How to Maintain and Protect Your New Wheels Credit: Factory Reproductions

Investing in new wheels is a great way to enhance the appearance and performance of your vehicle. However, maintaining and protecting your wheels is essential to ensure they stay in top condition. Here's a guide on how to keep your new wheels looking great and performing well for years to come.

1. Regular Cleaning

Regular Cleaning Credit: CNET

Dirt, brake dust, and road grime can accumulate on your wheels, causing them to lose their shine and potentially damage the finish over time. Follow these steps to clean your wheels properly:

  • Use Mild Cleaners: Opt for pH-balanced wheel cleaners that are safe for your wheel's finish. Avoid harsh chemicals that can strip protective coatings.
  • Soft Brushes and Sponges: Use soft brushes or sponges to clean the surface without scratching the finish.
  • Clean One Wheel at a Time: Focus on one wheel at a time to ensure thorough cleaning and to avoid the cleaner drying on the surface.
2. Apply Wheel Wax or Sealant

Apply Wheel Wax or Sealant Credit: Auto Express

Protective waxes and sealants create a barrier that helps repel water, brake dust, and road grime. Apply a high-quality wheel wax or sealant after cleaning to preserve your wheel's finish and make future cleanings easier.

3. Inspect Regularly for Damage

Regularly inspect your wheels for signs of damage such as cracks, bends, or curb rash. Early detection can prevent further damage and ensure your wheels remain safe and functional.

4. Rotate Your Tires

Rotating your tires helps to even out wear, which can extend the life of both your tires and wheels. Consult your vehicle's manual for the recommended rotation schedule, typically every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

5. Check Tire Pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure reduces the strain on your wheels and tires, ensuring better performance and longevity. Check your tire pressure regularly and adjust it to the manufacturer's recommendations.

6. Avoid Harsh Conditions

Avoid Harsh Conditions Credit: Simple Tire

While it might not always be possible, avoiding harsh conditions can help protect your wheels:

  • Avoid Off-Roading: Rough terrains can cause significant damage to your wheels. Stick to well-maintained roads when possible.
  • Avoid Extreme Weather: Salt and chemicals used for de-icing can corrode your wheels. Consider winter tires with steel wheels during snowy seasons.
7. Avoid Automatic Car Washes

Avoid Automatic Car Washes Credit: Capital One

Automatic car washes can have harsh brushes and chemicals that may damage your wheels. Opt for hand washes or touchless car washes to avoid scratches and wear.

8. Use Wheel Covers or Bags for Storage

If you have a spare set of wheels for seasonal use, store them properly using wheel covers or bags. This protects them from dust, moisture, and potential damage while in storage.


Properly maintaining and protecting your new wheels not only ensures they look great but also extends their lifespan. Regular cleaning, protective coatings, and avoiding harsh conditions can go a long way in preserving your wheels’ appearance and functionality. Follow these tips to keep your wheels in prime condition, ensuring they continue to enhance your vehicle for years to come.