Wheel Care Tips

The wheels on your car give it a polished look, making it look sleeker and well cared for if the wheels are kept in good condition. Unfortunately, wheels are prone to dirt, grime and damage, both from the road and from the collection of brake dust. The following tips can help you keep your wheels or custom rims in top condition, while also giving you some personalization options.

Tip #1: Detail the Wheels

Make sure to spend some time on the wheels each time you wash your car. Begin by hosing off any dirt with a sharp spray of water. You don't want to scrub while there is loose grit, since this can cause scratches on the finish of the wheels. Once the grit is removed, you can wash the wheels with a soft sponge and soapy water. Make sure you get the tire around the wheel and inside all the nooks and crannies of the wheel, otherwise dirt will leak out and stain the wheels again. A sponge bottle brush or dish brush works especially well for all those hard to reach areas.

Tip #2: Buff and Polish

Once clean, buff the wheel dry with a microfiber towel. Next, apply a wheel sealant to the wheel. These typically come in a spray bottle – simply spray it on and then buff off the excess with your towel. If there are any scratches or imperfections on the wheel, the sealant will help disguise them and prevent the damage from worsening. Sealant also makes it more difficult for brake and road dust to adhere to the wheel.

Tip #3: Get Your Wheels Refinished

A new finish can vastly improve the appearance of old wheels, or make stock wheels look custom. This is a good option if you notice aesthetic damage after washing the wheels. You have two main options. You can have the wheels chromed if you prefer the silver metallic look. The other option is to have your wheels powder coated. Powder coating gives you the greatest option. You can select any color you like, from low-profile black to sports car red. You can even opt for a combination of colors, such as doing the main wheel one color and the spokes a different color. With powder coating, the color is baked onto the wheel so it provides a scratch and damage resistant finish that is perfect for road use.

Contact a local auto body shop to find out what options are available for chroming or powder coating your wheels, and then care for them properly to keep them looking their best.