Polished aluminum wheels are very popular, particularly with racing, off-road, and hot rod enthusiasts. However, they do require more periodic maintenance than other finishes depending upon the climate, road conditions, and your car care practices in general.
Polished aluminum wheels require the highest degree of maintenance and a certain amount of oxidation is to be expected as the wheels naturally oxidize with age. Polished wheels can be re-polished commercially or by hand after many years of use, effectively restoring them to an almost factory original condition.
- When new, coat your polished wheels with a quality, hand-applied sealant wax. This coating will assist in preventative maintenance by resisting brake dust and other contaminants
- When your polished aluminum wheels begin to lose their shine or are dirty with road film or brake dust, begin by cleaning them as instructed above
- If you use a brush, be careful to avoid scratching the uncoated, polished aluminum alloy by using only a SOFT brush
- Follow up by polishing them by hand with a quality metal or wheel polish
- After polishing, coat them with a top-quality wheel wax according to instructions. If they are in bad condition, this will take some time, and polishing wheels is never an easy task
Special Mention - Power Mini-Polisher: For faster and perhaps easier results, use a Dremel type tool mini-polisher with the correct polishing mini-pads. Just swab on some polish, then buff them with the polishing tool. Mini power tool polishers will clean up and polish your wheels quickly, saving time and producing a brilliant shine.
If your wheels have deeply embedded brake dust or other contaminants from lack of maintenance, you can try an aggressive spray-on wheel cleaner (be careful. Some contain acid) with a brush, BUT DO NOT ALLOW IT TO SIT ON THE SURFACE AND ETCH THE POLISHED SURFACE. Rinse your wheels thoroughly and dry with soft, non-abrasive cloth. Polished wheels look great, but do require regular maintenance.
If you came here from the wheel finishes section, click here to go back up.