CLEANING YOUR WHEELS
A Professional Guide
At home and going stir crazy because of social distancing? Now's the time to clean the wheels of your car. As Sydney's premier repairer of prestige cars, Panel One shares its expert knowledge for a professional result.
As explained in a previous Blog, the wheels of a BMW need to be washed and cleaned separately to the rest of the vehicle. This doesn’t mean they have to be removed, it just means they require special attention and to be cleaned separate to the vehicle body. This is particularly important for high performance models with Carbon Ceramic or Compound Brakes.
ONE AT A TIME
When washing your BMW, we recommend that you commence with the wheels first followed by the body. By doing so you will avoid having to wash and dry the vehicle’s body twice; saving both time and water.
We also recommend washing and cleaning each wheel of your BMW one at a time and to consider using a steam jet or high-pressure cleaner. As well as being efficient, it also prevents the formation of salt crystals on high performance brakes while the car is parked after cleaning.
Panel One recommends the use of a wheel cleaner, provided it's acid-free and pH balanced so it's safe to use on both BMW standard alloy and aluminium rims. When using a wheel cleaner, spray the cleaner evenly over the rims only and avoid spraying the brakes or calipers. Most wheel cleaners will remove tough grime and grease without scrubbing. So, you simply rinse the wheel cleaner off with a high-power jet.
If you have custom BMW wheels with powder/decorative coating or any other special material, check to ensure the solution is safe to use.
DETAIL THE WHEELS
As mentioned, many wheel cleaners work without the need of scrubbing. However if your wheels have accumulated heavy encrusted grime or stubborn grease you may need need to use a brush. If so, only use a brush with extra-soft and scratch-free bristles and again, be careful to avoid the brakes.
Use the fine-bristle brush gently on areas you missed as well as those hard to reach places and rinse each wheel clean with a high-pressure water jet when finished.
DRYING THE WHEELS
After you have finished washing the wheels, tires, and the rest of your BMW, it’s time to dry the wheels. To do so, we recommend a soft, lint-free and non-scratch microfiber cloth so it won’t damage the metal surface of the wheel. Avoid using a cloth with heavy polyester thread.
WHEEL WAX & SEALANT
Waxing the wheels not only makes them look shiny and new, but more importantly, it helps prevent the build up of dust, road-salt and grease. Choose a wheel wax that’s safe to use on your BMW wheel type, especially if you have custom-ordered wheels with a decorative coating. Check with the wax manufacturer if you’re unsure.
Although they have different properties, wheel sealant can be used instead of wheel wax. They usually requires less frequent applications than wax, are more robust, more water resistant and usually includes UV protection.
When using both a sealant and wax together, we recommend applying the sealant first as it takes longer to break down than wax. Always check the product description to make sure the products are safe to use together or better still use a hybrid wheel wax-and-sealant-in-one that effectively does the two jobs at once.
During application, use a soft microfiber cloth or applicator pad to apply wheel sealant or wax thoroughly and evenly. It is important to understand that every wheel polish, wax or sealant works differently, so read the instructions carefully.
Rinse each wheel clean with a high-pressure water jet when finished and then follow the recommended drying procedure outlined above, and your done!