It is important to select the appropriate cleaner or polish for the finish on a car’s wheels

Command Auto Group says cleaning or polishing wheels is easy and can be done with a spray product, a polish and applicator, or using a quality foam power tool like Mothers PowerBall2, PowerBall Mini or PoweCone 360.

Clearcoated painted and PVD
The most common wheel finish on modern factory wheels is a clear or coloured plasticised urethane, clear coat or paint with the same grade of coating that can mar or become dull from abuse, improper washing or neglect. When seen in bright sunlight, a rainbow hue or light scratches may be visible, indicating they may need to be polished.
For this finish, Command Auto Group recommends that the Mothers Foaming Wheel and Tyre Cleaner spray and Mothers Plastic Polish or PowerPlastic are used. For added protection, it recommends these are followed with Mothers ceramic or wax products such as CMX Ceramic Spray Coating; California Gold, Speed, Ultimate Hybrid Spray Wax; or Pure Carnauba Wax Paste.

Chrome Clad
A plastic cover with a chrome-look finish that is bonded to an aluminium or steel wheel. Generally a light tap with your finger will indicate a plastic-like dull sound, or you might see a tell-tale gap between where the cladding meets the edge of the rim. Chrome clad should be protected with a ceramic coating or wax product and it should only be polished only when necessary.
Command Auto Group recommends that you use CMX Ceramic Spray Coating; California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Wax; and California Gold or Speed Spray Wax products for protecting Chrome Clad wheels.

Chrome Plated
Chrome is easily identifiable by the mirror-like finish and is often a factory or dealer option on aluminium or steel wheels. It is also popular in the aftermarket. Command Auto Group says modern chrome plating isn’t quite as durable as those years ago, and so says regular application with quality modern formulations prevent possible damage to the surface.
For this purpose, it recommends the following products: Mothers Pro Strength Chrome Wheel Cleaner; California Gold Chrome Polish; and California Gold All-Chrome.

Bare (polished) Aluminium and Billet
While this finish requires the most maintenance of any rim finish, Command Auto Group says the payoff is a brilliant shine. Aluminium is a relatively soft alloy that oxidises from exposure to the environment, dulling the finish over time.
To ensure the finish isn’t coated, Command Auto Group recommends you simply rub a small amount of an aluminium or billet polish on the surface – it should immediately turn black (if it doesn’t, chances are the wheel is coated, so stop and use appropriate polish for clearcoated or painted wheels).
When polishing aluminium, work in small sections to maintain a black buttery residue. It is important to keep the polish from drying, but if it does, simply add a little more polish and remove while wet to reveal a brilliant shine. Command Auto Group recommends the following products for this finish: Mothers Polished Aluminium Wheel Cleaner spray; Mothers Mag and Aluminium Polish; and Mothers California Gold Metal Polish.

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