From the unavoidable build-up of brake dust to accidental scuffs and scrapes; wheels, tyres and alloys take a real hammering out on the open road, and are subject to more daily wear and tear than any other part of a car.
To keep those shiny alloys looking their best for longer, here are essential wheel and tyre care tips.
Brake Dust: The Bane of Drivers
Wheels are probably the hardest part of your car to maintain to a high standard, and it’s largely due to contamination from deposits like brake dust. Brake dust is a major problem for cars with alloy wheels; it’s corrosive, unsightly, and can be extremely difficult to remove.
Brake dust forms when the brake pad is worn away during braking. Each time you brake, particles from the pad fly off and stick to the rim, resulting in a layer of residue that gets worse over time. Brake dust is composed of metal filings, adhesive residues and carbon fibres, and because it’s deposited on the rim at a high-temperature, it etches into the wheel’s protective coating — causing staining and, if left to sit for too long, corrosion.
The easiest way to keep tabs on brake dust is to get into a regular wheel cleaning routine. To keep your car’s rims free from brake dust, you’ll need to clean them every 1-2 weeks depending on how often you drive. Here’s a step-by-step guide to keeping your wheels free from brake dust and other residue.
Step-by-Step Alloy Wheel Care
Step 1: Remove loose surface contaminants
With a hose or pressure washer, blast away any loose debris and dust from the rim, taking care not to knock any of the wheel’s balancing weights while you’re at it.
Step 2: Scrub the rim using a wash mitt or sponge
If the brake dust isn’t too bad, scrubbing the rim with a wash mitt should remove most of the residue. You can use a normal car shampoo to help to remove the looser dirt.
Step 3: Spray on a dedicated wheel cleaner.
Simoniz Ultracare Alloy Cleaner is non-corrosive, so won’t damage your alloys even if they’re scuffed or scratched. Spray it over the alloys, particularly on brake dust build up, and leave it to soak.
Step 4: Scrub the rim using a soft-tipped wheel cleaning brush
If the brake dust is stubborn, get yourself a soft-bristled wheel cleaning brush to give the rim a more intense scrub. Alloy wheel brushes are great for removing the most dried-on and imbedded of wheel deposits, and their shape means you can clean hard-to-reach areas.
Step 5: Rinse and dry the wheel
Rinse the rim with a hose or pressure washer to remove any leftover residue or particles. Then, dry the rim thoroughly with a microfibre cloth or towel.
Step 6: Apply a high quality wheel sealant
Wheel specific sealants offer better protection against high temperature brake dusk than conventional waxes and sealants, helping to prevent the dust etching permanent marks on the alloys. Like normal car wax, wheel sealant should be applied liberally and left to dry. First, ensure your wheels are clean and dry. Use it like a paint, applying in short even bursts to get an even coverage. Leave to dry for a few minutes and enjoy cleaner wheels for weeks.
Simoniz Complete Wheel Protector is an excellent product for preventing corrosion and damage to your alloy wheels. The spray product coats the wheel in a protective layer, providing protection against brake dust and deposits.
Back to Black Tyres
What good are shiny alloys if your tyres look faded too? When exposed to excess road dirt, water and heat, tyres become faded and lose their glossy, just-bought appeal — adding age to even the newest of cars. But all is not lost, as it’s easy to restore the rich black appearance of your car’s rubber.
Start by blasting the tyres clean with a pressure washer or hose, before drying the sidewall with kitchen roll or a towel. Then, simply apply a tyre-dressing product like Simoniz Back to Black Tyre Shine, and the rubber will be restored to its rich, black best. We’d recommend you apply the tyre shine after the wheel is completely clean and dry, and spray it on in even, sweeping layers.
At Simoniz, our time-tested cleaning products can help keep your car looking its just washed best for longer. To find out more about our range of trusted car care products, visit the Simoniz website.