Chrome wheels and muscle cars go hand in hand. Something about the big, burly profile of a muscle car is perfectly complemented by a set of slick mag wheels with a mirror finish.
The only downside is it's more difficult to keep chrome looking perfect compared to duller, aluminum finishes which are better at hiding imperfections. If you want to keep your chrome shining like new, you have to invest in some good cleaners, waxes, and a heap of elbow grease.
Brake Dust Is Your Wheels' Worst Enemy
Your brakes work by squeezing compound pads against metal rotors that spin along with your wheels and axles. The friction required to slow a two-ton muscle car down is immense. Immense friction equates to immense heat and a whole lot of brake dust. Essentially, every time you hit your brakes you're inadvertently misting your wheels with hot metallic sand.
All of that heat allows the fine brake dust particles to work its way into the chrome finish of your wheels over time. If left unchecked, the chrome finish will begin to dull out and take on a pitted appearance.
Get Yourself Some Quality Soap and Detailer
To prolong the chrome finish of your wheels you have to clean off all the brake dust and road grime as often as possible. Cleaning isn't just a way to make them shine — it's vital to prevent pitting and corrosion.
Regular car soap will work, but specialized wheel soap will make your life easier. It's formulated to break down brake dust and grime so that it melts off your wheels much easier. You should also invest in a detailing spray that's specially formulated for chrome wheels. It will remove any stubborn residual debris clinging to your wheels after you're finished soaping them down.
Use a Light Touch
Be careful not to rub the debris into the chrome finish when you're cleaning and detailing your wheels. That can scuff up the finish and dull it out. Use a conventional hose instead of a pressure washer to gently wash off the surface grime before you start scrubbing.
Use a soft sponge to apply a generous amount of soap one wheel at a time, then spray it off with your hose. Once the majority of the dirt is removed, give them a more thorough rubdown with a fresh sponge and clean soap. Finally, finish them off with a generous amount of detailing spray and wipe with a clean microfiber towel.
Wax Between Washes
Periodically waxing your wheels gives them a slick coating that will further protect them from brake dust and debris. Once your wheels are squeaky clean, apply a generous amount of wax with an applicator sponge then wipe off the excess with a clean microfiber towel. Reapply wax after every few washes to ensure your wheels stay protected.
Waxing not only protects your chrome finish, but it also makes your wheels shine like they did when they rolled off the factory floor. If you want professional help to keep your chrome wheels looking good, visit an auto detailing service near you.