The wheels and tyres are the only parts of your car that actually connect it to the road, therefore they tend to pick up dirt and contaminants quickly. Wheel arches are the inner area that surround the wheels and tyres and so any dirt and contaminants picked up from the road surface by will be deposited on them quickly too.
As well as picking up dirt from the road the wheels get covered in a thin layer of dust from the brake pads every time your car brakes. This builds up over time and if not cleaned regularly can literally ‘bake’ onto the surface of the wheel due to the heat also being generated under braking. If wheels are left uncleaned the dirt and brake dust will gradually build up and become very difficult to remove. Depending on the design of your cars wheels the contaminants may begin work under the surface and corrode the wheel leaving it looking very unsightly and neglected.
Tyres also pick up and carry all the same dirt and contaminants that the wheels do but are often overlooked. It is important to properly clean and dress your tyres though, as this helps to prevent the tyre walls from fading, cracking and degrading due to the sun and water from the road surface. The tread on your tyres may be good but if the tyre walls become cracked in places the tyre may be deemed unsafe considering it’s the only part connecting you and your car to the road.
Wheel arches are also often overlooked during the car cleaning process. Again though it is important to ensure that your wheel arches are kept as clean and free from contaminants as possible. Around the wheel arches is one of the most common areas for corrosion and rust to occur so it is worth paying attention to them when cleaning your car.
There are a number of important moving parts located behind the wheel and within the arch itself and these will work better and last longer if kept free from the build up of harmful contaminants.
You should clean your wheels tyres and arches every time the rest of your car is cleaned. As with all the other parts of your car, if these have initially been thoroughly and properly cleaned they should not require allot of effort to return them to a satisfactory and contaminant free standard.
Initially you may need a strong yet non acidic designated wheel cleaner to remove heavy dirt and baked on brake dust. If your wheels are not too heavily soiled then a diluted all purpose cleaner and/or a normal car shampoo product can be used to clean them. A selection of soft and stiff bristled brushed are are essential to be able to effectively clean and reach awkward areas of your wheels tyres and arches.
Diluted all purpose cleaner can also be used along with a normal shampoo product to clean the arches and tyre walls. An all in one polish product can be used to safely and effectively restore and enhance your wheels even further after cleaning.
You may also want to use a designated wheel sealant after polishing to fully protect the wheels and make them much easier to clean next time. A metal or chrome polish may be required for polished lips, dished wheels or even fully chrome wheels. A selection of micro fibre towels and applicator pads will be needed for the application and removal of the polish/sealant products and a detailing spray can be used to aid the removal of any awkward product residue.