You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that regular, preventive maintenance is the key to getting the best long-term performance out of your car. Wheel care is no exception. It’s an integral, but often neglected, part of overall vehicle maintenance. Here are some tips you can use to keep your wheels in top condition.

First, it’s important to keep your wheels clean. Use a mild detergent, non-abrasive brush and mild degreaser to keep them free of mud and dust.

In parts of the world where winters are harsh, the salt spread on roads for safety will corrode metal hub caps. Regular cleaning is paramount in these conditions. Wheel care products should be carefully selected and you should never clean wheels when they are hot.

As a general rule:

Chrome wheels should be cleaned with a soft brush and mild detergent, then wiped dry with a non-abrasive towel. Do not let soap, water or other cleaning products remain on wheels after cleaning. They can tarnish the chrome finish. Using wheel wax as a sealant can help reduce the static electricity that attracts dirt and will help the wheels resist brake dust.

Alloy wheels are lighter than regular wheels and therefore popular with racers. Aluminum naturally oxidizes, but with proper care you can minimize damage. Coating these wheels with a hand-applied sealant after cleaning will help preserve the aluminum.

Using quality16″ or 19″ wheel simulators can also help preserve the life of your original wheels. These simulators are made of high-quality stainless steel that will serve as the first line of defense against corrosion and other damage. They can be installed on most trucks, including Chevys, Fords, Dodges, Isuzus and Internationals.

You’ve invested in your wheels now protect your investment!