We hope you have read through and enjoyed Gary's War-and-Peace wheel and tire guide in its entirety and are fully educated on what rubbers and rounds are currently available via the aftermarket. Since taking care of these great-looking wheels is an important part of vehicle maintenance, we compiled a group of products to keep your wheels shiny and clean, so you don't have to search the aisles of your local parts store, scratching your head wondering, "What's right for me?" We have also thrown in a couple of tips on how to use these products and which wheel finish each product is appropriate for.
What Do I Use?
If you have factory cast or billet aluminum wheels that have a clearcoat, use:
Almost any wheel cleaner will work but look for the "clearcoat safe" on the bottle label, just to be sure.
If you have cast or billet wheels with no coating, use:
A polish designed specifically for aluminum wheels that will remove oxidation.
If you have anodized, painted, or have no idea what finish your wheels have, use:
A soap and water mixture. If it's safe enough for your truck's paint, it will be safe enough for your wheels. If you want to use a safe-for-all-wheels-type cleaner, test a small area first to make sure it won't damage your finish.
How Do I Use It?
If the wheels are chrome or clearcoated, let them cool before applying any product. Working one corner at a time, spray the cleaner from the bottom to the top (to prevent runs). Use a brush to get into all the nooks and crannies, then rinse and dry. Do not apply your tire dressing yet. If you have aluminum wheels with no clearcoat, then break out the polish and get to rubbing. One cool tip we have learned is to put on surgical gloves and use them to polish the wheel, instead of using a rag. It works great, so try it, but be sure to apply the polish in a back and forth motion with moderate pressure until the oxidation is gone and there is a black residue. Apply the polish to the rim and rub until you have a black residue, then buff that off with a soft rag. If you are lucky enough to have a chrome-plated rim, then you can use a chrome polish to remove any crud, but most of the time, a glass cleaner will do the trick.
For your tires, use a nylon brush to scrub old dressing out of all the letters and tread on the sidewall. Some companies even make a tire-specific cleaner, but whatever you decide, don't dunk the tire brush in the wash bucket. You don't want the residue getting on your wash mitt and scratching the clearcoat on your nice paintjob when you give your truck a bath. Tire dressing comes in liquids, foams, and gels. It's all about personal taste in what you want to use, so just read the label to determine what product fits your needs. Use an applicator to apply the dressing to your tires to prevent any of it from getting on your freshly polished wheels. If you like wet-looking tires, then apply your dressing and let it soak in. If you like a satin finish, come back and wipe off the excess with a rag.
Adam's Metal Polish 1 is designed for stainless, brass, billet, chrome, and nickel. The liquid formula does not scratch and is safe to use on delicate metals. Follow with Adam's Metal Polish 2 for additional shine and maintenance. Adam's Vinyl, Rubber, and Tire (VRT) contains no silicone or alcohol and still provides U.V. protection. The thick cream applies easily with a sponge and doesn't leave a greasy film. The Flitz polishing and buffing ball is great at saving your arms from the rigors of polishing aluminum. Made to use with a drill motor with a maximum of 2,000 rpm, it is reusable and machine washable.
For more information, contact: Adam's Polishes INC.
(866) 965-0400, www.adamspolishes.com