Wheel Care 101: Keep Your Rims and Tires in Check with These 3 Maintenance Tips
If you’re a car enthusiast, chances are you take pride in your vehicle looking its best. Investing in quality rims and tires is a way to ensure your ride stands out from the rest and makes a powerful statement.
After doing your research and making the investment for the perfect set of wheels, it’s important to properly care for them. Routine maintenance will ensure they look as sharp as possible for years to come. To help you get started, we’ve outlined 3 key maintenance tips for keeping your rims and tires in ideal condition.
Follow the guide below and start expertly detailing the most important parts of your vehicle today.
#1. Do You Recognize the Materials You’re Cleaning?
Not all wheels are made of the same materials. When you’re in the market for new rims and tires, you have a slew of different types to choose from. In terms of wheels, it generally comes down to choosing between chrome, steel or aluminum options. Before you can begin cleaning your wheels, it’s imperative you understand the differences between these materials.
Chrome, Steel, and Aluminum
In general, chrome is a softer metal. It’s commonly used to coat other metal types because it has a great shine and can be polished easily. However, it isn’t as strong as other metals like steel, and therefore can’t always hold up against certain types of damages. If you’re diligent about cleaning your chrome wheels, this isn’t a big concern. Simply commit to cleaning and polishing your chrome wheels regularly throughout the year.
In contrast, steel rims typically hold up exceptionally well. They’re among the most common type of wheel and are generally coated black. Aluminum wheels are also popular. Like steel, they’re more affordable than chrome and are more durable, too. Aluminum wheels have the added advantage of being lightweight and therefore more convenient to handle.
In addition to the material your wheels are made out of, it’s important to consider their finish as well. Car enthusiasts have many different types of finishes to choose from for their wheels. From semi-gloss to chrome-like options, be sure you do your research on the best way to maintain your wheel finish before you attempt to clean them. Also, it’s smart to ask questions about the benefits of each finish type prior to purchasing new wheels. A semi-gloss finish, for example, helps prevent the aluminum on the wheel from oxidizing. These wheels are a common type of finish.
#2. Use Smarter Cleaning Methods to Maintain Your Rims and Tires
It’s important to be super selective with the cleaning products and chemicals that you’re using on your rims and tires. Ultimately, it’s much better to play it safe than to be sorry you used something that damaged your wheels. We’ve outlined some common mistakes people use when applying cleaners to their rims and tires:
- Never apply any cleaning agent or tire dressing to your vehicle when your tires are hot.
- Avoid using silicone-based tire dressings. They may give your tire a glossy shine in the short-term, but over time they actually can turn brown. Additionally, they’ve been found to attract more grime to your tires, too.
- We do not recommend using any type of brushes pads or polishing agents on your wheels. These risks damaging your rims with scratches and dings.
- When using any gentle automotive soaps or cleaners, be sure to carefully read the instructions and avoid using more than is directed.
If you’re ever unsure of the specific products that should be used on your rims and tires, don’t hesitate to ask the manufacturer that you bought them from. They’ll let you know the best way to protect and maintain your products.
More than likely, they can also give you tips for more efficient cleaning methods, too. It’s in their best interest for you to take care of the products they’ve sold you, to keep you as a happy customer.
#3. Consider Leaving Cleaning to the Experts
If a new set of rims and tires is something you know you want to invest in, but the maintenance feels overwhelming, considering leaving the cleaning to the experts. Whether you don’t have time, or you simply want the job done right, a professional auto detailing company may be the way to go. Paying someone who is experienced in cleaning wheels will ensure they’re using the right products and tools to avoid any damage. This means you’re not accidentally turning your expensive new rims cloudy or discoloring them by applying the wrong product to them.
Additional Maintenance Tips for Your Rims and Tires
Keep your car cleaning tools in great shape. If your brushes and cleaning pads are left with grime on them, you’ll be transferring that onto your car and potentially scratching it. Be sure to soak all your car cleaning tools in warm water and soap for several minutes before you begin using them on your vehicle. Additionally, only use a clean microfiber towel to dry your car. This will ensure
For tires, properly maintaining their tire pressure is imperative. We suggest checking your tire pressure at least once per month, year-round. According to Bank Rate, “if tires are 8 pounds underinflated … rolling resistance of the tires increases by 5 percent.”
Do your research on tire care resources to stay informed. Consider checking out some of the following information from Goodyear.
- - Tire Care Toolkit
- - Tire Size Calculator
- - Studded Tires & Tire Chains
Ultimately, the better you take care of your rims and tires, the longer they will stay in great shape. Don’t make the mistake of investing in your dream wheels, only to neglect the maintenance they require to continue looking sharp.
Explore additional information in our Wheel Care Guide or speak to one of our team members today to get any questions you may have answered. We look forward to speaking with you.