Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wheel Cleaning

So I take my Wheels pretty seriously. If you guys haven't known already.

I decided to 100% clean and coat my wheels today to protect them from future grime, brake dust, and mud/deposits. With my wheels being matte black, they take quite a bit of a beating and brake dust really likes to stick to them so its hard for them to ever look clean.

I'm pretty OCD when it comes to my car. Everyone always makes fun of me or jokes that my car is always "minty" or that they should park their car at my house because it will always be clean. It's probably true.

So the plan this past weekend was to spray down, clean and coat all of my wheels. I used 3 products to do this:

- Sonax Wheel Cleaner
- Gtechniq Panel Wipe
- Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armour.

I also took GoPro footage of every single step and how I used them, but unfortunately Windows Movie Maker decided not to work too good for me, so I'm unable to upload. Also my sister has my camera, so gonna be a pic free post :(

First thing is the Sonax Wheel Cleaner. I like this product because its pH neutral and due to the thin stickers on my wheels I didn't wanna use a strong solvent or acidic wheel cleaner. This could lead to damaging of the stickers or even halo effects on the clear coat of the wheel. The product also has something in it that reacts with iron deposits and when it reacts with iron the solution turns from a bright green to a dark purple similar to the product Iron X which is used to get iron particles out of car bodies when detailing.

The second step I did was I washed them down with car wash soap and a gentle cleaning mitt. This is to remove whatever rocks were left over and wheel cleaner that was not blasted off with the pressure washer.

The third step was applying Gtechniq Panel Wipe. I spray this directly on the microfiber towels and wipe them on the wheel as opposed to spraying the wheel. This is to prevent "spots" or unevenness similar to when you spray windex on a surface and don't wipe it all off completely. This however, is permanent. It also evaporates very quickly and is used to remove any final soap, grease or residue left over. At this point, the panel wipe should ensure that the wheel is 100% clean. This is because the last step, the Wheel Armour will permanently bond and coat the wheel along with anything stuck under it, so you have to be 100% that there are no containments.

The final step Was the Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armour. It's applied on the wheel via a "make up pad". Or at least that's what it resembles when I pull it out of the bag. There's 4 of them, one for each wheel. Simply put, you put it on the applicator pad and coat the wheels by sliding this pad across the wheel surface. It appears wet and takes about half a minute to "flash" or dry off. Following that, you immediately wipe off the excess with the microfiber towel.

I now let it sit for 4-6 hours without getting wet. I was keeping it safe and gave it over a day for the solution to cure.

I haven't had a chance to get them mucked up or dirty. But from what I've heard, from now on any brake dust, road debris, mud or water spots should slide off with minimal work. I see it as an investment, because I'm super OCD about keeping my wheels clean and hopefully this will save me time in the long run. The coating should be good for quite a long time and since I don't winter drive, hopefully years!

In the end, the wheel looked much better and glossier. Overall they looked great and I was very happy with how the coating made the wheel look so minty and shiny. So I mentioned to you guys that the plan was for me to coat all my wheels, right? Well...I only coated 1 wheel. Just the rear driver side. Yep. 2 Hours and that's all I got done. Did I mention I was OCD about these things?

Obligatory clean wheel pic my friend Brandon Chua, A.K.A the flying penguin took when my wheels were minty clean the day after I got them: