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Caring for your Wheels and tyres

When it comes to car maintenance, we often forget about the wheels, focusing more on the body of the vehicle. However, regular cleaning and maintenance are as important for the wheels as it is for the car’s body.  Alloy wheels require more maintenance than others.  Properly maintained alloy wheels will add to the appearance and overall value of your car. But there is good news…

The good news is, proper care of alloy wheels does not require a lot of hard work.  Periodic cleaning and polishing can preserve their shine.  If you want to keep your car wheels looking like new, consider the following points:

  • Wash your wheels regularly to prevent a buildup of dirt and brake dust.
  • Use warm soapy water, and if needed tar and bug remover.
  • Never use abrasives such as steel wool or polishing compounds.
  • Be wary of drive-through car washes. They can use acidic liquids to help remove dirt and stuff brushes which may scratch your wheels.
  • Never use hot steam cleaning, as this can also damage the finish on your wheels.
  • Never clean your wheels when they are still hot from driving as the water will evaporate too quickly leaving soap streaking.
  • Wash your wheels one at a time to ensure you do a thorough, detailed job.
  • Use a different sponge on your wheels to the one you use on your car’s bodywork.

Brake Dust:

Brake dust is a major problem for cars with alloy wheels; it’s corrosive, unsightly, and can be difficult to remove. Brake dust forms when the brake pad is worn away during braking. Each time you brake, particles from the pad fly off and stick to the rim, resulting in a layer of residue that gets worse over time. Brake dust is composed of metal filings, adhesive residues and carbon fibres, and because it’s deposited on the rim at a high-temperature, it etches into the wheel’s protective coating — causing staining and, if left to sit for too long, corrosion.

The easiest way to keep tabs on brake dust is to get into a regular wheel cleaning routine. To keep your car’s rims free from brake dust, you’ll need to clean them every 1-2 weeks depending on how much you drive.

Tyre Rotation:

As well as keeping your wheels nice and clean One simple way you can extend the life of your tyres is regularly rotating them on your car. Tyre rotation means changing where the individual tyre is mounted on the car.  Front and rear tyres wear differently. For example, the front tyres carry more than 60% of your car’s weight; consequently, front tyres wear down faster than the rear ones. Rotations should be carried out every 10,000kms. Switching the position of your tyres will make them last far longer and save you money!

Want to know more about caring for your wheels? Talk to the experts at Platinum Wheels.

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