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Discussion Starter #1
New cars tend to shed a lot of brake dust in the first 1,000 miles or so as the brakes bed in (and also when you replace the brake pads).

Left untreated, the brake dust can penetrate the lacquer coating on the wheels and pit the wheel surface. Once this happens, you cannot remove the spots and would have the get the wheels refurbished which isn't cheap.

However, there are a couple of things you can do to keep your alloy wheels in top condition. The first is to clean them regularly. The second is to protect the wheel surface with a sealant. The following are simply suggestions from my experiences in detailing my previous cars.

1. Cleaning the tyre walls

What you'll need:
- All purpose cleaner (like Meguiar's All Purpose Cleaner - just ensure it's safe to use on rubber)
- Sponge or soft, long-bristled brush

What you need to do:
- Hose down the tyres with a hosepipe or a pressure washer on a low setting
- Spray some all purpose cleaner onto the tyres
- Agitate with the sponge or brush
- Rinse off

2. Cleaning alloy wheels

What you'll need:
- A long-handled wheel brush for getting to the back of the wheels (eh. EZ Detail brush or Raceglaze extra long brush)
- A wheel face brush for cleaning the exterior surface of the wheels (eg. Wheel Brush from Performance MotorCare)
- A wheel detailing brush for cleaning wheel nuts, nooks and crannies (eg. Autoglym Hi-Tech Wheel Brush)
- A small sponge
- A non-acidic wheel cleaner (P21S liquid or gel cleaner is ideal)
- A microfibre cloth for drying the wheel to prevent water spots

What you need to do:
- Hose down wheels (if using a pressure washer then keep this at least two feet away and at an angle to the wheels)
- Spray wheel cleaner generously over wheel surface and interior surface (behind the spokes)
- Allow sufficient time for wheel cleaner to do its job
- Use the long-handled brush to clean the interior surface
- Use the face brush to clean the wheel face
- Use the wheel detailing brush to clean the wheel nuts and other nooks and crannies
- Use the sponge for hard-to-reach areas (like immediately behind the spokes)
- Rinse off using a hose or pressure washer
- Dry wheel with microfibre cloth

3. Sealing alloy wheels

What you'll need:
- Wheel sealant (eg. Poorboys Wheel Sealant)
- Applicator pad or soft, lint-free cloth
- Polishing cloth or microfibre cloth

What you need to do:
- Apply sealant with a soft, lint-free cloth or dedicated applicator pad over wheel surface
- Allow some time to set
- Buff to a shiny finish with a soft, lint-free polishing cloth or microfibre cloth

4. Tyre dressing

What you'll need:
- Tyre dressing (eg. Mothers Reflections Advanced Tire Care)
- Applicator pad (eg. Professional Tyre Dresser from Performance MotorCare)

What you need to do:
- Spray some tyre dressing onto the applicator pad and wipe the pad over the tyre surface
 

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fantastic information, thank you Roma
 

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Discussion Starter #5
A good sealant should last a few months provided that you use a mild wheel cleaner during washes (or even normal car shampoo). I have sealed my wheels now and wash my car, on average, every two weeks at the moment. I don't plan to reseal the wheels until around July so that will be 5-6 washes.

One thing you can do prior to applying sealant for the first time is to use a very strong (even acidic) wheel cleaner like "Wonder Wheels". This is available from Halfords and really does work - it's essentially pure acid! Of course, don't use it weekly and make sure you wear disposable gloves. Rinse very thoroughly with lots of clean water. You can then wax or polish the wheels and even clay them using an old clay bar that you were going to throw away. Once the wheels have been cleaned with Wonder Wheels, waxed or polished, you can seal them. For most people that only needs to be done once every 3 months or so.
 

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Brake dust problem + fix (so far)

I've only had the car a day and a half and have had to clean the alloys of brake dust three times ! Pretty chronic amount as well. I bought some Simoniz brake dust repellant and alloy cleaner from Tesco. Half price at £2.25 and it works. I've just been on another drive and the alloys are still as they were when I applied it. You clean the wheels, spray it on, hose off and repeat. Second time you lightly sprinkle the water so it leaves a barrier on the wheels. So far so good. Hope this helps.
 
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Never ever use an acid based wheel cleaner... Autobrite.co.uk do a cleaner called very cherry which is excellent !! The best wheel sealant I've ever used is Chemical Guys Jetseal 109 which is brilliant !!! any dust that settles on the wheels just disappears when hosed off. and it repels all types of dirt and dust .. HTH.




Charlie..
 
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