels start with using a hose to remove as much loose dirt as you can; don’t start with a sponge or cloth on top of dirt or road grit or you will scratch the wheel’s surface. After all the loose dirt is off you can wash with soapy water, or perhaps use a wheel cleaner, to clean around and under the spokes, making sure to use lots of water so that any grit left is washed out. Take a small sponge and clean around the rim and behind the spokes. To get a really special finish take off the wheels and wash off the brake dust and grit from within the wheel – this will make the wheels look especially good.
Now the wheels are clean a light polish is a good idea to remove surface scratches and spots of tar. The wax coating can also help the wheel to stay looking good by making it more difficult for tar and brake dust to stick.
It is also helpful to apply a specialized wax wheel protector from time to time, especially before the winter.
If you really hate cleaning your tires take this into account when choosing the design of your alloy wheels and choose the less fancy designs with fewer hard to clean crevices – clean, shiny plainer wheels will look far better than fancy designs with blackened and dirty areas.