In our last post, we talked a little about why it’s so important to maintain your car’s wheels. What we didn’t really go into was just how to do that.
Without proper care and maintenance, even the best quality wheels will start to deteriorate over time, and possibly end up becoming unsafe. When you think about how the wheels are bearing the entire weight of the car and all its passengers, and often travelling very fast in all kinds of weather, you start to see how the condition of the wheels can grow worse over time.
When this happens, you run the risk of losing control of the car, which is obviously dangerous, as well as meaning you can’t manoeuvre as well as you’d like.
Many people who like to maintain their vehicle’s wheels focus on aspects such as the tyres and axles. Of course, it’s vital that these elements of the car be as close to new as possible. But some people forget about the alloys almost entirely.
Perhaps this is because alloys are seen as being purely a matter of cosmetic appeal. That is, people choose their alloys based on what looks good. Fine – but alloys do more than look pretty as they have a bearing on the handling of the car due to their shape, size, weight and so on.
Only the most laid-back car owner would neglect washing their car thoroughly ever now and again. But one of the things you should always look out for is the possibility of damage caused when washing your alloy wheels.
For example, avoid washing your wheels when they are still hot from driving. The rapid cooling from the water can result in cracks – at best, this makes them appear worn and means they’ll have to be replaced sooner. But at worst this could actually be a serious safety hazard.
Though some markings and blemishes such as those caused by brake dust can be hard to remove by hand, you really should avoid being too rough on the alloys. A microfibre wash mitt and a gentle shampoo should actually be enough provided that you usea high quality sealant – not just to protect the alloys from wear but to ensure dirt comes off easily.
Of course, careful driving and manoeuvring is one of the best ways you can look after you car – avoiding mud, bad terrain and high curbs will go a long way, though cautious driving by no means ensures you will never need your alloys to be refurbished or even replaced.