Whether you have custom aluminum body panels and wheels on your vehicle or factory, you need to properly care for them to ensure they remain in tip-top condition for as long as possible. Here is an overview of how to care for your aluminum body panel and wheels.

Why should you clean your aluminum panels and wheels frequently?

Brake dust can cause severe damage to your aluminum wheels because, as your brakes are heated while driving, small shavings are released from the rotors. This brake dust is corrosive and can cause an immense amount of damage to your aluminum wheels. The more frequently you drive, the more brake dust to potentially damage the aluminum. This is why you must clean your vehicle and wheels regularly.

Cleaning your aluminum body panels and wheels

The first step to properly cleaning your aluminum wheels is to rinse them thoroughly. Since wheels have many cracks and crevices, you should use a water hose with extreme pressure so it can adequately eliminate all hidden dirt, dust, and debris from these hidden areas. Don’t forget to thoroughly rinse behind the wheels and between the brake calipers and spokes.

While focusing on each wheel at a time, you need to use an appropriate cleaner to saturate the wheels. Since some OEM wheels come with a special coating, it’s essential to ensure that the cleaner you purchase is safe to use on this coating. The perfect non-acidic cleaner will also minimize the formation of spotting and streaking.

After the cleaner has had a few moments to soak, you can take a soft-bristled brush to begin scrubbing the wheels, one at a time. Be thorough so you won’t miss any areas like the wheel well and lug nuts. You can use the brush to clean the entire vehicle, as well, paying careful attention to the aluminum body panels.

Once you are positive that you’ve thoroughly cleaned the entire vehicle as well as all four wheels, you can begin rinsing. Once you’ve finished thoroughly rinsing the vehicle and wheels, you need to dry the entire vehicle adequately, including the wheels, with a special wheel and microfiber towel. This will ensure that your car and wheels will be free of any unsightly spots or streaks that occur when you allow your vehicle to air-dry.

Polishing your aluminum body panels and wheels

Once your car and wheels are clean and free of any debris, it’s time to polish it so it will shine beautifully. Polishing your vehicle and wheels will also minimize the future buildup of dirt, debris, and dust. Be careful when choosing a polish for your aluminum body panels and wheels, as you don’t want to choose one that’s too abrasive if your aluminum has a protective coating. However, if you’re sure they’re not coated, then you can safely use just about any polish that you want.

Whether you’re using a handheld polisher or you’re going to be polishing by hand, be sure that you use a dry microfiber after polishing so your aluminum body panels and wheels will become shiny.

When you know how to care for your aluminum body panel and wheels, you will increase the longevity of your vehicle. Keeping it cleaned regular will make last as long as possible. Brake dust, dirt, and debris can be rough on your aluminum, and while it may be a pain to clean your aluminum so frequently, you will realize how beneficial it is in the end when it remains in excellent condition for an extended period.

If you have auto body related questions or your car is in need of any auto body repairs, contact Network Auto Body.

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