Aluminum wheels are a popular choice for many vehicles due to their lightweight and corrosion-resistant properties. Over time, however, these wheels can become dull and faded due to exposure to the elements. Fortunately, it’s possible to restore these wheels to their former glory with proper maintenance and care. In this article, we’ll explore the steps involved in restoring aluminum wheels.
Identify the Type of Aluminum Wheel
Before beginning the restoration process, it’s important to identify the type of wheel you have. Factors such as the wheel’s material, size, and design will determine which cleaners and polishers should be used. There are several different types of aluminum wheels, including cast aluminum, forged aluminum, and machined aluminum.
Prepare the Wheel for Restoration
The next step is to inspect the wheel for any damage or wear and tear. If there are any cracks, dents, or other signs of damage, you may want to consult a professional before proceeding. Once the wheel has been inspected, the tires and hubcaps need to be removed. This will give you better access to the wheel for cleaning and polishing.
Choose the Best Cleaner and Polisher
Once the wheel is ready for restoration, it’s time to choose the right cleaner and polisher. The degree of cleaning needed will depend on the amount of dirt, grime, and oxidation present on the wheel. It’s also important to select the appropriate cleaners and polishers for the specific type of wheel you have. For example, certain polishes may not be compatible with certain types of wheels.
Clean and Polish the Wheels
Using the cleaner and a soft cloth, begin cleaning the wheel. Be sure to use gentle strokes and avoid using too much pressure. After the wheel has been thoroughly cleaned, use the polisher and a soft cloth to buff out any scratches or stains. Again, use gentle strokes and avoid applying too much pressure.
Reseal the Wheel and Prevent Corrosion
Once the wheel has been cleaned and polished, it’s time to reseal it to prevent corrosion. Choose a sealant that is specifically designed for aluminum wheels and apply it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Be sure to cover all areas of the wheel, including the lug nuts and spokes. This will help protect the wheel from the elements and keep it looking its best.
Wax the Wheel for Long-Term Protection
After the wheel has been resealed, it’s time to apply a layer of wax. This will help protect the wheel from dirt and moisture, as well as provide additional protection against corrosion. Choose a wax that is specifically designed for aluminum wheels and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure to cover the entire wheel, including the lug nuts and spokes.
Maintain Your Aluminum Wheels Regularly
To ensure that your aluminum wheels remain in top condition, it’s important to maintain them on a regular basis. This includes regularly cleaning the wheels with a mild cleaner and soft cloth, as well as inspecting them for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Additionally, it’s important to apply a fresh coat of wax every few months to ensure that the wheels are protected from the elements.
Restoring aluminum wheels is an involved process that requires attention to detail and patience. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your aluminum wheels look their best and last longer. From inspecting the wheel for damage to applying a protective coating of wax, proper care and maintenance of your aluminum wheels will go a long way in preserving their beauty and performance.