How To Avoid Damaged Mags And Care For Your Wheels!
Here are the top 5 pain points for mag /alloy/chrome damage.
1/ Alloy / Mag Wheel Curb Damage
Scenario: Your [Please substitute name here] Son / Daughter / Better Half / Buddy, drive your car and the next day you are admiring your awesome mags glistening in the sun only to see, to your horror smashed rim lips and scuffing…. Man, that hurts! The cries of; “it wasn’t me!” Will surely follow… Wow, doesn’t it suck, when you hear that curb grinding into the side of your mag?! There goes [sustitute amount here] 200 / 300 / 500 bucks worth of wheel.. The truth: Always remember that very few people will treat your car as well as you do. People will be unlikely consider how much you paid for your awesome wheels or how much it kills you to see the scrapes on those rims every time you walk up to your
Solutions: Avoid loaning your car out to others. Full stop. Try mag rim protectors. This product is aimed at protecting you assets. The protector is a hard plastic rib that is fitted onto the rim lip to make a barrier between the curb and the wheel. It is like a last line of defense. When I first saw these things I was blown away! What a great and simple idea. For a small investment and a little time to fit them you have got some protection against the evil of CURB DAMAGED WHEELS! I don’t know who invented these things but it is a stroke of genius. Not to mention the fact that they can add another dimension to the look of your mag wheels and the car itself.
Check this picture out. Umm the wheels I mean!
Cool colours too!
Of course they won’t protect you from a complete curb banger driving your car, that is committed to total destruction of your rims. But they do certainly help. If you are not really handy you may want to get some help getting them fitted. An air compressor is necessary as you will need to let air your of your tires to get them on.
2/ Under inflation / Flat Tire Induced Alloy Damage
Scenario: You are looking at that tire and it looks a little low.. “Hmm’” you wonder to yourself, “I wonder if that tire is a bit low?” “I will remember to check that when I fill up next time…” Of course before you fill up there is a horrific grinding sound as you go round a corner..
Solutions: Check your tire pressure regularly. This is particularly important on modern low profile tires and wheels. Make sure you monitor it. If you have one tire loosing pressure more than others, it likely indicates a slow leak. GET IT FIXED! A slow leak will catch you out. I have found that as tires get close to the end of their tread and are nearly worn out. They are much more likely to lose the seal on the rim or get a puncture. Consider changing to a new set of rubber as soon as you feel tread is a little low. Don’t spin it out and try to get more out of the tires than you should. Often it will result in flat and potential rim damage.
3/ Cleaning Damage
Scenario: How crazy does this sound. You are a compulsive or perhaps out of the blue cleaner… But the problem is that in your zeal to make those babies shine or get rid of that last little bit of tar kills the glow! You use just a little steel wool or what about a bit of solvent.. to get that stuff off… It will be ok… But its not!
Solutions: There is a huge range of cleaning products available for cars and in the household. You may have a garage full of cleaners. Remember that some of the surfaces on your groovy wheels are often quite soft comparatively. For example if you have some awesome matt powder coated wheels they will not look awesome for long if you hit them with an ajax type cleaner that is full of powdered abrasives! This stuff can even take the shine right off Alloys that have been highly polished at the factory. It can be mind blowingly difficult to get that shine back again. Sure you might have removed some tar and bugs, but the wheel may have lost that sparkle. Also avoid abrasive pads or steel wool for example. If you can feel any abrasiveness on your fingers it should not go on your wheels. Likewise with solvents or caustics. Some of these cleaners are mystery bottles. Who knows what is in them really; probably only the lab that concocted the stuff. There are cleaners for chrome rims and there are cleaners for alloy rims. Make sure to select only quality products or use basic car cleaning detergents and keep it really simple. Hose off any grit first. To avoid the grit scratching your rims as you try to clean it. Get them wet early and soaped up for a good soaking. Also avoid cleaning your wheels in the red-hot sun. Find a nice shady spot. This will cause your soap and water to have no time to penetrate. Chamois are great too. Use them to enhance your shine and dry off the rims fast. If you use a rag make sure it is clean when you start. Make sure if you use a sponge it does not get grit stuck in it. If it does don’t use it.
4/ Poor Fitting Tools
Scenario: You’re on the side of the road with a flat tire. You drag out the wheel brace to remove you alloy pleased that you didn’t stuff it up by driving it flat.. Whew! But man, this wheel brace is like wrestling with a seal, its slipping and jumping. Finally you look at what you’ve done. Two-damaged wheel nuts and ding in the alloys… Bummer!
Solution: Make sure that you have the right brace for your wheel nuts. Often when we fit new wheels, we are excited and focusing on the wheels and tires, not 6 months down the track when the flat tire arises. Its right about then we find that our groovy new wheel nuts are not really quite the same as the old standard ones. Get a wheel brace that is exactly right for the new lug nuts. That will avoid a lot of heart ache damaged knuckles and possibly rims and lug nuts.
5/ Car Wash Damage
Scenario: The car is pretty clean, but I think I’ll just give it a little spruce up and whip through the car wash… “Wow, those whirly things on the side of the car hitting my rims are pretty full on!!”
Solutions: Hand washing is the best! I don’t know how many times I have thought I will try this car wash it looks really modern. Only to have my spoiler get the clear coat stripped off by the whirly brush that ripped into it. Or finding out I followed the four wheel drive club and all the spinning chamois were full of grit .. If you have a nice set of wheels don’t take the risk. Car washes can be like mechanized death for your car finish. Hand washing is best.