-July 2024 Special Lease Deals-

2024 Chevy Blazer EV lease from Bayway Auto Group Click here

2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee lease from Mark Dodge Click here

2025 Ram 1500 Factory Order Discounts from Mark Dodge Click here
Options

Cleaning your wheels.

rjlankfordrjlankford Member Posts: 2
Hello all,

I saw a post in one of the Mazda conferences about
a guy who stumbled on Windex as a wheel cleaner.
He swore up and down that it made his wheels look
new.

I tried it out and he's right? Brake dust comes
right off with a little squirt and a paper towel.

Does anyone out there use Windex on wheels
regularly? Can it possibly damage wheels?

Comments

  • Options
    tonewheeltonewheel Member Posts: 47
    ..probably isn't going to hurt your wheels.

    The wheel cleaner I've used for the 22 years I've owned cars: none. If you start with clean wheels (i.e. a new car), I wash them thoroughly with the same sponge and car wash mixture I'm using on the car. Dry them completely, and put two good coats of wax on them. I do this every month. When I wash the car, brake dust comes off of the wheels with a simple rinse of the hose. A quick wipe with a sudsy sponge and they're new again.

    Wax will protect the wheels, and if you put nothing else on them then you have no concerns.
  • Options
    acorn1acorn1 Member Posts: 6
    ....then you may be like me, bought a used car and found brake dust baked onto the wheel rims. How do I get it off, so I can apply those two coats of wax. I have tried Bug and Tar remover, but it doesn't do much of a job. And I worry about rubbing too hard on the baked-on brake dust, as it must be very abrasive and will wear through the thin coat of paint on the wheels.

    Any suggestions for a product that will remove this baked on dust?
  • Options
    tonewheeltonewheel Member Posts: 47
    you might try a commercial wheel cleaner found at most auto parts stores. Most advertise "spray on, wipe off, no scrubbing". But you'll need to scrub; try this. Spray the stuff generously onto dry, cool wheels. Let it soak in for a minute. Take a medium (not hard!) nylon bristle brush and scrub back and forth with quick strokes...not using too much pressure. You should get most of it off, but if the previous owner never cared for his wheels properly, you'll probably be stuck with some of the embedded dust. If the cleaner doesn't work, you could try using some Meguiar's No. 2 fine cut cleaner, as directed on the bottle. Good Luck!
  • Options
    ramonramon Member Posts: 825
    I have anodized alloy wheels on my car and I use Eagle 1 Wheel cleaner. If you have something like my type of wheels which has clear coat on it, you need to get a pH balance cleaner so that it would not "eat" into your clear coat and then the wheel itself. I forgot what exactly the name is but it's pH balanced. Gets the job done pretty well. Even gets out the grease too. =)
  • Options
    leeb1leeb1 Member Posts: 3
    Do most alloy wheels have a clearcoat?

    My '93 Saturn's wheels clearcoat is starting to show damaged areas. Could the drive-through car wash detergents be the cause of this?
  • Options
    sweazeysweazey Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone have ideas about how to keep old alloy wheels from oxidizing. Here in the snow belt they grind the wheel where the tire bead seals. This helps but I still have problems. Would a wax keep the oxidation down without causing slippage between the tire and wheel?
  • Options
    jm22jm22 Member Posts: 7
    I, too, think that P21s is really the top product. But the thing that has kept my wheels cleaner is that I wax them. It makes the cleaning of them so much easier over time. Besides who wants to speand a lot of time dealing with them? I wax them with Collinite wax which is a carnauba based wax and really is extremely durable. It also gives them a great shine. I learned this trick over at AutoFanatics http://www.autofanatics.com.
  • Options
    luck11luck11 Member Posts: 425
    Most alloys come with a clear, although newer alloys come with a special highly metalic silver paint.

    There are many culprits to oxidization of alloy wheels. First and foremost, the primary cause is a chip in your clear. As soon as this happens, you expose your alloy to the air, water and salt or other contaminants. Salt is the worst enemy, especially if you live near the ocean or in areas where salt is used to de-ice roads. Salt and water gets in, begins the oxidation process which spreads eventually causing the existing clear to lift and eventually flake off.

    Solution:

    1. If you live in areas where salt is used on the roads in winter, buy and 2nd set of steel wheels and winter tires for the winter months. Steel wheels can be purchased relatively cheap for most vehicles...check local autowreckers that guarantee their wheels free from cracks or bends. Winter tires will maximize your traction.

    2. If a 2nd set is not possible, frequently apply a thin coat of vaseline or similar product to your alloys in the winter. Its messy and your wheels get dirty quicker, but they will slow penetration of salt and water.

