: Aluminum Wheels Detailing Help



Chosenone
06-27-13, 06:48 PM
Getting ready to do a full detail job on my Black CTS V. First question is are these polished aluminum wheels. I know picture is bad buts its all I had on my computer. I am going to completely remove the wheels and tires so I can clean all the Caliper and brakes as well as the backside of rims. I would like do some swirl removal on my rims. I plan on using a Random Orbital Buffer "Griots" and some swirl remover and polish. Anybody have any tips or words of caution or advice on rims. Am I going to hurt them by doing this?
120857

Salsbury1
06-28-13, 12:32 AM
You shouldn't hurt them but I would try by hand first just in case. IMO.

RaVeNous
06-28-13, 10:28 AM
First tip - take them off the car. Do the whole inside of the bowl.

I've had good luck on past cars with a porter cable random orbital using buffing compounds. For deep scratches I'd get them out by hand.

In some cases because of the time involved I've simply had someone else do it, since they typically charge about $100 per wheel.

Dark Sarcasm
07-04-13, 08:44 PM
Yes those is are the polished rims. Get a polish designed for chrome.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App (http://www.autoguide.com/mobile)

spearfish25
07-04-13, 10:29 PM
Mothers makes some good chrome polish. Try the polishing balls that go in a drill. Will be far easier than a porter cable for the nooks and crannies. And realize all the cleaning is toast after the first time you drive it. Never understood the 'remove and clean my wheels and brakes' mentality. Just clean what you can see with them on. It'll be dirty again in 3 days.

RapidRob
07-04-13, 11:05 PM
^^^ - Try Armorall Wheel Protectorant spray and letting it dry after cleaning the wheels. Keeps them clean for a much longer time. I've been using it for about 3 years and life is much better now! :)

Rob

embassured
07-04-13, 11:13 PM
I'll come from a different angle based on nothing more than the opinion of the guy who repaired my polished aluminum wheels.

I was told not use use aluminum or metal polish as the wheels are clear coated and that formula of polish is way too aggressive.

Since they are clear coated, simply use any clear-coat safe polishing compound that is formulated for paint.

That said, I've polished them using Mother's power cone (for a drill) and Meguiar's deep crystal polish. They looked better but the payoff was short of the effort. The biggest challenge, IMO, is that between road grime and the aggressiveness of weekly wheel cleaner applications it is almost impossible to keep the rims looking new unless your willing to polish them once a month.

I don't plan on going through the procedure again and will simply pay $100 a wheel to have them (re)clear coated when they get bad enough.

Good luck,
Eric

Snotty Boom Body
07-05-13, 10:17 AM
I'll come from a different angle based on nothing more than the opinion of the guy who repaired my polished aluminum wheels.

I was told not use use aluminum or metal polish as the wheels are clear coated and that formula of polish is way too aggressive.

Since they are clear coated, simply use any clear-coat safe polishing compound that is formulated for paint.

That said, I've polished them using Mother's power cone (for a drill) and Meguiar's deep crystal polish. They looked better but the payoff was short of the effort. The biggest challenge, IMO, is that between road grime and the aggressiveness of weekly wheel cleaner applications it is almost impossible to keep the rims looking new unless your willing to polish them once a month.

I don't plan on going through the procedure again and will simply pay $100 a wheel to have them (re)clear coated when they get bad enough.

Good luck,
Eric

Your wheel guy is right except for the fact that our rims are not clear coated they are just bare aluminum.
A good Mother's aluminum polish either by hand or with a Powerball works good

And there's no need for any type of cleaners when washing either just soap and water works just fine and the shine will last much longer.

.
.

cruiser68
07-05-13, 12:13 PM
My polished rims were most definitely clear coated. I would not use aluminum polish unless you want to remove the clear.

embassured
07-05-13, 03:20 PM
Ummm, I'm thinking they are clear coated...

The rim guy repaired some rash and did not reclear the finished area stating, "unless I reclear the entire wheel, any touch-up clear coat I provide will flake away in less than 6 months". Since the repaired area was minor, I skipped reclearing the entire rim.

So, I now have minor areas of the rim (that were repaired) that require some 5 mins. of minor polishing every four months or so. If I don't do this, the repaired area (bare aluminum I'm guessing) begins to oxidize and haze whereas the rest of the rim does not. Because of this, I feel fairly certain the rims must have some type of protective coating applied.

Then again, who knows but I did want to share my experience.

Good luck,
Eric

cdog533
07-05-13, 04:19 PM
I'll come from a different angle based on nothing more than the opinion of the guy who repaired my polished aluminum wheels.

I was told not use use aluminum or metal polish as the wheels are clear coated and that formula of polish is way too aggressive.

Since they are clear coated, simply use any clear-coat safe polishing compound that is formulated for paint.

That said, I've polished them using Mother's power cone (for a drill) and Meguiar's deep crystal polish. They looked better but the payoff was short of the effort. The biggest challenge, IMO, is that between road grime and the aggressiveness of weekly wheel cleaner applications it is almost impossible to keep the rims looking new unless your willing to polish them once

Yes, they are clear coated and should be treated just like body paint.

It's very difficult to put on a finish like the factory, which is a powder coated clear. Re-clearing them via a painter will not be as durable.

Gary Wells
07-05-13, 09:05 PM
Clear coated, both the painted & the polished ones.
I do not know about the charcoal colored rims they came out a few years back.