How to Maintain Alloy Wheels

The wheels of a vehicle are the parts that are exposed to the greatest deal of wear and tear. Alloy wheels are aftermarket parts that provide a brighter, cleaner aesthetic than standard steel wheels, and they offer lower weights and improved handling as well. Taking the proper steps to maintain your alloy wheels can help extend their lifespan and improve their performance in the short run.

Change the Brake Pads

It is essential that you change the brake pads on your alloy wheels regularly. Check with the owner's manual or the instructions included with your specific brake pads to see the recommended time or distance travelled you should wait before you change them. Additionally, you should choose ceramic brake pads when possible, as they produce less dust than other types of brake pads. Dust can scratch the finish on your alloy wheels.

Install Brake Dust Shields

Though ceramic brake pads and regular replacement of brake pads will reduce the amount of dust that collects on your wheels, you can still have brake dust shields installed to further prevent dust from collecting on your wheels. This is a fairly simple and inexpensive process, but you may want to have the shields installed by a mechanic to ensure that they are put in place properly.


To clean alloy wheels, make use of special alloy cleaners, available at most mechanics and auto parts stores. Mix the cleaner with water in the recommended ratio, then spray liberally onto your wheels. Let the solution sit for a few moments, then use a soft, lint-free rag to wipe away any built-up grime and dirt and rinse with cold water.


Beyond simply making your wheels shine, applying a wax made for alloy to your wheels can act as a shield to further dirt buildup. Apply the polish (which is either a liquid or a paste and can be found at most automotive stores) to a lint-free rag and rub it into the tires, taking care to always scrub in the same direction to prevent streak marks from developing. For best results, complete each wheel in small sections. For hard to reach areas and corners, make use of a small brush, like a toothbrush, to apply the polish. Once the alloy polish has been applied, you're going to have to put on a coat of finishing polish (again, available at most hardware stores) in the same manner, which acts as a sealant against water and weather exposure.

For further maintenance advice for alloy tires, look for a Pro Tire Ltd tire store in your area.