April 27, 2021

Alloy Wheel Care and Maintenance

Alloy wheels are a great choice for any car owner looking for increased strength, decreased overall weight and endless modification options. Higher standard alloy wheels come with a greater responsibility of care and maintenance of their desirable qualities. Here we discuss what you need to know about your alloy wheels in order to keep them looking great, and answer some of the most common questions we get in relation to caring for your alloy wheels.

Knowing your alloy wheel specifications

The first step to maintaining great alloy wheels is to know their specifications. This means that, should an issue present itself, you can easily find the correct replacements, repair tools or equipment needed for that specific alloy wheel.  

How to measure alloy wheel size

There are a few different measurements that are required when sizing up alloy wheels. You can take these measurements yourself or have your alloy wheels sized by a professional during installation, repairs or modification. 

Wheel diameter

Wheel diameter, or pitch circle diameter (PCD), is the diameter of the circle in which your alloy wheel bolts are placed on. You can calculate the PCD of your alloy wheels by using the number of bolts and the size of the circle in which the bolts sit - this is usually measured in millimeters.

Wheel rim width

The rim width is the distance between the outside and the inside lips of your alloy wheel - this is typically measured in inches. You need to know this number as each car requires a different wheel rim width in order to fit properly.

Wheel offset

Wheel offset refers to how alloy wheels sit in the wheel wells and how far out the wheel will sit in line with the hub-mounting surface and the wheels centerline. This number is measured in millimetres and, the higher the number, the closer the wheel sits to the vehicle body.

Wheel centre bore

The wheel centre bore is the hole on the back of the wheel that centres it on the mounting hub - the size of this hole is measured in millimetres. It is useful to know this measurement as you may need a product that allows you to adapt this size if it doesn’t fit on your vehicle as standard.

Get in touch with your local Alloy Wheel repair expert below

Caring for your alloy wheels

Here we answer some of the most common questions asked when dealing with alloy wheel care. Understanding these issues and how to either treat or prevent them will ensure that your alloy wheels are kept in top condition.

Can alloy wheels rust?

Technically, alloy wheels don’t rust. Due to the main component in the alloy mix that makes up alloy wheels, aluminium, having an oxide layer that protects it from rusting, you won’t experience rusting like you may on a steel wheel.  You may, however, experience corrosion if your alloy wheels are scratched. A scratch on the alloy can expose the layers under the protective finish and white-coloured patches of corrosion can then develop. Using alloy safe rust remover, the appropriate scrubbing brushes (usually nylon then steel wool) and a water rinse can effectively remove corrosion from your alloy wheels.

Can a crack in an alloy wheel be welded?

A crack in an alloy wheel can be welded as a method of repair however, this process should only be done by a professional. There are many factors that need to be considered when an alloy wheel is cracked and needs repairing, such as:

  • Where the crack is located
  • The size of the crack
  • The direction that the crack is going in
  • The overall condition of the alloy wheel

These factors can decide whether a crack in an alloy wheel can be welded, repaired through a different method or is beyond repair and needs a replacement. You can learn more about what to do when your alloy wheels are damaged in our guide, or get in touch with us to find out how we can effectively and quickly repair your alloy wheels.

Can an alloy wheel be straightened?

Alloy wheels can be straightened by a professional. If you are experiencing:

  • Shaking when driving
  • Poor steering and handling
  • tyres that consistently lose pressure

…your alloy wheels may be buckled and out of shape. This could be due to poor road conditions or an accident whereby a large hole is hit.

Straightening your alloy wheels is a great method that removes the unnecessary need for replacement, and it is usually a successful process. This process does however, require an expert technician and specialist equipment to ensure that it is done correctly.

Get in touch with your local Alloy Wheel repair expert below

Cleaning your alloy wheels

Once you know your alloy wheel specifications and can maintain them should a problem occur, you can then clean them to maintain their aesthetic appearance and improve their conditions.  

You can clean your alloy wheels just as you would clean the rest of your car, but keeping them in pristine condition may require extra attention and some specialist products.

Which alloy wheel cleaner is best? 

There are a few different types of cleaners that you can use on your alloy wheels. Here are our top 4 recommended products, in no particular order:

Holts Simoniz Alloy Cleaner

This cleaner, with its fast-acting formula, works great for cleaning dirt off of alloy wheels.

Ultracare Alloy Cleaner

This ‘Ultra’ version of the above cleaner will ensure that your alloy wheels stay looking shiny and new.

Wynns Fast Wheel Cleaner

This is a fast-acting wheel cleaner that is specially formulated to remove dust or road dirt from alloy wheels.

Power Maxed Iron Off

This alloy cleaner contains an advanced reactive formula which targets and oxidises iron-based contamination, such as brake dust.

What is the best alloy wheel cleaning brush?

There are a few different types of alloy wheel cleaning brushes, each designed to clean a specific area or for a specific purpose. Some are flexible brushes to reach small gaps, some are softer to buff out polishing products and some more coarse to remove dirt and grime build-up.

We recommend using the right brush for each specific area of your alloy wheels to ensure that no damage is caused. You may need a different brush depending on how dirty your alloy wheels are and whether they have any prior damage.

How can Alloy Wheel Repair Services help me?

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help to repair, maintain and improve the overall appearance and quality of your alloy wheels. Our team of professionals will ensure that your alloy wheels are kept in top condition and will aim to assist you no matter what the issue might be.

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