Alloy wheels can be very expensive, so it comes as no surprise that you want to look after them. The good news is that looking after your alloy wheels doesn’t need to be difficult so long as you follow some key steps.
Keep them clean
Nothing beats a shiny set of clean alloy wheels, but keeping your alloys clean isn’t just about dazzling fellow drivers. One of the biggest enemies of alloy wheels is brake dust, which forms when brake pads wear down through use. Brake dust is a combination of metal filings, adhesive residues and carbon fibres, which all together form a nasty concoction. Brake dust is acidic, and this combined with the fact that the metal fibres will oxidise means that the dust tends to bond closely to all it touches, corroding away the paint beneath and ultimately causing corrosion to the rim itself. To stop your wheels from falling foul to brake dust corrosion, it’s essential that you keep them clean by regularly removing any build-up of brake dust. Brake dust isn’t too hard to get rid of if you tackle it regularly, so give your rooms a wash every week or so to keep it at bay.
Ditch the expensive cleaners
Expensive wheel cleaners filled with aggressive chemicals are needlessly expensive and the truth is, you don’t need them. Instead, simply use household washing up liquid (not surface cleaner) and warm water. Washing up liquid is gentle on your alloys but tough on the sticky residue that binds brake dust to your wheels, and it costs a fraction of the price of purpose made alloy wheel cleaners too.
Watch out for etching
Road grit, salt and your brake dust can all contribute to the etching of alloy wheels. It only takes a few weeks of etching to set in and once it does, your alloy wheel is at risk of rust no matter what you do to keep it clean. If you notice that your alloys have become etched it’s essential that you have them repaired as soon as possible to protect the metal beneath. There are videos online showing what you can do to repair etching yourself, but it’s always best to have alloy wheels repaired by a professional at a specialist alloy wheel repair shop such as Just Wheel Repair if you want to guarantee a good result.
Don’t drive like a demon
Of course, it goes without saying that a lot of the damage done to alloy wheels is attained as a result of driver error. Don’t drive like a demon, give kerbs a wide berth and be conscious of your alloys at all times. If you do happen to get a little too close to a kerb or are caught out by a pothole, then it’s back to the repair shop to stop any dents or scratches from causing further damage to the metal beneath.
Correctly caring for alloy wheels isn’t rocket science, but it does take time and commitment but the process is entirely worth it.