Cleaning Tires for Appearance and Protection
You invest a lot of time and energy in keeping your car looking good. You wash it, polish it, and wax it. If anything gets on your vehicle, you ensure that it's removed immediately. So, why let your tires go? Maybe the days of shiny rims and hubcaps are gone, but you can still keep your tires looking fresh without a lot of hassle.
Jan 15, 2007, 03:12
Why would you want to do this, you ask? (Or maybe your wife asks.) It's along the lines of creating a complete package. It's like wearing a brand new suit with scuffed shoes. Cleaning tires on a regular basis when you clean your tires has additional benefits other than simply making your car look good. It gives you a chance to keep an eye on your tires. After all, as the ad says, "a lot is riding on them." Should you get a bolt embedded in your tires or an excessive amount of gravel become ground in, you'll be able to address the problem before it becomes serious. Keeping a regular check on your tires can keep you from a dangerous situation when driving 70 miles per hour on the freeway during four-lane rush hour traffic.
A clean tire product can also add additional protection to your tires by protecting them from the elements. Think of it as a wax for your tires. Just as you protect your car's finish with a good wax, a cleaning tire product can keep your tires in better shape that they otherwise would be. To keep your tires looking fresh, use a product specifically designed for this purpose. These products will keep a shine on your tires longer than an ordinary cleaning product. Prior to using a tire shine product, consider cleaning tires with a specific tire sidewall-cleaning product. When combined, the products can create a classy looking, fresh off the lot look.
Prior to using a cleaning tire product designed to add shine and protection, give your tires a good clean. A high-powered sprayer can be used on the tires, wheel wells, and hubcaps to remove any built up dirt and grime. If necessary, a scrub brush can be used to remove mud build up. Look for a stiff-bristled brush made of plastic rather than metal. Even though tires are very rugged, there's no point in scratching them with a wire brush. A screwdriver or other such tool can be used to pry out pieces of gravel; however, for large debris that is deeply embedded, take the tire to a specialist to have it reviewed for punctures and repaired if necessary. Be sure to check the wheel well thoroughly as well. Embedded debris can stay put and leave room for the elements to enter and lead to rust.
When cleaning tires, be sure to follow the directions on the product label, as not all are used the same way. Most are available in the form of an aerosol can and are extremely easy to use . The result is a clean tire with an added shine. In general, most should be applied to the tires and then allowed to sit for 12 to 24 hours. After sitting for this time, use a soft terry cloth rag to wipe the tires, which will remove any excess product (you don't want it sprayed up onto your car's finish when you drive). Keep in mind that some products do not require that you wipe them later. Some cleaning tire products give tires a wet look shine, which can really add some pizzazz to your car's appearance. Your tires will have a brilliant wet shine look that can give your car the appearance of being much newer than it actually is.
In addition to properly caring for your cars tires, you can increase the life of your tires by choosing quality tires to begin with and having them rotated on a regular basis. Make sure you purchase the appropriate tires for your size of vehicle and that you use the right kind of tire during the winter and summer months. Your location will determine whether you need snow or rain tires. Ensure that the air pressure is maintained at the manufacturer's recommendation for the tire and your vehicle. When you have the proper tires for your vehicle and your needs, you'll have additional peace of mind. Then, of course, keep them clean with a cleaning tire product so that they'll keep that "new tire look" for as long as possible.