Taken from AA Guide Advice and Tips
One of the most important yet neglected aspects of car maintenance is the proper care of alloy wheels. The majority of cars in the 21st century will have alloys, and they do have certain benefits – they are lighter, they help your car’s performance, and they improve the quality of the ride. However, improper upkeep can leave them damaged beyond repair, which may lead to costly replacements. Here are some ways to preserve your alloy wheels and keep them ready for the road.
Cleaning and Maintaining your Alloys
Dirt build-up can affect the long- and short-term appearance of your wheels – dust and grit look unsightly but they can also scratch your alloys, and road salt can corrode the wheels over time. You should wash your wheels around once a week by cleaning off any dirt and grit, then rinsing with soapy water.
There are a number of alloy wheel cleaners and polishers available, and most top alloy wheel manufacturers recommend regular simple care and attention. Some recommend applying a good quality car wax or specialist wheel wax to keep the shine and help grime and dust slide off easily. Maintaining your alloys can help keep them in good shape. Changing the brake pads regularly is a simple process, and can keep the wheels in good condition by reducing brake dust. Brake dust shields can help to deflect dust from the alloys to keep them looking shinier for longer.
Fixing Damaged Alloys
Whilst driving carefully can reduce the damage done to alloy wheels, sometimes wear and tear is unavoidable. You can fix cosmetic faults by sanding down the damaged area and repainting – done properly, this will leave your wheel as good as new.
Most alloy wheel kerb scuffs and scratches can also be removed by an alloy wheel refurbishment specialist, and returned to original condition in less than 2 hours for between £40 and £60. In many cases the work is carried out on site at your convenience.
Keep Them Road Worthy
Alloys can add a level of glamour and style to a vehicle when they are in prime condition, but a set of poorly maintained wheels can end up not only reducing the aesthetic value of the car but also the overall cost.