    3. Irregardless of your choice to use a 2nd set of wheels in winter, clean and wax your alloys frequently. I wash my alloys every time I wash my car and wax them regularly. Use a clear touch up for any chips.
  • Options
    tireguytireguy Member Posts: 200
    Another culprit of alloy wheel corrosion is using uncoated wheel weights. I'm not master metallurgist, but I believe it's due to the dissimilar metal contact of lead and aluminum. If uncoated weights are used on the outside of your alloy wheels, within a year (in the salty north) you will begin to see white corrosion spidering out from the weight. This problem is corrected either by going to a reputable tire shop which uses coated weights, or by requesting that the technician do a STATIC balance, placing weights only on the inside of the wheel. This isn't as good as a DYNAMIC balance, which utilizes both faces of the wheel, but your wheels will look much better.
  • Options
    tireguytireguy Member Posts: 200
    you can have your tires sealed at a tire shop. They'll dismount your tires, brush the corrosion off your rims, then apply a sealant, which is similar to that which is used on leaky windshields, around the bead. This is permanant; it will not leak. But the next time you purchase tires they'll have to thoroughly clean the old sealant off the rim and possibly do it again, or it will certainly leak.
  • Options
    98monte_ls98monte_ls Member Posts: 117
    I have a 98 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with those beautiful factory aluminum rims. All these posts remind me of why I preach the "gospel of wheel cleaning", by this I mean it is so easy to keep them clean when you start from when the car is new. For me, all I have to use is regular car wash soap and all the brake dust (and yes, there is a lot) comes right off. No special cleaners. No scrubbing. You gotta clean them frequently and then it becomes easier to maintain the look. Plus, every 6 months or so, I pull the wheels and hose off the inside part. Can you believe that my car looks like it rolled off the assembly line yesterday?

    Let me say this: I found a wheel restoration place that will take and re-finish and true any aluminum wheel for $150 or less. One of my rims got bent (hit a rock) and they did it, made it look and ride like new.
  • Options
    guitarzanguitarzan Member Posts: 873
    98monte, would you email the name of that place to me?

    Thanks!
  • Options
    md2002md2002 Member Posts: 142
    I just bought some Castrol Super Clean for alloy rims. It works GREAT. I have tried several other cleaners and found them to do nothing. I sprayed my rims while @ the car wash and in about one minute I rinsed them and they are clean as can be.
  • Options
    hb396hb396 Member Posts: 15
    and most inexpensive cleaners you can use on your vehicle is, believe it or not, Bon-Ami. Put it on a damp sponge, wet the wheel, and scrub. You can use the same procedure on your windshield. Your wipers will work like new. Don't worry about scratching, it's non-abrasive. Put the extra dollars you'll save in the gas tank!
  • Options
    ataieataie Member Posts: 84
    what's Bon-Ami? I've never seen such thing at the auto part store,,,,,,,,
  • Options
    ccotenjccotenj Member Posts: 610
    bonami is powdered cleanser. think "comet".

    -Chris
  • Options
    pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    It seems to me that I've read around here (don't know for sure) that Bon Ami comes in two different types, one abrasive and the other non-abrasive.

    Some posts I've read have strongly cautioned to be certain you get the NON abrasive type for car cleaning stuff.

    Anyone know more or remember this better than I?

    Pat
    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • Options
    ccotenjccotenj Member Posts: 610
    hmmm... good question... i'll have to look, i know i use bonami to clean my pots/pans, the stuff that comes in the gold colored can...

    that being said, i'm not sure i'd use it on my alloy wheels...

    -Chris
  • Options
    rs_pettyrs_petty Member Posts: 423
    I'll second that it's great stuff. Never new there was but one kind. The gold can. I use it to do the windshield because it really gets that grimy/oily film off very well, but there are various other tasks it can handle. It's even quoted in my wife's Lumina owners manual. It should be available at any supermarket.
  • Options
    redharmonicaredharmonica Member Posts: 5
    Does anyone know of the best way to remove small rust spots from aluminum wheels. Is there some kind of cleaner I could get that would remove the rust? Also, one of the wheels on my car has been scathed pretty badly by the roadside curb leaving nicks, cuts and marks. Is there something I can use to smooth out these nicks and cuts so that I can apply touch up paint without ruining the wheel even more?
  • Options
    rs_pettyrs_petty Member Posts: 423
    The aluminum should not rust so it's probably brake dust that's formed a spot and corroded. You'll need a good metal polish for that; just don't try to do it all at once. A little at a time. The nicks and cuts would probably take some machining to cure and then your wheel may have balancing problems. Eastwood (www.eastwood.com) sells wheel refinishing kits - might be worth looking at the catalog.
  • Options
    redharmonicaredharmonica Member Posts: 5
    Ok, thanks for the advice, I'll definitely look into that.
  • Options
    harleybillharleybill Member Posts: 23
    Did you know bon ami was used by the chevy dealers to seat the rings on the 265 ci v-8 when the rings would not seat and the engine used oil!!!
    Ode to the days when things were much simpler

    Harleybill
  • Options
    hooferhoofer Member Posts: 43
    of Simple Green and water in a spray bottle for cleaning wheels and tires.

