We offer the same advice, as do the manufacturers of premium alloy wheels.
These recommendations are as follows
- Always cool hot wheels with plain water before using soap. Never wash wheels when they are hot. Road salt, dirt and brake lining dust must be washed off thoroughly; otherwise wheel finish will corrode.
- Only use acid free cleaning agents on your wheels. Any cleaner that uses acid will damage the clear coat and substrate. It is very important to use ONLY a cleaner specifically made for aluminum wheels. Eagle One makes such a product.
- Also after 3 weeks, a hard wax should be rubbed into the clear coat and continue to do this about every two months. The wax will help protect the skin of the clear coat from foreign matter build-up. We recommend Wheel Wax for buffing which is a quality wax product made specifically for use on aluminum wheels.
- Paint, abrasive polish or other abrasive agents should never be used. Should the protective layer of clear coat become damaged, it should be repaired immediately.
Alignment rails on most car washes were designed before the arrival of the newer style tires. With larger sidewall tires, the rim never gets near the rail. However, low-profile tires allow the rim to ride below the top of the alignment rail, which can easily damage the edge of the wheel. Hand care is the best treatment for premium wheels. However, if you must use a car wash, try to find a “touchless” style system and avoid the places with alignment rail.
We are exposed to significant amount of road salt during winter. Salt is the number one cause of aluminum corrosion and clear coat peeling specially with machined, polished and chromed wheels. The best solution is still to store aluminum rims and use aftermarket or steel rims for our harsh winter conditions. If this is not possible, a weekly thorough cleaning of your wheels will at least clean out the salt and dirt accumulation which normally gets in to minute holes and punctures caused by stone chips which will start the corrosion and eventually peeling of clear coat.
Do not wash freshly reconditioned wheels for 48 hours.
After 48 hours, wash the wheels by hand continue to wash the wheels by hand only for the first 3 weeks.
Treat your freshly reconditioned wheels with care, especially for the first 24 hours. They will be dry to the touch but you should not rub them.
Light rain or brief wetness should not damage your wheels, however, a great deal of water, a strong spray or prolonged immersion can damage the clear coat. The clear coat will be fully cured in about 3 weeks. After that time, regular maintenance will be necessary in order to maintain the decorative appearance over a long period of time.
Do not use any cleaner or wax on freshly reconditioned wheels for 3 weeks.
A small stone chip, curb rash or deep surface scratches might look insignificant but will be the starting point of corrosion and peeling problems in the future. It’s still best to have them repaired and clear coated to protect it from getting dirt and salt into the damaged parts.
It’s advisable to have your rims checked for straightness whenever you go in for rotation, balancing or tire change. You may not feel any vibration from a minor bent, but the tire thread wear will become uneven on the specific flat spot. We highly recommend straightening rims that are bent over 0.040 in. This might look and sound small but we’ve seen expensive low profile tires weared out unevenly due to a minor bent. A good used wheel has a tolerance roundness of between 0.010 to 0.030 in.
Protect your investment, clean your wheels regularly.