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When it comes to a vehicle’s rims and wheels, alloy is regarded as one of the best answers to a sleeker and more attractive look. Furthermore, alloy rims are said to improve wheel performance and durability as aluminum is stronger than steel and provides better acceleration and breaking. Alas, the better quality rims are more expensive than traditional steel wheels – all the more reason to practice proper alloy rim maintenance. Doing so will help you improve the longevity of your rims and wheels and minimize the risk of costly damages or replacements somewhere down the line.
But, how does one actually go about looking after alloy rims? In this article, we will outline several significant tips for maintaining your alloy rims to keep them ready for the road for longer.
Use a Wheel Repair Specialist
The easiest way to maintain your alloy rims is by seeking professional help from dedicated wheel repair specialists. While this is more costly than maintaining them at home, expert assistance will guarantee excellent maintenance of your alloy rims and ensure they last as long as possible. Rim repairs are also cheaper than purchasing a brand new set of wheels, meaning you can cut back costs by regularly maintaining your rims with a reputable wheel repair specialist. To save more in the long run, establish a relationship with your preferred wheel repair specialist by sticking with their services instead of jumping from one shop to the next. If you become a valued business client, said wheel repair specialist may offer you discounts and promos on your future repairs.
Clean Your Alloy Wheels Regularly
Arguably the most simple yet effective way of maintaining your alloy rims and wheels is by cleaning them regularly. To do so properly, you will need the following items:
- Alloy wheel cleaner
- Soft, bristled brush
- Warm, soapy water
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Microfiber cloth
- Soft towel
Step 1: Preparation
Begin by using a regular hose pipe or high-pressure hose to wash away any surface brake dust, dirt, or oil that has built up on your alloy rim.
Step 2: Apply Alloy Cleaner
With your alloy wheel cleaner in hand (purchased from most automobile shops), generously spray your rims with a diluted solution of cleaner and water as per your product’s recommendations. Let the solution soak a little before using the soft bristle brush to gently scratch off stubborn dirt. Do this until there are no more pieces of hard dirt stuck to your rim and then rinse your wheels with water.
Step 3: Clean Your Brake Disc and Caliper
The most common contributor to damaged alloy rims is brake dust as it is extremely difficult to remove if left unchecked for an extended period. To clean your brake disc and caliper and avoid excess brake dust forming on your alloy rims, remove them and apply a solution of Isopropyl alcohol using a microfiber cloth. Wipe away the baked-on dust, reattach your brake disc and caliper and wipe down the rest of your rim and wheel with the additional alcohol. Afterward, rinse your wheel with water from the hose before rubbing them down with a soft towel.
Install Brake Dust Shields
As already mentioned, baked-on brake dust is an alloy rim’s worst nightmare. Beyond cleaning your wheels, try installing brake dust shields purchased from your local automobile shop or wheel specialist company. These shiels sit between the wheels and the wheel hub and are responsible for deflecting dust away from the wheels.
Brighten and Polish Your Rims and Wheels
Wash and dry your wheels thoroughly before beginning this process. Afterward, apply a liberal dose of alloy wheel brightener to your rims with a cloth. This will help improve shine and remove signs of oxidation which causes rust. Next up, apply a generous amount of alloy wheel polish to your cloth and rub it onto your rims. Finally, you will need to apply a finishing polish via the same method before testing your rims and wheels with a fresh clean cloth. If the cloth comes away from the wheels clean then they are good to go.
Add a Wheel Protectant
The final step of at-home alloy rim maintenance is applying a wheel wax or protectant. This will form a protective layer over the rims that prevents brake dust and other dirt from sticking to them.
By following these few at-home alloy rim maintenance tips, you will keep your wheels looking shinier and smoother for longer as well as avoid excess dirt and dust causing damage to your rims.