    Just spray it on before starting to wash the car. As you rinse the sides, wash off the simple green too.

    Then go over the tire and wheel using the remaining carwash solution in your bucket with a tire/wheel brush.

    Works well for removing bugs on the front too, but can take the wax off. Since anytime you've had a close encounter with a bug you should rewax, it is no biggie.

    best of luck
  • Options
    skay2skay2 Member Posts: 10
    There are 2 types of Bon Ami. Cleanser and Powder. I have never seen the powder but hear it exists. The powder is the one that is considered non-abrasive.
  • Options
    mike_542mike_542 Member Posts: 128
    I tried many wheel cleaners and the ones that are useless on my BMW 528i's factory BBS wheels are:

    Castrol Super Clean, Eagle One Wheel Cleaner, PS21 Wheel Cleaner

    The excellent ones are:

    Meguiar's Hi-Tech wheel cleaner (not the Gold Class version), Mothers wheel cleaner
  • Options
    rooba8rooba8 Member Posts: 8
    We have a'97 Dodge Caraven with alloy wheels. I wash the wheels once a week. I use a worn wash cloth, and liquid carwash solution with water. When I am done,I dry the wheels. Once a month, I put a coat of wax on the wheels. The wax helps brake dust to wash off a lot easier. Some wheels' pattern makes them very difficult to clean...

    Someone suggested to use glass cleaner before hosing off the brake dust. I tried it, it did not work!!
  • Options
    mike_542mike_542 Member Posts: 128
    You can use glass cleaner for a tire/wheel cleaner if you use a wheel cleaning brush. It takes the brake dust right off. As with what rooba8 said, wax works well on wheels, but special wheel polishes work even better.
  • Options
    bearbullbearbull Member Posts: 17
    I am not sure that I am posting this to the right place.

    My daughter leases a 1998 Saab 900 which she is due to return to the lessor later this month. Over the weekend, she ran over a pot hole and one of the wheels got bent so much so that it has affected the driving performance.

    The car has the standard wheels that came with the car and she is looking to replace the damaged wheel. She has been quoted a price of $240 by the dealership just for the wheel.

    Can anyone suggest a way to acquire the wheel at a lower price? Thanks.
  • Options
    cookie22cookie22 Member Posts: 73
    Have you tried all the Salvage yards??? that's where I would look first.
  • Options
    joe166joe166 Member Posts: 401
    I would look in the classifieds of Autoweek and Car and Driver. They have several companies advertising wheel straightening and used and exchange wheels. I have emailed you with some of the contact phone numbers and web sites because it has been so hard for me to log on to this site lately that I have no confidence that this will actually post.
  • Options
    pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Are you having the problem that some of us were where the topic list won't display, you get HTTP 500 Internal Server errors when you post, etc?

    If so, email karen@edmunds.com and ask her to ask Well Engaged to fix it for you. You will lose your "last post read" marks and placemarks, but the problem WILL be fixed.

    See the discussion in Talk to the Hosts Part Three in News and Views for more details, or feel free to email me.

    Pat
    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • Options
    joe166joe166 Member Posts: 401
    Yes, that is the problem I was, and still am, having. I used the welcome page to communicate my problem a couple of weeks ago and got an email saying there was a problem but they were working on it. I assumed there was no way to get on until I saw the Talk to the Hosts posts and then I did email Karen after I read the discussion, but frankly, the fix, if it has been implemented is very spotty. I can get on when I am using IE about half the time and otherwise I have to just remember a key word in the title and search for it. In Netscape I can only get in by searching for key words. That is not too satisfactory. Any idea when the site will be really fixed?
  • Options
    pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    You need to email karen@edmunds.com and tell her that your user ID has not been fixed yet.

    Unfortunately, the problem is with individual users "participation data" which means there is no "site" fix, it must be done on an individual basis.

    You can email me if you have any questions at all.

    Pat
    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • Options
    joe166joe166 Member Posts: 401
    It seems to be working now, thank you. It started slowly, but now I think it is really fixed. Thanks for your efforts in maintaining our ability to entertain and inform ourselves.
  • Options
    pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    Glad to hear it! Thanks for hanging in there with us.

    Pat
    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
This discussion has been closed.