Tire & Wheel Detailing How To
Clean Wheels & Tires
Tires are the most important part of your vehicle. Besides having to support the automobile’s weight, your tires struggle to provide pivotal braking friction to bring you to safe stops. Because of the massive amount of force constantly being placed on your tires, the heat created by braking is tremendous, generating a substance called brake dust. Brake dust is a combination of adhesive carbon fibers and tiny metal shavings, which can splash onto your lower molding, tires or undercarriage. Brake dust is a highly corrosive, unsightly contaminant that can cause pitting of the wheels. The best way to prevent this damaging agent from ruining your wheels is by cleaning frequently using the best products and techniques. In this article we will discuss not only proper wheel cleaning, we will also show you how to transform your tires into glossy, black, rubber jewels.
Suggestions for Success
Try to think of tires as shoes for your vehicle. Both are typically coated with rubber, and both tend to finalize any outfit you are wearing. While you might don a shirt and slacks, your vehicle wears wax and sealant to keep itself protected and looking sharp. All differences in your wardrobe aside, you and your car share something important in common – you depend on supple, reliable rubber to keep your feet on the ground. Walking in dirty, worn, untied shoes isn’t just a bad fashion statement - it’s a danger to you and those around you. Your car can’t afford to take such chances, as properly cared for tires can mean the difference between life and death. The techniques you are about to learn will keep your tires and wheels in good working order.
1. The Penny Test. Always pay attention to the condition of your tires. If you notice a dramatic thinning of the tread, it may be time to replace the tires. To test a tire’s reliability, take a penny and place it in between the barest part of your tires treading. If you can see most of Lincoln’s head, you should invest in a safer, fuller tire.
2. Match Your Shoes. Driving on a set of four, symmetrical tires isn’t just stylish - it’s the safest way to ensure that all of your tires are working against equal pressure. Even if you are aware of this problem, and have a set of the same tires, be sure to check the amount of wear on them. Worn tires should be rotated with the less worn ones to promote the same level of wear on all tires.
3. Make a Statement. Face it: You want your tires to say to onlookers, ‘these wheels will keep on rolling.’ Wheels come in a variety of sizes and designs and can be customized. The first step to making your rims impress onlookers is to use a quality gel cleaner to clean and restore the wheel and tire surface. This product works hard to make your job easy, and is a good choice to clean the wheel before following up with wheel wax.
4. Brush, Brush, Brush! Tires and rims cannot be cleaned with the same brushes, because rubber and chrome or aluminum have very different needs. A stiff brush that may be good on dirtier wheels could scratch delicate rims. Be careful in your brush selection. The Green Short Handled Wheel Brush is a good, gentle brush that will be great for rims that are regularly cleaned. The resilience of rubber makes it tough to clean with soft brushes, so don’t be afraid to scrub hard with a tire brush to remove contaminants from this area.
5. Listen to your Mother. Roughcast aluminum and chrome wheels are durable, and a sight to behold when properly treated. Light reflecting off of an intricately constructed set of chrome rims can be as dazzling as a 4th of July spectacle. However, coated, painted or anodized wheels cannot be combined with the strong cleaners suitable for chrome and aluminum.
6. A Routine Clean. Cleaning your tires should be systematic and efficient. Devise a routine that will allow you to clean one set of tires at a time. Doing this will help you concentrate your cleaning efforts while allowing you to finish the job before your product dries prematurely. Work on one side at a time and you should never have this problem. Also, be sure to wash off your tires completely with a thick stream of water. For optimum cleansing, dry off immediately with a Cobra Microfiber Detailing Cloth. This helps remove any additional contaminants that you might have missed while scrubbing and spraying. The cleaner your tires are, the better prepared they are for a final dressing with Pinnacle Black Onyx Tire Gel.
7. Doing Wheelies. Wheel wax will bring back the original radiance of your wheels, and protect them from troublesome brake dust adhesion. Wheel waxes apply just like car wax – wipe them on with an applicator pad and buff the wheel with a microfiber towel. Wheel Wax are excellent protectants to place on your wheels, and should keep them safe and cleaner far longer than without. This is because most of what contributes to soiling your wheels is the brake dust adhesion. Therefore, weekly waxes are all you need to maintain your wheels, so start now and see where the road takes you.
8. Dressing for Success. Nothing more suitably complements shiny metal wheels than the ebony sheen of well-dressed tires. Apply with a Tire & Trim Dressing Applicator for best results. Be sure to use water-based tire dressings, because silicone formulas can deplete the rubber’s natural protectants quickly, even turning them an unsightly brown. Optimum Tire Shine is a safe, water-based choice that will make your tires look like new without the risk of browning or weakening of the rubber.