For most people, wheels are the most important exterior feature on a car. Unfortunately, your wheels are constantly exposed to harsh corrosive agents, resulting in pitting, dulling, and oxidation. The usual culprits include brake dust, dirt, gravel, road salt, sand and tar. While driving, the temperature of a wheel will increase and exacerbate the problem. To keep your rims in the best possible shape, you must regularly clean and protect them.
Begin With a Cool Wheel
If your wheels are hot, due to recent driving, you’ll want to wait a while until they are cool. Applying a cleaner to a hot wheel can stain or etch the surface. You can spray the wheel with cool water to speed up the process.
Use a Mild Non-Acidic Cleaner or Soap
Many household cleaners contain harmful chemicals that can damage the finish of your wheel. Most wheels today are painted and clearcoated, just like the body of your car. Consequently, a quality car wash soap is ideal for the job. However, if the brake dust build up is too great, you’ll want to use a non-acidic wheel cleaner and soft brush. We have also found that the new “magic eraser” sponges work great on removing brake dust that is baked on. Nonetheless, with regular weekly cleaning of your wheels, this should not be necessary.
Wax Periodically for Additional Protection
For added protection, we recommend waxing your wheels with a quality carnauba wax. This will act as an additional barrier to caustic elements such as brake dust and salt. This is for painted and clearcoated wheels only. Chrome rims should not be waxed.
Application of Kwickskin™ for Ultimate Protection
For the ultimate protection against corrosion on chrome rims, have your local Kwicksilver technician apply our specialized Kwickskin™ coating to your wheels. It acts as a durable clear finish that will not dull the reflective quality of the chrome. It works on machined and bare polished rims as well.
Measure Tire Pressure
Tire pressure should be checked once a month. Do not use the number marked on the tire to determine proper pressure. This refers to the maximum tire pressure to carry the tire’s maximum load. Recommended tire pressure is normally located on a placard within the driver’s door. It’s also found in the owner’s manual. Tires tend to lose about 2 PSI per month. Check the pressure when the tire is cold. Wait at least 3 hours after driving. Under inflated tires tend to run hotter due to sidewall flexing. Over time this will weaken the tire and can lead to tire failure. Fuel consumption also increases with under inflated tires. Many new vehicles come equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which alerts the driver when tire pressure is low.
We recommend rotating your tires every 3,000-5,000 miles. Proper tire rotation practices will prolong the life of your tires, and improve traction and handling. Ask your Kwicksilver technician for the proper rotational pattern for your vehicle.
Kwickshield™ for the Ultimate Shine and Protection for Your Tires
Kwicksilver is proud to introduce its new Kwickshield™ Tire Coating. Kwickshield™ provides a high-gloss wet look and tire sealant for up to 6 months. It’s a non-silicone based product that resists cracking and damage from UV rays, and repels water, dust and dirt. Other tire treatment products, such as Armor-All, last just a few days and are silicone-based. Kwickshield™ is professionally applied by your Kwicksilver technician. Ask us about this exciting new product.