For many, the addition of a customised set of wheels makes all the difference to their car. Barring the fact that a great mag makes a statement, there are also implication to having a solid set of alloy, or steel wheels and how they should be cared for.
Most older vehicles were released standard with heavy steel rims; as time passed and the technology improved for producing less drag and enhancing speed, allow wheels became more and more popular. Generally comprised of an alloy of aluminium or magnesium, or perhaps a mixture of the two, alloy wheels proved to be perfect for racing due to their lighter weight. Alloy wheels were also found to conduct heat better than steel, whilst still remaining strong – as such, allow wheels were also found to contribute to a much improved handling experience of the vehicle itself.
In order to keep your vehicle functioning at it’s best, here are some important tips to maintaining your rims and wheels, in order to have a safe, and happy drive:
Before installation, use a clear coat of wax to improve longevity and prevent scratches upon installation. Check your rims regularly, especially after driving through debris, dirt or when it’s dusty: use warm soapy water, and a solution to remove tar or insects if needed, to prevent a build-up of dirt. Avoid using abrasive detergents and harsh tools such as stool wool or hard bristles – preventing scratches starts with you! In line with this, watch out for mechanical car washes that ma use acidic detergents or stiff brushes to clean quickly as this may damage, scuff or scratch. A bonus tip – never wash your rims if they are hot from a long dive. Water tends to evaporate quicker and leaves soap or water marks behind. Work on each wheel, one at a time, to do a thorough job and prevent dry-time marking. Don’t use the same sponge that you use for bodywork – have a separate, clean sponge for both!
Hitting potholes, scaping the kerb or other jarring impacts can damage your rims in many different ways. Scuff and scrape marks from turning to closely to the kerb are difficult to remove and may require professional, and costly, repair. Drive with care and form the habit of giving a wide berth wherever you go. If you have hit an unavoidable pothole, check for buckling or bending as this in turn impacts the life of your tyre.
A final tip: make use of professional guidance and expert advice when buying, fitting and looking after your wheels. As this often means a substantial financial investment, it is worth your while to care for your wheels and get the industry experts to help you when choosing and installing the rim of your dreams.
By Desh Bechan