Scratches on your car's wheels are more than a cringe-inducing eyesore. Repairing scratched or damaged wheels can set you back a couple hundred dollars. Some drivers wrongly assume that chrome wheels, which are quite sturdy, cannot succumb to damage. However, certain habits can damage even the strongest of wheels, leading to costly repairs and lost time.
Here are some things you might be doing that could harm your wheels.
1. Running Into Curbs
Curb rash is among your rim's biggest enemies. Curb rash constitutes the scratches, dents, and damage your wheels take when you hit a curb.
Curbs are unavoidable - they are everywhere you go from the grocery parking lot to your place of work to your home. However, most of the time, you can avoid curb rash by being more alert and taking notice of your surroundings.
For particularly bad scratches and dents, you may have to repair the damage and replate the wheels, especially if yours are chrome rims. Be sure to have a reputable chrome replating specialist restore your damaged wheels.
Other than the scratches, running into curbs can deform or misalign your rims, which can affect the car's performance significantly. A damaged rim can also be a source of annoying noises and will diminish the life of your tires.
2. Cleaning Your Wheels Wrong
Understandably, you want to keep your rims looking clean and shiny. However, be mindful of your wheel cleaning habits. Avoid using harsh substances such as steel wool and acid-based detergents to clean your wheels.
Acids, in particular, may leave your rims looking shiny for a while, but over time, the cleanser will eat away at your rims' top clear coat, expose the underlying metal to oxidation, and eventually cause rust or a stubborn residue to form on the rims.
To avoid corrosive damage, use a mild detergent, water, and a soft sponge to keep your rims clean.
3. Failing to Winterize
With winter comes not just slippery roads that can increase the risk of curb rash but also road salt. Extensive exposure to road salt can easily diminish the life expectancy of the most solid rims.
If you have chrome-plated wheels, consider getting another pair so you can interchange your wheels to avoid overexposing one pair. This backup set might involve some upfront costs, but interchanging can extend the life of your treasured chrome wheels.
4. Using the Wrong Wheel Braces
A wheel wrench, or wheel brace, can come in handy in times of dire need, that is, when your tire suddenly decides to go flat on you.
Although all types of wheel braces help to secure or undo wheel nuts, these handy devices are all not equal. Different wrenches secure and undo different sizes and types of nuts.
If you have new wheels with a different design or size of nuts, your old wheel braces may be incompatible with these new wheels and nuts.
With a little force and maneuvering, you might be able to remove the nuts on your new wheel using the old wrench, but this will certainly leave scratches and possibly dents on the rim.
If your old wrench does not work with your new wheels and nuts, get one that will secure and loosen the nuts seamlessly to protect your wheels from unnecessary scratches.
The wheels may seem like insignificant parts of your car. However, scratches and dings on the wheels can diminish your vehicle's aesthetic appeal and will cost you to repair. While accidents are sometimes unavoidable, a little mindfulness and care can go a long way in extending the life of your wheels and your vehicle.
Are you looking to restore your scratched chrome wheels? You can trust the pros at Platinum Surface Coating to get the job done professionally and at affordable rates. Call us today for restoration that will bring back the shine to your vehicle's chrome.