Wheel cleaning 101

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Wheel cleaning 101

Post  Flash man on Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:06 pm

First you need to identify the type of wheels that are on your vehicle. The choices are:

Chrome
Aluminum alloy Silver painted clear coated wheels (most factory wheels)
Polished clear coated aluminum wheels (late model aftermarket wheels)
Polished unclear coated aluminum wheels ( Weld, American racing wheels etc.)

All early 90's and up vehicles with stock wheels are an aluminum silver painted wheel with a clear coat on top. If you have aftermarket wheels like American racing wheels, Weld wheels etc, they will usually be a non clear coated polished wheel. Late model vehicles also come with polished aluminum wheels, but the manufacturer puts a clear coat on the wheel. The clear coat protects the wheel from hazing when you use a high ph cleaner on it. Acid will etch this type of wheel and wear down your clear coat. A hi ph caustic wheel cleaner will also etch this type of wheel.

You can not use an acid (low Ph) or an alkaline cleaner (high Ph) on an uncoated polished aluminum wheel.If you do you will streak and haze the surface. Most of the time it can be polished and restored to original. Brown Royal wheel cleaner non-acid is a high ph cleaner. Brown Royal is a safe cleaner. It can be used on an unclearcoated polished wheel, but you will have to dilute it 1 part Brown Royal to 5 parts water or hazing may occur. If hazing does occur it can be polished back to normal with a metal polish. A low ph acid works a little better on chrome and stainless steel than a high ph cleaner. But if you use an acid on a clear coated wheel, you will etch the wheel. Brown Royal does work well on Chrome, Stainless steel, aluminum alloy and painted wheels without damaging the wheel. It can also be diluted up to 1:8 to remove bugs, tar, tree sap, mud, grease, oil etc and other contaminates from your vehicles surface. Cherry Bomb all purpose cleaner also works well on wheels, Cherry Bomb is a safe cleaner and is an excellent choice if you do not have heavy baked on brake dust. If you have unclearcoated polished wheels in good condition and do not let heavy brake dust accumulate on them. Then I would recommend using Deep Purple wash and wax soap with a sponge that is an 8-8.5 ph. I own a black 86 Corvette with unclearcoated polished aluminum wheels. I clean them with Deep Purple wash & wax soap and follow up with Grape Gloss spray wax. It will not haze the surface and really shines the wheels.


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Re: Wheel cleaning 101

Post  DiamondD on Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:00 am

Alot of people make mistakes on what to use an what type of wheel they use it on this will help them out alot. i think you should sticky it as i refer a few people so far to this site to read the real info..

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