How To Save Your Wheels This Winter

Mercedes C63 AMG Wheel

If you thought brake dust was bad, imagine what your wheels have to go through when the temperature drops. Road salt and snow are obvious, but don’t forget about sand (most cities solution to heightening salt prices). Aside from causing damage, winter also worsens the effects of etching and pitting. While this all sounds bad, it’s all preventable… so what are you waiting for?

The majority of car owners don’t do much outside of cleaning their wheels. Whether or not the products exist (they most certainly do), it takes a keen enthusiast to know to protect their car’s wheels. Don’t ask me why this phenomenon exists, all I can do is urge a change. Protecting your wheels is much easier than you’d think, and the results can be seen for weeks if not months. Much like your car’s paintwork, the wheels need a shielding from the elements via a powerful sealant.


What’s unique about protecting wheels? Can I use my car wax?

Although conceptually yes, you could use your car wax to protect your car’s wheels, research shows that traditional carnaubas don’t do such a great job. In short, it’s due to one thing – heat. Carnaubas melt at a lower temperature than your wheels typically run at on the road. And as you may know, they get even hotter while braking. This extreme heat (sometimes over 250˚F) causes the carnauba to melt, thus exposing your naked wheels to the elements. So what’s the answer? Easy…

Must like paint, your wheels can be sealed with a more durable sealant. Because wheel’s demand elongated and stronger protection against heat and the elements, some car owners turn to poly-sealants (polymer based protection) to add a more durable shield for their wheels. Polymer, like carnauba, still has a melting point. That said, the answer to winter wheel protection is a synthetic wheel sealant. Synthetic oils, unlike carnauba, can form a bond with metal, paint, and powder coating that protects and lasts even at the highest of temperatures because it does not have a melting point. While some say a typical car wax (carnauba or polymer-based sealants) might offer protection, it simply cannot keep pace with your car’s hot wheels.