Give Those Alloy Wheels A Spring Glow
Take a look at your wheels. Chances are winter has turned them into a hazy mess.
The good news: It’s easy to return the luster and make your vehicle look great for your spring outings.
“We neglect our vehicle wheels up here during winter,” said Adam Bateman of Wizards Products, referring to his hometown of Hanover, Minnesota. “The snow and salt and chemicals on the road–over time wheels tend to get oxidized.
“There are so many chemicals on the road even in a dry climate. That’s what makes spring a good time to inspect your vehicle wheels and do a deep cleaning.”
Batemen suggested first rinsing off each wheel and the undercarriage as well. Then, use a cleaner designed for auto wheels.
To keep those wheels from getting grimy in spring rains, Bateman suggests cleaning the wheels twice a month. He also recommended adding a layer of wheel protectant or traditional wax to protect them from accumulating brake dust and road contaminants.
Bateman offered the following tips for wheel care and safety:
- Beware of chemicals used to remove ice and snow from roadways. They are extremely caustic and will damage a wheel’s finish. Rinse off wheels weekly to prevent corrosion, pitting and staining.
- Clean your wheels with a non-corrosive cleaner intended specifically for vehicles. Look for products that are not acid based and are environmentally safe to use.
- Add a layer of protection–polish or traditional auto wax–to keep contaminants from bonding to the wheel and causing corrosion.
- Remember to clean wheels regularly during spring and summer. Oil, road chemicals and brake dust accumulate in the dry season.
- Inspect your wheel rims for dents and dings, especially if you have encountered potholes or curbs during winter months. Wheel imperfections could prevent tires from sealing properly.
“What happens over time, especially for aluminum wheels, is oxidation,” Bateman said. “In extreme cases, wheels can become porous. The tire bead will no longer seal properly and air leaks.”