A Quick Guide to Maintaining your Car’s Wheels and Tyres

When we think of cleaning our car, we often think of its exterior and interior, putting the care and maintenance of our car’s wheels and tyres on the back burner. The wheels and tyres are usually the dirtiest part of the car, because they’re continuously exposed to elements such as corrosive brake dust, stones and sticky tar.

Wheels vs. Tyres

Many people wrongly use the word wheels interchangeably with tyres, but they’re not the same thing. Caring for wheels is dramatically different to caring for black, rubber tyres. Think of wheels as the accessories of your vehicle.
A big part of taking care of wheels is removing dust and keeping them cleaned. That’s followed by protecting them so they stay shinier longer and are easier to clean the next time around. A gentle soap and water wash with a wash mitt every few weeks is usually ideal, whereas new protection layers should be added every two or three months.

Back to Basics

Having the right products is probably the most important part of wheel care needed. You also need to know what kind of wheels you have to properly treat them. For instance, alloy wheels probably already have a clear coat if they’re factory-made, simplifying the process since there’s no worry about oxidizing the finish. However, customized wheels might have bare metal that needs special treatment – otherwise, you could mistakenly damage them.

When should start the cleaning process start?

Cleaning should start when the wheels are cool. If you’ve driven the car recently, allow for plenty of cooling time. Park in a garage or the shade and avoid sunlight. Stock up on a good quality auto shampoo and wash mitt – this type of shampoo works with any type of wheel. It’s also strong enough to tackle basic contaminants and build-up.

Opt for pH balanced cleaner, which is safe and can be made stronger by simply allowing it to rest the shade for a few minutes. Acidic cleansers are very effective, but may stain or oxidize your wheels if not cautiously used. Such cleansers should be used on factory wheels that have a thick protective coat.

Clean your wheels and tyres methodically

Be sure to clean your wheels and tyres first and do them one at a time, so you can focus your attention and ensure that the soap doesn’t dry on one wheel while you’re cleaning another. Tyres and wheels tend to be the dirtiest parts of your vehicle and have a number of surfaces to clean. So be sure to use the full strength of your hose to initially rinse away all loose dirt and rinse off your soap solution.

Cleaning your tyres and wheels first, means won’t expose your washed car to the over spray as you rinse them. Use a different sponge on the rest of the car’s body to prevent scratching the paint from the particles that may have collected during the wheel cleaning process.

After cleaning…

Once cleaned, rinse the wheels thoroughly and pay close attention to the wheel bolts. Inner barrels can be cleaned with a detailing brush, but this should be done first, since you may bring out some dirt that might spread to other parts of the wheel. A clay bar can help prep the wheel surface, too, but be careful when using this on a very high polish – you might cause small swirls.

Ultimately, wheels and tyres are part of the valuable investment you made to your vehicle. So, you should care for them as you would care for your entire car. But in order to keep those wheels sparkly, some effort into the maintenance is needed. If your car’s wheels and tyres are in dire need of a good clean, but you just don’t have the time or energy, leave it to Portughes Car Detailing to do the job.

So contact us today to book an appointment and get it your wheels and tyres the sparkly kind of shiny it was the first day you bought it!

Call us on 7944 4460 for more information about our cleaning and detailing packages that can make your car sparkle and shine as though it were fresh out the showroom.

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