American Racing Wheels Finishes & Care
At American Racing, we produce wheels finished in several ways: Chrome, Painted & Clearcoated, Painted Center with a Machined Lip (Clear Coated), Polished.
When it comes to care and maintenance, compatibility with your driving style, local road hazards and weather conditions, can all affect a wheel’s finish. You should select wheels that will be compatible with your vehicle, driving habits, car care practices, weather, and road hazards. If you are wondering how much time will be required to care for your wheels, the answer has a lot to do with how they are maintained. Your local climate and road maintenance can affect the care required and life span of a wheel finish. For harsher climates, American Racing suggests that you retain your original equipment wheels for optional use as wintertime equipment.
The first rule in caring for any automotive wheels regardless of finish is to keep them clean. Generally speaking, from week to week during your car wash cycle, it’s best to clean them with a soft brush, soap and/or mild degreaser or quality spray-on wheel cleaner. For best results, it is important to keep wheels clean, not allowing road film, contaminants and brake dust (which retains moisture) to accumulate and sit on the surface. If you live in a harsh winter climate where salt and chemicals are used during the winter, regular cleaning is even more important. Be careful in selecting wheel cleaning products — select products that are safe for the finish of your wheels. Avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners. Some cleaners are harsh and could damage your wheel finish. Also be aware that many car washes use strong chemicals to clean wheels and tires that could cause damage to your wheel finish or even your automotive paint. NEVER CLEAN HOT WHEELS, allow wheels to cool or cool them with running water. Another important step is to seal your wheels with a sealant that will reduce static and resist brake dust, such as American Racing Wheel Wax.
Protect Your Investment - Clean Wheels Regularly
To better understand the specific care and maintenance of your wheels, determine which finish applies to your wheels from the list above. After determining what finish applies to your wheels, go to the section below for suggestions and instructions for the detailing, care, and maintenance of your American Racing wheels.
Aluminum wheels plated with chrome are beautiful and can significantly change the appearance of your car by attracting light to base areas of your vehicle. If maintained, the chrome finish will produce a brilliant shine. To reflect light, which produces the attractive brilliant finish, the wheels must be cleaned regularly. It’s best to clean them with a soft brush, soap and/or mild degreaser or quality spray-on wheel cleaner. Rinse thoroughly. After cleaning your wheels do not allow soap, chemicals or water to sit on the surface and produce water spots—dry your wheels with a soft, non-abrasive towel. As stated above, it is important to keep wheels clean, not allowing road film, contaminants and brake dust (which retains moisture) to accumulate and sit on the surface. If you live in a harsh winter climate where salt and chemicals are used during the winter, regular cleaning is even more important. Periodically, polish chrome wheels with American Racing Chrome-Tech, or some other quality non-abrasive chrome polish. For best results and to reduce cleaning efforts in the future, after polishing and/or cleaning, apply American Racing Wheel Wax to seal the surface — this should help avoid problems in the future and will reduce static so that your wheels are more resistant to brake dust.
Clear Coated Wheels
American Racing manufactures many styles that are permanently coated with a clear protective coating, essentially a non-pigmented, clear paint. The clear coating that we use is the same material that we use for the original equipment wheels we manufacture for leading automobile manufacturers. Your clear-coated wheels should require only soap or a quality wheel cleaner product, water and a soft brush. Once you have cleaned your clear coated wheels, a coat of hand-applied American Racing Wheel Wax or a quality, non-carnauba, non-abrasive polymer sealant-quality wax will enhance resistance to brake dust and contaminants. American Racing Wheel Wax works well and will save you time in the future, as a few minutes of preventative waxing can last months (depending on your climate).
Polished finished wheels have no coating, plating, or painting so they are the bare aluminum wheels that have been polished to a bright shine. Because polished wheels have no protective coating their finish is not covered by any warranty. They require the most care in order to maintain their finish. Wash only with mild soap and water. Do not use wheel cleaners unless they specifically state they are safe for polished wheels. Regular polishing with an aluminum polish is also required. Do not run polished wheels in harsh climates where salt is used on roads during the winter or in salt water environments.